Intelligentsia: Louis Kahan's portraits of writers
21 January 2009 - 18 April 2010
Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic.

This exhibition brings together Louis Kahan’s remarkable portraits of writers for the provocative literary and cultural journal Meanjin from 1955 to 1974. With Kahan’s inspired contributions, Meanjin became, in Geoffrey Blainey’s words, ‘an illuminating mirror of Australian cultural life’. In his work, Louis Kahan AO (1905 – 2002), depicted the facial idiosyncrasies of his subjects and the physiognomic traits of the thinking, working mind.His lively and seemingly spontaneous portraits of contributors were positioned next to text, bringing the ideas of his subjects to life. Kahan’s portraits contributed to the mythic stature of his subjects and the resonance of their ideas.

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