Ewa juszkiewicz`s faceless portraits redefine female representation at venice exhibition

Designboom_ From April 20th to September 1st, 2024, the Palazzo Cavanis becomes the backdrop for Ewa Juszkiewicz’s solo exhibition, Locks With Leaves And Swelling Buds, held as an official collateral event of the Venice Art Biennale. Within the palazzo’s historic architecture, Juszkiewicz reimagines female representation in art through a series of captivating faceless oil portraits.

Combining both existing works and pieces crafted specifically for this Venice showcase, the exhibition unveils a collection of paintings reminiscent of 18th and 19th-century portraiture. Yet, instead of traditional facial features, Juszkiewicz employs surreal distortions: folds of fabric, floral arrangements, or elaborate hairstyles that obscure the subjects’ faces. In this way, the artist challenges notions of identity while also subverting the historical patriarchal gaze embedded in traditional women’s portraiture. By focusing on anti-faciality, Juszkiewicz blurs the boundaries between femininity and the implicit violence of masking, resulting in a series of enigmatic figures.‘I believe it essential to address the domination of the male narrative and reclaim the place of women in history,’ the artist tells designboom.