The Hidden Face
Curator: Irena Gordon
17 Mar — 12 May, 2012
The man sitting next to me spoke with a heavy Dutch accent.
– Where in the Netherlands are you from? – I asked.
– From Utrecht.
– My mother is from Utrecht too.
– What was her name?
– de Haas.
– Which de Haas? – he asked. – de Haas from the Judenrat?..
(Chana Goldberg, text from the catalogue)
Chana Goldberg confronts an unresolved autobiographical story through the genre of portraiture. The exhibition is constructed out of dozens of portraits, most of them monotypes and a few of them oil paintings. They all evoke the faces of seven figures that have disclosed the story of her maternal grandfather, and thus, amongst their faces, appears her own self portrait.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue
Gallery talk: Thurs. 19.4.2012 at 6 pm
Gallery talk: Tues. 19.4.2012 at 6 pm
About the exhibition
Chana Goldberg confronts an unresolved autobiographical story through the genre of portraiture. The entire show is constructed out of dozens of portraits, most of them monotypes and a few of them oil paintings. They all evoke the faces of seven figures that have disclosed the story of her maternal grandfather, and thus, amongst their faces, appears her own self portrait.The portrait painting is probably the most dominant genre in the history of art, and through it Goldberg deals with the question of identity: Is the “Other”, even the closest, accessible to us? Can we actually capture the Other’s face or is it always our own faces that we succeed in summoning? Is it at all possible to conjure up a pictorial entity of a face and through it reveal individual and collective memories or historical narratives?The name of the exhibition, “The Hidden Face”, derives from the book of Deuteronomy and carries a double meaning: God is hiding his face from his people, removing his providence from them, and at the same time God is testing his believers’ faith and maturity by forcing them to take responsibility for their actions. “The Hidden Face” is the accustomed explanation among Orthodox Jews for the catastrophe of the Holocaust. Chana Goldberg’s unraveled portraits seem to continuously change, fixed in the paper and yet elusive. They unfold the emotional complexity of the concept of “The Hidden Face”, as well as its captivating visual expression in painting, whilst keeping the secrets embedded in the story and in its’ figures, hidden.