Los Angeles

Don Bachardy

Nicholas Wilder Gallery

Although portrait painting is not quite a lost art—thanks to Andy Warhol, Alice Neel, and a few others—it has certainly become a neglected one. Photography has made the painted portrait unnecessary as a record, and the hack painters specializing in flattery have made most “serious” artists shy away from portraiture. Don Bachardy’s recent show of 32 portraits—15 drawings and 17 watercolors—offers ample proof, however, that when handled with skill and intelligence, the drawn or painted portrait offers pleasures the photographed one does not.

Bachardy has always drawn people from life. Unlike his last show, which was composed entirely of drawings of other artists, this show of work done in 1977 includes portraits of artists, writers, actresses, and people outside the arts. Each portrait is completed in a single sitting of about two hours, which gives it a freshness and spontaneity that several

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