fri 21/07/2017

National Portrait Gallery

The Encounter, National Portrait Gallery review - dazzlingly evocative drawings

As a line flows or falters, registering each slight change in pressure, pause, or occasional reworking, it seems to offer a glimpse into the mind of the artist at work. The line is the instrument of the artist’s eye, the often unpolished,...

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Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun, National Portrait Gallery

This show of work by two artists who use photography to explore the complexities of their own identity has to be the most interesting exhibition ever staged at the National Portrait Gallery, and opening in the same week as International Women's Day...

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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016, National Portrait Gallery

It’s that time of year again. The National Portrait Gallery exhibits the finalists in the annual Taylor Wessing Portrait prize. The judges have seen 4,303 photographs from 1,842 photographers and now show us 57.The imprimatur of the National...

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Picasso Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

There’s something familiar about those dark, piercing eyes, but the impenetrable, mask-like countenance of Picasso’s Self-Portrait with Palette, 1906, is ultimately unknowable. In fact, the painting serves as something of a rebuke: we think we know...

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William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

American photographer William Eggleston is famous for dedicating himself to colour photography at a time when it was still considered kitsch – acceptable for wedding and Christening photos, but not much else. The best known example of his embrace of...

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Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky”, provides a natural, even easy point of...

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Vogue 100, National Portrait Gallery

When it got too hard to ship the original American edition across the Atlantic during the Great War, British Vogue appeared as a sister publication in the Condé Nast empire. The first issue in September 1916 announced in its editorial: “The time has...

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Yolanda Sonnabend: designer of MacMillan's 'neurotic' ballets

Ever since Diaghilev’s day the relationship of dance movement to its visual design has been a lively, sometimes combative affair. Sometimes people leave whistling the set, saying shame about the dance; other times they hate the set, love the dance....

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Portraits from the 2015 Taylor Wessing Prize

At first glance David Stewart’s Five Girls 2014, the winning entry in this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, is a very ordinary scene. Five young women sit behind a table, obligatory mobile phones within reach and lying amongst the...

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The Face of Britain by Simon Schama, BBC Two

This was the fifth and last in a series of hour-long programmes amounting to a vivid, varied and extraordinarily lively history of Britain. Although ostensibly a history of portraiture, the images have been hooks for Simon Schama, that most...

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Giacometti, National Portrait Gallery

Any number of puzzling and fantastical stories were told by Alberto Giacometti in the construction of a personal mythology that helped secure his reputation as an archetypal artist of the avant-garde. Less heroic than the oft-quoted accounts of his...

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