One Portrait of One Man by Beth Lipman
An homage to Marsden Hartley
Commissioned work for Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
One Portrait of One Man pays homage to Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) by encapsulating his painting One Portrait of One Woman (1916) within an ephemeral domestic setting. The installation presents a glass cabinet as Hartley’s allegorical body, flanked by glass wallpaper depicting a stylized aerial view of the border between two enemy trenches which no one dared cross, known during WWI as No Man’s Land. Representations of artifacts from Hartley and Stein’s lives are hidden within the glass cabinet with significant visual entry points located at chest and pelvis areas. Continuing the portraiture tradition, One Portrait of One Man offers a rumination on presence and absence.
Marsden Hartley - "Every artist is some sort of a relative of some other artist because it is only in the expansive field of art that such relatives are to be found."
Marsden Hartley, one of America’s most preeminent 20th century modernists created One Portrait of One Woman (1916) as a symbolic portrait of his cherished friend and mentor, Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). Stein remains a deeply influential avant-garde author and collector whose Rue de Fleurus salon became a fulcrum of the artistic community during the first half of the 20th century. She, in turn, wrote a word portrait of Hartley.
One Portrait of One Man was commissioned by Weisman Art Museum and partially funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. Research was supported by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
photo credit: Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota