05 Apr 2017

Portraits of Courage

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Reviewed by Elizabeth A. Rose

Anyone can take lessons in painting with enough time and money, and the artist George W. Bush has both. But "Portraits of Courage," an exhibition straight from the school of Sedrick Huckaby, surprised everyone. Bush learned from Huckaby how to do art: how to use pigment and brushes, and how to stare back at the face of truth. His influence is evident in the eyes of Bush’s subjects.

It would be easy to dismiss Bush’s oeuvre as a sycophant’s plea for popularity, and many do, but then there’s the haunting poignancy of his faces. They stare out from the impasto-covered canvas as if daring the gallery visitor to turn them into a political statement.

A nonpartisan lens through which to view the exhibition does not exist; similar portraits by your retired uncle would not have been on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The show rests on its own laurels. At their best, Bush’s portraits are mirrors as much as they are depictions. The same could be said of the exhibition itself.

Exhibition Portraits of Courage link
Start date 02 Mar 2017
End date 01 Oct 2017 (23 days ago)
Presenter George W. Bush Presidential Center link
Venue 2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas, TX, USA map
Image George W. Bush, Sergeant Michael Joseph Leonard Politowicz, U.S. Marine Corps, 2010-Present, oil on stretched canvas, 18 x 24 inches, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center
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