Frye Art Museum

Oscillating between evocations of desire and difference, clinical observation and psychological narrative, these works heighten awareness of our own position as viewers.

Gaze: Vision, Desire, and Difference in the Frye Collections

August 30, 2008 – January 4, 2009

Concurrent with Napoleon on the Nile and Empire, the Frye presents works from our Founding and Permanent Collections in the exhibition Gaze: Vision, Desire, and Difference in the Frye Collections. This exhibition explores the various kinds of gazes reflected in paintings from the Frye Collections, among them clandestine pleasure, voyeurism, and the artist’s or the subject’s gaze. Oscillating between evocations of desire and difference, clinical observation and psychological narrative, these works heighten awareness of our own position as viewers.

The exhibition features major works by nineteenth-century artists such as Gabriel von Max and Franz Xaver Winterhalter, as well as contemporary twentieth-century artists such as Robert McCurdy. In Sin, Franz von Stuck’s temptress looks back at the viewer in full knowledge of her sexual power; Tim Lowly’s large-scale Temma on Earth is a powerful portrayal of the artist’s daughter, physically and mentally disabled since birth; and Steven Assael’s IRT #7 examines both the anonymity and intimacy of urban life in his portraits of passengers on the New York subway. Each illuminates the complex dynamics of spectatorship.

The exhibition is cocurated by Frye Foundation Scholar Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker and Frye Curator of Collections Donna Kovalenko.

Image credits:
Robert McCurdy. Untitled (detail), 1999. Oil on canvas. 73 x 68 in. Frye Art Museum Purchase 2000.
Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Susanna and the Elders, 1866. Oil on canvas. 64 5/8 x 46 5/8 in. Charles and Emma Frye Collection.
Robert McCurdy. Untitled, 1999. Oil on canvas. 73 x 68 in. Frye Art Museum Purchase 2000.
Franz von Stuck, Sin, after 1906. Mixed media on canvas. 34 7/8 x 21 5/8 in. Charles and Emma Frye Collection.
Timothy Lowly. Temma on Earth, 1999. Acrylic on panel. 96 x 144 in. Frye Art Museum, gift of Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg 2004.
Grigory Gluckmann. Young Woman, Head & Shoulders, not dated. Oil on panel. 13 13/16 x 10 5/8 in. Frye Art Museum Purchase 1971.