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New Portraiture exhibition at The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum

New Portraiture exhibition at The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum

Revealing Characters – Fri 26 January continuing throughout 2018

Face to Face – Fri 26 January to Sun 20 May 2018

Portraiture is the theme of our major new exhibition at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum. It is the latest of a series of projects featuring the City’s nationally significant fine art collection. The selected works form two separate displays – Revealing Characters and Face to Face.

People fascinate us, hence the enduring attraction of the portrait. Revealing Characters looks beneath the surface to uncover the stories of the people on display. These individuals have been captured for posterity. Some for their achievements in the fields of the arts, science and politics - from Nobel prize-winners to Turner prize-winners. Others, mainly artists’ wives, family members and friends, are depicted merely for their availability and willingness to pose. 

Revealing Characters investigates the continued allure of the portrait as an art form. It reflects on the diverse range of artistic styles and approaches taken by artists in their challenge to represent their sitters and keep them real. From the painterly to the photographic, works include Stewart Carmichael’s affectionate portrayal of his wife, Wolfgang Tillmans’ sophisticated selfie and Alexander Moffat’s portrait of the prominent Scottish writer and political theorist, Tom Nairn.

In contrast, Face to Face considers what makes a successful portrait. At its most basic a portrait is a representation of a person – and yet it is far more complex than a mere likeness. There are many elements in a portrait that we respond to, whether the face is beautifully lit, a clever use of colour or props, an expression or a vulnerability that the artist has managed to capture. Almost any portrait is weighted with meaning and this display seeks to help us de-code them.

Included in Face to Face is a contribution to Scotland’s Year of Young People, a focussed display of portraits of children and young people by celebrated photographer Joseph McKenzie.

Sinclair Aitken, Chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee said

 “Due to the generosity of individuals and organisations both past and present, Dundee’s art collection represents nationally significant figures and ordinary Dundonians. This is another 'must see' presentation by the dedicated and talented staff members of The McManus."

Leisure & Culture Dundee are grateful to the Democratic Left for our most recent acquisition, the portrait of political theorist Tom Nairn by Sandy Moffat.

Admission Free. Opening Times: Mon to Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12.30-4.30pm.

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