The portraits by Jerome Lagarrigue offer viewers an eclectic, abstracted view of what lies beneath.
“On over-sized dimensions, the brushstrokes, a shade of tone, a move of the spatula, tell us what is hidden behind what we saw a thousand times,” says painter Jerome Lagarrigue, a French artist living and working in New York. Indeed, there is something that lies beneath the portraits of Lagarrigue’s sitters that touches on their emotions, trials, triumphs, and tribulations that is mesmerizing in his current solo exhibition at Waltman Ortega Fine Art in Miami.

Jerome Lagarrigue, “Mirror I,” oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in. (c) Waltman Ortega Fine Art 2015

Titled “Arcane Chamber,” the exhibition will feature 13 of Lagarrigue’s most recent works, each displaying the acclaimed artist’s gestural style combined with abstract, atmospheric spaces. The gallery writes, “These paintings embrace introspection, weird thoughts, decisions that had to be made along the painter’s path — self-portraiture minus the lens.”

Jerome Lagarrigue, “Nude 2,” oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in. (c) Waltman Ortega Fine Art 2015

Of particular note is the magnetic “Amadou III.” With only his head and neck in view, the subject gazes out of the picture amidst an abstract patterning of saturated blue hues. The man’s musing is captivating, leaving the viewer pondering the character behind the paint. Deep purple hues with dashes of orange compose the sitter’s dark skin, a brilliant contrast with the blue space. Below, balancing yellows, reds, and orange are applied with large, expressive strokes that have even left strong vertical runs of paint.
“Arcane Chamber” opens on October 10 and will be on view through November 10.
To learn more, visit Waltman Ortega Fine Art.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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