October 1 – November 13, 2004
Reception, Friday, October 1, 6:00-8:00pm

Forum Gallery
8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Susan Hauptman, “Self-portrait as Prima Donna Bitch”,
2000, charcoal, pastel, & gold leaf, 54 x 40 inches.

Los Angeles, CA - Forum Gallery presents the exhibition Susan Hauptman: Drawings from October 1 – November 13, 2004, with an opening reception Friday evening October 1, from 6:00- 8:00.

Susan Hauptman’s first exhibition at Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, includes large-scale works, ten self-portraits and seven still-lifes, all in the media of charcoal and pastel. Each drawing offers an intriguing insight into the artist’s own psyche and self expression, representing both a moment in time as well as an ongoing narrative and commentary. The self-portraits, Hauptman’s most celebrated subject matter for the past twenty years, propel the viewer into an imaginary, evanescent land in which the artist’s own womanhood is raptly examined.

In Glitter Self-portrait with Dog the artist appears to tower above the viewer with a formidable glare of queen-like majesty, her glamorous attire, discreetly hidden hands and doleful expression casting an even more regal aura to her presence. The extreme vertical orientation of the drawing amplifies Hauptman’s iridescence, belying her actual Lilliputian size. Her courtly dog is an obedient attendant and, as is her stature, a completely imagined element in the artist’s life.

Self-portrait as Prima Donna Bitch offers the viewer another extended representation of self and situation. Here, Hauptman’s close-up glower, buzz hair-cut, and pallid complexion convey the notion of a confrontational “bitch”, while her gold-leaf halo, the background tone of lapis lazuli blue, and placid frontality recall the Italian primitives of the 14th century, Russian Orthodox icons and Byzantine mosaics which apotheosize The Madonna with reverence and adoration.

Susan Hauptman continuously reinvents herself in her self-portraits, offering exotic panoply to enhance striking visual contrasts, challenge the viewer’s powers of ratiocination, and raise issues of phenomenological self-awareness inherent in the human condition. Known for her formidable dexterity and meticulousness of detail, Hauptman is both a highly respected art professor of unending enthusiasm and a draftsman of great personal candor and integrity. Her work is undoubtedly amongst the most evocative, cerebral, and engaging in current American representation art.

Susan Hauptman‘s work is in major American museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Oakland Museum; the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; the Minnesota Museum of Arts, St. Paul; the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, and the Norton Gallery of Art, Palm Beach. Her drawings are in many important private collections. From 1997-2000 she was awarded the Lamar Dodd Professional Chair at the University of Georgia, Athens and, until 2002, was Visiting Artist at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Susan Hauptman lives and works in New York City.

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