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Self-portraits – Göteborgs konstmuseum

In the Self-Portrait’s Soul-Searching Gaze, We Come Close to the Artist

In self-portraits, artists explore their identity, but this does not necessarily entail revealing their “real self”. They are always a staging of the artist, in an image that contains both conscious and unconscious constructions of the self and the role of the artist.

The collection of self-portraits at the Gothenburg Museum of Art shows how artists from different eras have perceived themselves and their roles as artists. In many ways this parallels how individuals today present an image of themselves in social media, where lives and identities are constructed based on how we want to be perceived by others.

The self-portraits shown here all belong to the collection of the Gothenburg Museum of Art. Most of them are part of Hjalmar Gabrielsson’s collection of self-portraits, which his daughters Kerstin Graham and Stina Gretzer donated to the Gothenburg Museum of Art after his death.