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This event will be held in partnership with National Portrait Gallery and USCET.
A major survey of contemporary artist Hung Liu, whose layered portraits explore history and memory through the stories of marginalized figures
Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands presents the stunning work of this contemporary Chinese American artist. Liu (1948–2021) blends painting and photography to offer new frameworks for understanding portraiture in relation to time, memory, and history. Often working from photographs, she uses portraiture to elevate overlooked subjects, amplifying the stories of those who have historically been invisible or unheard. This richly illustrated book examines six decades of Liu’s painting, photography, and drawing. Author Dorothy Moss illuminates the importance of family photographs in Liu’s work; Nancy Lim examines the origins of Liu’s artistic practice; Lucy R. Lippard explores issues of identity and multiculturalism; and Elizabeth Partridge focuses on Liu’s recent series based on Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era photographs. Philip Tinari, along with artists Amy Sherald and Carrie Mae Weems, among others, conveys Liu’s impact on contemporary art. Having lived through war, political revolution, exile, and displacement, Liu paints a complex picture of an Asian Pacific American experience. Her portraits speak powerfully to those seeking a better life, in the United States and elsewhere.
Join authors of the exhibition catalogue and close friends of Hung Liu (1948–2021) as they discuss her contributions to contemporary art and reflect on her legacy and work to advocate for women, human rights, and world peace. This conversation will be presented during the final week of Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands, on view at the National Portrait Gallery through May 30.
Panelists will include five of the book’s authors:
Dorothy Moss is curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery. She organized the exhibition Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands and edited the accompanying catalogue.
Jeff Kelley is an art critic and Hung Liu’s husband. He met the artist when they were attending graduate school at the University of California, San Diego.
Elizabeth Partridge is an award-winning author, who lives in Berkeley, California. Her latest book is Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America (Viking Books for Young Readers, 2022).
Enrique Chagoya is a painter, printmaker, and professor at Stanford University. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2021 and has work in several major public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution.