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Girl Explores Girl: The Alien Encounter \/\/FREE\\\\

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

Girl Explores Girl: The Alien Encounter

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The Encounter: Drawing from Leonardo to Rembrandt benefits immeasurably from the fact that most of its paper portraits are anonymous. This is a bold selection of relatively unknown and unattributed drawings. Even the well-known graphic portraits by Hans Holbein are here mostly undesignated rather than named individuals burdened with personal history. Viewers are thus encouraged to read the images closely, rather than focus on lists of ancillary dates, marriages and inheritance that can suck all the juice out of historical portraiture. Simple labels such as "Woman Wearing a White Headdress", for example, help us to appreciate how Holbein understood the way in which his contemporaries inhabited their sixteenth-century clothes and the warmth and weight of their bodies. This wonderful drawing includes abbreviated clues: we can sense the rough linen of the workaday headdress around the worn and rather benign face without the display of class, rank and sumptuary laws that dominate settings and encode poses in painted portraits of the time. This abbreviated simplicity is a condition of the immediacy of drawing, with its distinctions between carefully modulated techniques for delineating facial likeness, and sketchy lines and scribbled notes for rendering clothing and settings. The viewer's sense of involvement stems, too, from the "democracy" of the eye of a portraitist such as Holbein, who searchingly records working people as well as figures of rank. We feel equally present in a drawing a century later attributed to the minor Netherlandish artist Leendert van der Cooghen, of a girl wearing the simplest of collars and hairstyles, in Carlo Dolci's affectionate record of his worn-down old Shoemaker in about 1630, and in Annibale Carracci's well-known red-chalk drawing of a pathetic young fellow with a hunched back. Such observations are central to the notion of a creative "encounter", which the curators have put at the heart of the exhibition. 041b061a72

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