A-Level: Modern portraits

videos + essays

Dada’s “Approximate Man”: A <em>Portrait of Tristan Tzara</em> by Marcel Janco
Dada’s “Approximate Man”: A Portrait of Tristan Tzara by Marcel Janco

This mask is a rare document of the Dada movement and an embodiment of the so-called “approximate man.”

Egon Schiele, <em>Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait)</em>
Egon Schiele, Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait)

The body’s expressive contortions reflect sculptural tradition, but Schiele used it to express the interior self.

Egon Schiele, <em>The Hermits</em>
Egon Schiele, The Hermits

Is Schiele’s haunted figure meant to be a famed Austrian artist or Jesus Christ—or both?

August Sander, Portraits
August Sander, Portraits

Sander documented German people from all walks of life, but the goals of his project remain unclear.

Christian Schad, <em>Self-Portrait</em>
Christian Schad, Self-Portrait

Unusually, two figures make up this self-portrait, which is all sexuality but no passion.

Pablo Picasso, <em>Portrait of Gertrude Stein</em>
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso began his love affair with Gertrude Stein’s bank account when he learned of her support for Matisse.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, <em>Self-Portrait As a Soldier</em>
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Self-Portrait As a Soldier

Kirchner is rendered unable to create or destroy in this nightmarish wartime painting.