The National Portrait Gallery will open to the public beginning Friday, May 14th, with timed-entry passes required for all visitors. On-site tours and events are currently suspended and all public programs will be online.
Well known for his ceramic sculptures and his numerous self-portraits, Robert Arneson tests the boundaries of self-representation-and even those of art itself-with this self-portrait that depicts him symbolically, not pictorially. Despite its appearance, the object is not an ordinary building material, but was cast by Arneson himself. Brick's physical association with the artist is thus a key component of its function as a self-portrait. Evidence of his hand is visible in both his name stamped on top and in the signature inscribed on the side.