thu 23/11/2017

portraits

The Best Exhibitions in London

Basquiat: Boom for Real, Barbican ★★★★ Appraising the graffiti artist whose paintings fetch over $100 million at auction. Until 28 JanCézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery ★★★★★ Hallucinatory intensity in a once-in-a-lifetime show. Until 11...

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Highlights from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 - raw emotion, not always human

What does it take to be included in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition? This year 2,423 photographers entered 5,717 images: 2,373 of those photographers are left wondering what it takes to make the grade. Remarks from the...

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Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery review - eye-opening and heart-breaking

Some 50 portraits by Paul Cézanne – almost a third of all those the artist painted that have survived – are on view in this quietly sensational exhibition. Eye-opening and heart-breaking, it examines his art exclusively in the context of his...

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Soutine's Portraits, Courtauld Gallery review - a superb, unsettling show

This is the latest in a line of beautifully curated, closely focused exhibitions that the Courtauld Gallery does so well. Its subject is the great Russian-French painter Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) who, remarkably, has not had a UK exhibition devoted...

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Final Portrait review - utterly convincing portrayal of an artist at work

I hate biopics about artists in which the portrayal of “genius” is hyped to the point where it becomes a ludicrous cliché. Although I appreciate that, as far as entertainment goes, seeing pigment brushed onto canvas is on a par with watching paint...

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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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Portrait of the Artist, The Queen's Gallery

Born in Rome and taught by her artist father, Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652) led a colourfully energetic life. As an adolescent she was raped by her father’s assistant  – an episode which unusually, then as now, actually came to public trial...

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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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First Person: Portrait of Britain

This exhibition includes one of my images, so I hesitated when I was asked to write about it – but I only hesitated for a moment. I have learned that if you are reluctant to promote your own work other people are even more inclined in that direction...

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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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David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life, Royal Academy

The opening image of this new David Hockney exhibition – a sketchily painted portrait of a seated man, slumping heavily forward, his head buried in his hands – could be a portrait of Brexit despair. In fact it is Hockney’s portrait of his close...

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