Portraits at an Exhibition by Patrick E. Horrigan
A Novel

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Horrigan tackles issues often associated with the gay community, but he also addresses the broader notion of how we interpret faces, bodies, and behaviors through keen observation. A challenging, worthwhile account of the workings of the mind amid the contemplation of art and beauty.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

An alienated young man searches for his life's purpose through a gallery of portraits at an exhibition. Afraid he may have contracted HIV the night before during a risky sexual encounter and only beginning to fathom the possible consequences, Robin winds his way through the rooms, studying the portraits of people from faraway places and times, looking for clues in the lives of others to the mystery of his own discontent. Several masterpieces of portrait painting, reproduced in the novel, become the focal-points of Robin's physical and spiritual journey; ranging from the Renaissance to the turn of the 21st century, they include works by such famous artists as Sandro Botticelli, Diego Velazquez, and John Singer Sargent. Each portrait opens like a time capsule to Robin's gaze, releasing stories about the sitters, artists, and critics who, over the centuries, have turned their everyday struggles, disappointments, and dreams into transcendent works of art. Portraits at an Exhibition plunges the reader directly into the mind of Robin, seeing as he sees, reading what he reads, and learning, along with him, the often unsettling life lessons that only the closest observation of great art can teach.
 

About Patrick E. Horrigan

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Horrigan is associate professor of English at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University.
 
Published May 25, 2015 by Lethe Press. 232 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 01 2015

Horrigan tackles issues often associated with the gay community, but he also addresses the broader notion of how we interpret faces, bodies, and behaviors through keen observation. A challenging, worthwhile account of the workings of the mind amid the contemplation of art and beauty.

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