Paterson Ewen

Self-portrait

1986
This rough self-portrait presents the artist as more ordinary than exalted. Still, Ewen's characteristic gouging of plywood has produced a brutally painterly work. His vigorous and deliberately coarse treatment of the materials unexpectedly produces a sensitive and introspective portrait of an intense man with a looming presence. In this way, although far from a classical conception of painting, it is still part of a long tradition of self-portraiture as artistic self-reflection. Compare this painting with Ewen's "The Bandaged Man". The latter, based on a diagram from an instructional manual, may be seen as a self-portrait of a psychologically wounded spirit, using symbolic representation rather than the direct observation of this "Self-portrait".
Title
Self-portrait
Date
1986
Medium
Painting
Materials
acrylic on gouged plywood
Dimensions
243.9 x 121.8 x 3.8 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 1986
Accession number
29553

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