Portraits

Close: Drawn Portraits

Close: Drawn Portraits

22 November 2018 – 3 February 2019

Private View Wed 21 November, 6-8.30pm

Curator’s tour 6.30-7pm

Mounira Al Solh, Frank Auerbach, Paul Cézanne, Virginia Chihota, Lucian Freud, Dryden Goodwin, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Horst Janssen, Claudette JohnsonMichael LandyMaria LassnigJoyce PensatoDeanna Petherbridge, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Paula RegoNicola TysonJessica Voorsanger and Clifton Wright

Jessica Voorsanger, The Ladies who Knit for Peace and their Favourite Artists, watercolour on paper 2018

 

Bringing together historic figures such as Ingres, Picasso and Hepworth, and recent and contemporary artists including Lassnig, Hockney and Landy, this exhibition reveals intimate encounters between artists and their subjects over the past 200 years. Remarkable drawn portraits, rarely seen, sit beside those made today, and demonstrate drawing’s enduring ability to bring characters to life.

Drawing creates the illusion of presence. Using precise lines, Picasso and Freud capture a posed subject, whereas Hockney catches his sitter unaware in a calligraphic flourish of ink. Portraits of family members by Cézanne, Auerbach and Goodwin convey the sense of an intimately unfolding situation through multiple, restless pencil or charcoal lines.

In self-portraits by Maria Lassnig and Nicola Tyson, evocative colours are used to express psychological states and bodily sensations. Landy, in contrast, conveys the demands of self-representation through spidery black lines that knit into staring eyes and a furrowed brow.

The individuality of Mounira Al Solh’s migrant and refugee subjects is captured through experiments with style and medium. Drawn on yellow legal pads, they evoke not only an illusion of presence, but act as a material reminder of the contemporary human condition.

 

Exhibition supported by The Tavolozza Foundation.

Angelica Kauffman Sculpture (collaboration with Bob and Roberta Smith)

Angelica Kauffman Sculpture (collaboration with Bob and Roberta Smith) was made as part of THE SECRET TO A GOOD LIFE exhibition, The Ronald and Rita McAulay Gallery, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts (held 4 Sept 2018 – 3 Feb 2019)

This special project by Bob and Roberta Smith RA explores the story of women artists and the Royal Academy – through the lens of his own family history. Bob and Roberta Smith’s mother, the artist Deirdre Borlase, regularly exhibited in the RA’s Summer Exhibition. She thought she was more likely to be selected if she submitted works without her first name, to avoid giving away her gender. Members of Borlase’s family explore her story, and some of the other – sometimes strained – relationships between women and the Royal Academy over its history.

Three new sculptures include This is Deirdre Borlase ARCA, 2018, by Bob and Roberta Smith RA and sculptures of the Academy’s female founders, Mary Moser RA and Angelica Kauffman RA, created by Smith in collaboration with his wife, Jessica Voorsanger, and their daughter, Etta Voorsanger-Brill.

The sculpture of Angelica Kauffman, a collaboration with Jessica Voorsanger is covered in 15 portraits of women artists she is inspired by starting with Angelica Kauffman (as the head) to Mona Hatoum and Alice Neel amongst others.

Portraits     

The portraits of women artists on the collaborative sculpture are: Laurie Anderson, Sofonisba Anguissola, Sonia Boyce, Claude Cahun, Mona Hatoum, Frida Kahlo, Angelica Kauffman, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, Edmonia Lewis, Ana Mandieta, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keefe, Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker.

               

Publication
The accompanying book Bob and Roberta Smith: The Secret to a Good Life explores the role of women artists, the sexism of the art world and the benefits of drawing every day. Find out more.