The Role of the Portrait

The Museo de Arte de Ponce presents to the public The Role of Portrait, an exhibition that adds to the celebration of fifty years of work by Antonio Martorell in Puerto Rican art and culture.  Humberto Figueroa is the curator of the exhibition.

“It is a pleasure for the Museo de Arte de Ponce to be part of this celebration of  the work of a Puerto Rican artist, who has made Ponce his home. The unique theme of his portraits on paper echoes the close relationship that Martorell has maintained throughout the years with our Museum and our city”,  said Alejandra Peña Gutiérrez, Executive Director of Museo de Arte de Ponce.

The exhibition The Role of the Portrait captures the artist’s restless exploration of the forms and techniques of drawing, also presents a parade of personalities from the artistic, intellectual, academic and family world. The exhibition features a selection of works on paper in various techniques (graphite, charchoal and ink, as well as collage and xylographic prints) by the artist Antonio Martorell.

The Role of the Portrait  is  the first exhibition that explores two crucial areas to Martorell’s artistic production: drawing as an essential activity in his creative process  and portraiture as an action that multiplies the presence of the human in times of transformations and lags of identity. For the artist, drawing is dialogue with his immediate reference and from that conversation let the hand flow freely over the support while the eye study the contours and details of a face. The portrait drawn, painted or engraved has been an artistic exercise approached by Martorell from very early in his life, and delving into the genre of  portrait has served him in his urgency to establish  communication  ties with his models and the viewer”, informed  Humberto Figueroa, curator of the exhibition.

“A portrait is a path of knowledge, it is a way to approach the other. It is a conversation both with the hand that traces and with the conversation that occurs; it is a communication that comes and goes”, commented the artist Antonio Martorell.

The Role of the Portrait  complements the present of  Imalabra, a retrospective of the work of Antonio Martorell presented at the Museo de las Américas  after having been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts of Havana and at the University of the Claustro de Sor Juana in México, D.F.

The exhibition at the Museo de Arte de Ponce,  The Role of Portrait, opens a series of exhibitions that recognizes Martorell’s trajectory in the cultural life of Puerto Rico in various institutions of the island. Among these, la Galería San Juan Bautista del Municipio de San Juan, La Liga de Arte, la Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan, El Museo de Arte de Bayamón, la Casa Roig of the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao and The Museum of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.