Face to Face: Portraits of Artists by Tacita Dean, Brigitte Lacombe, and Catherine Opie

Helen Molesworth (ed)



Face to Face presents a selection of portraits of artists by three of the most prominent portrait artists of our time. Bringing together the diverse and distinctive work of Tacita Dean, Brigitte Lacombe, and Catherine Opie, this book forms an investigation into the charged genre of portraiture and its various approaches, navigating tensions between intimacy and publicity.

While the three artists collected here share a wide set of historical touchstones, each deploys the camera differently: Dean exploits cinema’s capacity for duration; Lacombe takes her cameras out on assignment; Opie works in the tradition of the studio photograph. Often overlapping in the subjects depicted, Face to Face offers an opportunity to look closely at bracing, intimate, and resonant portraits of the seminal thinkers and makers that these artists have encountered across the fields of music, painting, photography, film, and literature, among them Hilton Als, Maya Angelou, Richard Avedon, Joan Didion, David Hockney, Joan Jonas, Fran Lebowitz Patti Smith, Kara Walker, and many others.

Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York, the book includes essays by the exhibition’s curator, Helen Molesworth, and the artist and writer Jarrett Earnest

Paperback with PVC jacket
24 x 29 cm, 164 pages

ISBN 978-1-913620-90-5
January 2023
€40 £35 $45

‘[Face to Face] reflects on craft and conversation: between artist and sitter, viewer and image, and a wider interaction happening between the three photographers and the canon of portraiture.’ British Journal of Photography


‘[Face to Face] features bracing, intimate portraits of compelling cultural figures by Brigitte Lacombe, Catherine Opie and Tacita Dean’. The Guardian


‘In Face to Face, Helen Molesworth compiled what she terms “an art opening without the small talk” – allowing visitors to get up close and personal with some of the world’s best-loved artists, from Maya Angelou, Richard Avedon and Louise Bourgeois, to Joan Didion, Kara Walker, and John Waters, via an array of photographs and films taken by three of the most influential portrait-makers working today: Brigitte Lacombe, Catherine Opie and Tacita Dean.’ AnOther


‘... renowned curator and writer Helen Molesworth brings together more than 50 images that invite us to revel in the tender pleasures of the gaze, and to explore the profound exchange that occurs between artist, sitter, and viewer.’ Blind 


‘These shots navigate the boundary between intimacy and publicity, ultimately offering up tenderness and authenticity.’ Aesthetica 


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