At Sonnabend Gallery, 14 Ways of Looking at Anh Duong

NEW YORK—Anh Duong was all over Sonnabend Gallery on Saturday, staring out from 14 new canvases, self-portraits in which she plays dress up. The artist depicts herself reclining in a white dress, sitting in a black dress, standing in a leopard fur coat, nude in front of a mirror and bicycling down a country lane.

Detail of “Philosophy and Prostitution.”

Duong created the oil on canvas images between 2008 and 2011. Painted with intense color, in all of her iterations, the viewer is drawn to her eyes, which the gallery describes as “the emotional and compositional center of these paintings.”

Born in France, Duong is of Vietnamese and Spanish descent. She has modeled for top fashion designers and photographers, and appeared in a few films. She lives and works in New York, where she began painting more than 20 years ago.

Today, Duong is constantly painting herself as a daily diary exercise, her canvases serving as psychological explorations, according to the gallery. As a result, viewing the exhibit felt a bit like eavesdropping as her many emotions, power and vulnerability, are on display. But the portraits are beautifully executed and it is a pleasure to meet the artist, over and over again.

I saw the exhibit on the last day. “Ahn Duong,” was on display from Nov. 3 to Dec. 17, 2011.

All photos by Arts Observer

Detail of “Louse Point,” 2010.

From left, “Looking for the Ideal Father,” 2010; “Tous ces hommes qui rentrent et qui sonnent,” 2011; “Philosophy and Prostitution,” 2008.

Detail of “Philosophy and Prostitution,” 2008.

“Urgency of the Worst,” 2009.

The “Anh Duong” exhibit featured 14 new oil and canvas works.

“Louse Point,” 2010.

From left, “In the Solitude of the Boudoir,” 2009; “L’Enfance Dorée,” 2011.

“In the Solitude of the Boudoir,” 2009.

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