September 19 - November 12 1981
“This exhibition features the work of nine contemporary artist who, in making or presenting their work, assume specific alter-egos or personae (human or animal, fictitious or historical) that serve as vehicles for greater freedom of expression.”1
“‘Persona’ explores the territory of the surrogate self, alter ego, disguise or alias. These concepts, originating with Duchamp's Rrose Sélavy, have generated a considerable amount of attention from artists who have sought alternative means for self-expression. Whether it involves a process of radical physical transformation or intangible alteration, the acquisition of personae by these nine artists is one indication of a heightened self-awareness and increased use of autobiography in recent art."2
 “The works in ‘Persona’ include a wide range of media—drawing, photography, documentation/diaries, sculpture, installations, audio and videotapes. Photographs, video images, the inclusion of reflecting glass or mirrors, and the presence of words (either in text or recorded form) recur in the works in the exhibition. There is often a strong personal or autobiographical element in each character as an intrinsic aspect of the artist’s alter ego. Narrative, autobiography, performance, and body art converge to help formulate uniquely personal statements. The artists’ use of personae signifies the importance that these movements had on contemporary art.”3
New Museum curator
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum