Whitfield Lovell’s critically acclaimed portraits have been in solo and group exhibitions at prestigious museums throughout the country, including the Seattle Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum. “Whitfield Lovell creates meticulously rendered, life-sized, charcoal portraits on such wooden objects as sections of walls, fences, or barrels, evoking a haunting sense of their presence,” according to the artist’s profile on the MacArthur Foundation website. “He places these portraits in the context of found, everyday objects – including frying pans, spinning wheels, bed frames, clocks, irons, and musical instruments – to reveal the individual through items related to his or her life. These compelling and seemingly simple installations are informed by contemporary art practice as well as folk art, vernacular art, and the physical conditions of marginalized communities. Creating remarkably elegant works, Lovell evokes memories of the past while transcending the specifics of time and space.” Read more.
In August 2006, John Yau interviewed Mr. Lovell for The Brooklyn Rail. “I’m sort of dodging the history of painting in a lot of ways. I’m not particularly interested in making paintings. I’m not particularly interested in making drawings or that whole dialogue. But the fact that I’m doing this with my hand, and that it’s a hand-drawn image, is very important to me. I love the act of drawing. Of course I love drawings and paintings. But in my current work I’m mostly interested in the people and the imagery, so that my drawings are more in service to the imagery than being about ‘drawing.’ “Read more. Images and exhibition record can be found at artnet. He is represented by DC Gallery in New York.