Please note that our galleries are closed for installation until June 2.

Stéphane Mandelbaum

Stéphane Mandelbaum produced hundreds of portraits within a short creative period of just ten years. The first solo exhibition of the artist’s drawings in the United States, Stéphane Mandelbaum will feature more than sixty works on paper and will occupy the entirety of The Drawing Center’s exhibition space. A consummate draftsman, Mandelbaum was devoted to probing the depths of his own persona by conjuring some of the darkest visions of the twentieth-century in Europe. He obsessively documented unnamed figures who populated Brussels’s subcultures, alongside famous figures like Arthur Rimbaud, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Francis Bacon, and Pierre Goldman as well as National Socialist criminals such as Joseph Goebbels and Ernst Röhm. Mandelbaum sought to capture the essence of their characters with a ballpoint pen, oil paint, or a graphite or colored pencil, often adding scribbles, texts in French, Yiddish–a language that the artist was teaching himself, Italian, or German, or collaged newspaper clippings. His Jewish descent, Belgium’s colonial history, and also the nightlife and underworld of Brussels, permeated his work and ultimately shaped a life driven by the questions: Where do I come from and what can I be?

Stéphane Mandelbaum is organized by Laura Hoptman, The Drawing Center’s Executive Director, in collaboration with Susanne Pfeffer, Director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt where the exhibition debuted in 2022. Following its presentation at The Drawing Center, the exhibition will travel to the Reina Sofia in Madrid.