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Exhibition - Facing Survivial: David Kassan

Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019 at 12:00pm

USC Fisher Museum Of Art
823 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Artist David Kassan’s singular vision and extraordinary talent combine in the exhibition “Facing Survival” featuring Kassan’s paintings and drawings of more than a dozen Holocaust survivors, created over a period of several years. In preparation for painting their portraits, the Kassan recorded his subjects’ testimonies, getting to know them deeply. His intimate understanding of his subjects and of their unique histories conveys a sense of their experiences in the Holocaust as much as it does their individual appearance now: the visceral, lifelike imagery captures each person’s spirit, pain, and dignity. David Kassan’s portraits become a form of testimony in their own right, revealing the luminous visage of resilience, the complex nature of survival, and a contemporaneous reflection of their lives in the aftermath of genocidal violence.

To extend the exploration of testimony and its multiple forms, the exhibition will be supplemented by a presentation of USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive interview “Dimensions in Testimony”. With the installation of this cutting edge interactive display, visitors to the exhibition will be able to ask questions of some of the subjects in the paintings, as if giving firsthand accounts of their experiences. An in-depth catalogue will also accompany the exhibition as will the sketches Kassan made as he progressed to the final paintings.

David Jon Kassan (born 1977 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is an internationally recognized contemporary American painter, best known for his life-size representational paintings, which combine figurative subjects with symbolic textured abstract backgrounds. A form of Social Documentary, David’s paintings are often described as raw, poignant and profoundly honest, capturing humanity in its true form. As an artist, Kassan acts as an empathetic intermediary between the subject he portrays and the viewer. More than simply replicating his subjects Kassan seeks to understand them. He seeks to capture the essence of those he paints, imbuing them with their own voice.

David is a lauded representational/realist painter who brings “Facing Survival” to USC Fisher Museum of Art following his residency with the museum and The USC Shoah Foundation. Kassan’s works can be seen in many public and private collections worldwide. He is represented by Gallery Henoch (Chelsea), New York, NY and The Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Los Angeles. Kassan lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Brooklyn NYC. His art has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, among others. Kassan is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the Allied Artists of America Gold Medal of Honor, The BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and The William F Draper Grand Prize.

Exhibition Date: September 18, 2019 - December 7, 2019

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