MAR 25 / 2016 – SEPT 25 / 2016

Johnna Arnold, Nina Katz, Danielle Nelson Mourning, Kari Orvik, Lucky Rapp, Jessie Thatcher, Matthew MacCaul Turner and Carolyn Quartermaine

The group exhibition #portrait is displayed concurrently with a solo exhibition of photographs by the renowned music portrait photographer Laura Levine, titled Laura Levine: ALTHIPHOPINDYPUNK Picture Show: Intimate Portraits of the Music Scene, 1980 – 1995.

DZINE Gallery is pleased to present #portrait, an exploration of the contemporary portrait in various media including painting on canvas, works on paper, contemporary photography utilizing the historical method of tintype, staged narrative photography, 20th century street photography, music portrait photography, iPhoneography, mixed media, video and 8mm short film. 

How do people present themselves to the world? How does the artist or photographer approach the portrait to reveal the essence or inner psychology of a subject, or their own political, social, spiritual or aesthetic concerns? The nature of what constitutes a portrait engenders debate. Must a portrait include the face? What is the viewer’s participation in defining and understanding a portrait? Artist Nina Katz, whose work is featured in this exhibition, says, “The portrait serves not so much to provide the answers to questions, but provides the questions themselves, and points to the importance of asking them.”

San Francisco Bay artist Nina Katz presents a series of paintings on canvas for this exhibition. Katz says of her work, “What emerges is not so much a representation of the person, but a representation of the mystery, the ‘unknowability’ of each one that, in the end, is where the essence of all of us resides. I do not paint directly, but ‘around’ my subjects, to the point where each picture isolates them at the same time it emphasizes the ambiguity of what biography is in its essence.” We are delighted to announce that Nina Katz has just been named a semifinalist for the prestigious BP Portrait Award by the National Portrait Gallery in London. 

Danielle Nelson Mourning presents a series of works of photography, film and video that highlight the artist’s shifts in psyche from 2005 to the present. In large-scale photographs taken in Marks, Mississippi and a super 8 film titled Memories of a Pleasant Visit, Mourning uses the self-portrait to honor her ancestry and explore “the veil of time” between the physical and the supernatural. In Infinitely Comforting, a polyptych photograph shows the artist upside down with opaque skin and in a vintage dress, recalling the crucifixion. In Enlightenment, a large-scale work of photography enriched with gold leaf, the artist shows herself climbing a massive meditation dome in India. Mourning positions herself as her uncle who has chosen to live in silent meditation in the Himalayas for the last 20 years. Mourning says of her work, “What moves us and makes us feel human? I am inspired by the sacred feminine, the goddess in spiritual Christian texts. I experienced a paradigm shift by donning the clothes of a 1950’s housewife, and in exploring the different roles of women in a spiritual path. My portraits are now more abstract, and the work shows an evolution to multidisciplinary work. In all the work there are issues of gender and psychology. My interest is in emotional work with an awareness of a woman’s spirit and psyche.”

Acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Carolyn Quartermaine, whose work of photography has been featured in Black and White magazine and whose design work was recently on the cover of Vogue Living, presents two works of iPhoneography from a new series, Chercheuse de Reves. Photographed on location in Morocco, Quartermaine’s photography is cinematic, recalling both the films of Nicholas Roeg and the early 20th century autochromes set in Morocco of French photographer, Gabriel Veyre. Quartermaine is interested in a longer, elliptical narrative in her work, where the images are mosaic-like montages of sensation and pause. In these self-portraits, Quartermaine presents character studies, employing accouterment and setting to advance narrative. Quartermaine shares her process while photographing in Morocco: “There is the flow, the swish, the shape, the glitter, and then you turn a corner and suddenly there is a building site obscured in red drapery, like a nomadic tent, an art piece…or a shadow.”

Combined with this group exhibition is a solo exhibition, Laura Levine: ALTHIPHOPINDYPUNK Picture Show: Intimate Portraits of the Music Scene, 1980–1995, the first San Francisco exhibition of the work of the acclaimed music photographer and multidisciplinary artist, Laura Levine. Levine’s intimate photographic portraits of artists from the punk, early hip-hop, New Wave, No Wave, and early downtown New York City music scene of the 1980s have been previously exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Steven Kasher Gallery, and the Brooklyn Museum, and are in the permanent collections of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts(Houston), and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. Levine's work includes iconic images of Bjork, R.E.M., The Clash, Lou Reed & John Cale, Joey Ramone, Madonna, Iggy Pop & Chrissie Hynde, and Tina Weymouth & Grandmaster Flash, among others.

DZINE welcomes San Francisco based designer Chris Baisa as our featured designer for the exhibition, inaugurating our representation of Delinear, his line of modern, handcrafted rugs, in our showroom.

Exhibition Events

Opening reception
Artists in conversation


Press release