Karel Funk. Untitled #78, 2016. acrylic on panel, 96.5 x 108.6 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor; funds administered by the Winnipeg Foundation, and with funds from Michael Nesbitt, Susan Glass and Arni Thorsteinson, the Price Family Foundation and with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l’aide du programme d’aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada. 2016-399.
In this time of self-isolation and quarantine, people’s faces are protected, covered, and even hid. It made me think about the hooded portraits by Winnipeg artist, Karel Funk.
In 2016, the WAG organized an exhibition of Karel’s work, and commissioned Untitled #78. For me, this painting has become one of the most quieting and contemplative works in the WAG collection. The artist reveals practically nothing about the subject and instead focuses on the silvery grey hood, which covers the sitter’s head and most of the face.
Standing before the painting, I often lose sense of time and even context. It is a fully immersive and meditative experience – not unlike how the devotional portrait of the early Renaissance was meant to capture the viewer’s complete attention.
While the WAG is temporarily closed, your collection is still here for you. Stay connected with the art through daily posts from our Director & CEO, Dr. Stephen Borys.
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