Portrait of an Artist

This wonderful survey of 20th century British portraiture brings together 85 works by William Orpen, Hilda Carline, Evelyn Dunbar, Winifred Knights, William Roberts, and Gilbert Spencer among others.

With a range of self-portraits, portraits of other artists and their models and muses as well as pictures of their studios and homes, the show gives a glimpse into the personal lives of a host of modern British artists with some items rarely seen since the day they were created.

“The selections expose intimate and personal feelings and are a varied account of how these artists viewed and lived in their worlds, from the direct gaze of a self-portrait to an ephemeral moment between artist and sitter,” says curator Katie Irwin. 

Many of the pictures counter ‘the male eye’ way of seeing female sitters, particularly nudes, and there are fascinating portrayals of women by women, including Margaret Maitland Howard’s Seated Nude and Mary Potter’s Painting for Life Class. 

The inclusion of these, along with works by other female artists, reflects the Laing’s commitment to redressing the imbalance of women artists in UK galleries and exhibitions, by depicting them alongside their male counterparts as complex individuals and accomplished artists in their own right. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new Liss Llewellyn publication which will feature over 130 artists and 385 illustrations. 

From 11th September to 26 February 2022 at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne UK

To view this issue’s full selection of art events click here.

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