From Duchamp to Lichtenstein, Haring to Basquiat: artist portraits from the Würth Collection on display in Rome

From February 18 to March 14, 2019, the Würth Capena Art Forum is hosting the exhibition Art Faces. Artist Portraits in the Würth Collection.

After first being presented in 2003 at the Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall, the exhibition Art Faces. Artist Portraits in the Würth Collection makes a stop, from February 18 to March 14, 2019, atArt Forum Würth Capena, in Capena, just outside Rome. The Art Faces collection begins with the work of Swiss photographer François Meyer, who, driven by curiosity about the person behind a work of art, embarked on the ambitious project of creating a collection of photographs of artist portraits. François Meyer to collect his work in 1975, when he was working as a photographer for the art world and collaborating with magazines such as L’Oeil, Conossaince des Arts, Architectural Digest and Elle Decor, Meyer does not intend to take improvised or on-the-spot shots, but rather compositions that are the subject of in-depth reflection. In his portraits he establishes, behind the lens, a relationship between the worlds of photography and art, and through his photos the art scene of the 1970s is represented as a kaleidoscope colored by the spirit of the times.

At first there are eighty portraits, including that of Sonia Delaunay, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Wifredo Lam, Richard Serra, Tom Wesselman and other famous artists. The project was forgotten in a drawer until 1998 when, together with his wife, Meyer decided to expand the collection by purchasing the portraits of other photographers. Many have devoted themselves with surprising exclusivity to artist portraiture, identifying, in the intimate relationship with the subject they photograph, a particular mission of their work.
The result is a collection, which has become part of the Würth Collection, of more than 240 photographs by 42 different authors, some of them among the greatest of the 20th century. Among them are Arnold Newman (1918-2006), author of the portrait of Piet Mondrian; Herbert List (1903-1975), who took the brilliant portrait of Marino Marini; Michel Sima (1912-1987), who took the double portrait of Marchel Duchamp and Man Ray; the French Denise Colomb (1902-2004), author of the portrait of Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini; August Sander (1876-1964), the chronicler of German society in the interwar period, who immortalized Otto Dix in one of the oldest photographs in the collection.

The exhibition at the Würth Capena Art Forum displays a selection of more than 100 photographs by 32 photographers, accompanied by some original works from the Würth Collection by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Max Ernst, Jean Arp, Salvador Dali, David Hockney, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and Sam Francis. The rooms display works and photographs together, creating a pathway that compendiums Meyer’s idea of binding the artist to his work. The layout, which groups the artists starting with the movements that featured them, lends itself admirably to showcasing the many angles from which photographers have approached artist portraiture over time, and allows one to embark on a journey through the great History of Art through the visages and gazes of the people who made it so. According to Würth Collection Director C. Sylvia Weber, “the names of the artists portrayed not only represent the most prominent references in the art world, but in many cases coincide perfectly with the artistic expression of the Würth Collection.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Swiridoff. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and holidays closed. Free admission. For all information you can call +39 06 90103800 or send an e-mail to

Pictured is a portrait of Roy Lichtenstein.

From Duchamp to Lichtenstein, Haring to Basquiat: artist portraits from the Würth Collection on display in Rome
From Duchamp to Lichtenstein, Haring to Basquiat: artist portraits from the Würth Collection on display in Rome

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