“In Her Own Image: Self-Portraits by Women from 1900 to 2018” , curated by Amy Sudarsky For the Concord Center for the Arts, is an exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints designed to present the evolution of images that women have made of themselves since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Not surprisingly, the earliest self-portraits in the exhibition are the most traditional. They were intended to accurately describe the appearance of each artist and, more often than not, place her in a social and economic context. As the various movements that characterize the arts in the twentieth and early twenty-first century emerged, changes in the formal, technical, and expressive aspects of these portraits became available.
Of greater significance than the historical sequence of the movements themselves, however, has been their function as the means by which women were able to see themselves differently. Each stylistic change encouraged an interpretation that was free of pre-existing stereotypes.
The results of this complex historical process have enabled contemporary and emerging artists to describe themselves with unprecedented directness and honesty. Although the debt to their immediate predecessors is obvious, the most recent self-portraits suggest the range of new directions that the next generation will certainly explore.