The history of art practice is replete with the depiction of faces. The representation of face has been an inevitable part of human history, even though the mediums and strategies of visualization have constantly been evolving. From its heyday, artists have significantly moved away from realistic representation and adapted abstraction or idealized portrayal as a parallel strategy to render the human face. Modern practitioners returned to the human face, especially with their encounter with non-European visual culture, as an essential method of portraying the crisis in subjectivity. With increased surveillance technologies, face scanning apps, smartphone cameras, and the burgeoning of social media, the human face is at the zenith of its representation to characterize our identity.
Of the various genres of human portraits, the frontal face is of particular importance because it facilitates identification, gender judgment, facial expression, and so forth. The fewer frontal facial depictions have astonished art historians who have surveyed the broad landscape of this genre. This scarcity is a perplexing question. Therefore, this exhibition engages with the artworks representing frontal human faces to understand their specific aesthetic, psychological, and behavioral aspects. Artworks that depict human faces in one particular compositional form will involve in an aesthetic dialogue with each other to understand the various intentions of the artists. It will also attempt to trace the different visual inspirations (mythological, secular, indigenous), compositional strategies, selection of mediums, and artistic intention behind the particular use of faces. We will attempt to unravel these complexities through video interviews, archival materials, and publications.