This exhibition of portraits by renowned artist Françoise Gilot (French/American, b. 1921) is a presentation of her works on paper drawn from the Berman Museum of Art permanent collection. The installation explores Gilot’s interest in capturing the artistic, literary, familial, and political personalities of history, using a bold, linear approach. Her skill in a variety of mediums includes India ink, oils with pastels, charcoal, along with examples of her mastery in the multiple layers of lithography ink. Gilot knew some of her subjects, such as Endre Rozsda and Genevieve, but it is her relationship with her family, Pablo Picasso, Claude, Paloma, and Aurelia, which inform her most intimate compositions. Other works included are interpretations drawn from Gilot’s knowledge of extraordinary lives.
The Berman Museum of Art has mounted several exhibitions of Gilot’s work since 1995 and published the catalogue raisonné of her complete oeuvre of etchings and lithographs. The museum is one of the few repositories of such an extensive collection of Gilot’s paintings and works on paper, which spans an artistic career that began in the early 1940’s. The initial selection was determined during a summer 2019 internship by Kutztown University students Alexandra Koch and Hadley Wiktor. Former museum director/curator Lisa Tremper Hanover made the final selections and developed interpretive material utilizing access to her longtime curator and archivist, Mel Yoakum, Ph.D. This opportunity to include first-hand oral history and historical context will further enrich the educational experience.