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William Auerbach-Levy Self-Portrait

Artist
William Auerbach-Levy, 1889 - 1964
Sitter
William Auerbach-Levy, 1889 - 1964
Date
c. 1925
Type
Drawing
Medium
Watercolor and ink on paper
Dimensions
image: 48.1cm x 35.5cm (18 15/16" x 14"), Accurate
Sheet: 48.1cm x 35.5cm (18 15/16" x 14"), Accurate
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
NPG.89.116
Culture
William Auerbach-Levy: European\Russian
Exhibition Label
When is a self-portrait not exactly a likeness?
William Auerbach-Levy gained fame from the 1920s through the 1940s as a caricaturist of literary and theatrical figures, artists, and movie stars. His drawings could be found for years in the New York World and other major publications. Auerbach- Levy also caricatured himself, showing his thinning hair, round face, and weak chin. In this drawing, he reveals an alter ego—one who is broad shouldered, with a full head of thick hair—the artist as he “should” look. This figure recurs in Auerbach-Levy’s work, in the same pose and displaying the same features. Here, he is shown creating a modernist interpreta- tion of a house. In other sketches, the same artist character is seen caricaturing a nude model, or making a painfully thin model look like a modernist sculpture by Gaston Lachaise, or transforming a large-boned fleshy model into a svelte ideal.
¿Cúando un autorretrato no es exactamente un retrato?
William Auerbach-Levy se hizo famoso entre las décadas de 1920 y 1940 como caricaturista de figuras literarias y teatrales, artistas y estrellas de cine. Sus dibujos aparecieron por años en el New York World y otras publicaciones importantes. También
se caricaturizó a sí mismo, presentándose con el pelo escaso, la cara redonda y poca barbilla. En este dibujo revela un alter ego de anchos hombros y cabellera abundante: el artista como “debería” verse. Esta es una figura recurrente en la obra de Auerbach-Levy, siempre en la misma pose y con las mismas características. Aquí lo vemos creando una versión modernista de una casa. En otros dibujos se ve al mismo personaje dibujando la caricatura de una modelo desnuda, o tratando de que una modelo delgadísima parezca una escultura modernista de Gaston Lachaise, o transformando a una modelo entrada en carnes en un ideal de esbeltez.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection