Breech! // Benjamin Sullivan // oil on canvas // 1st Prize
Every year the National Portrait Gallery in London invites the public to submit portraits to be on view in the gallery in an exhibition known as the BP Portrait Awards. Last year marked the 38th year. In addition to the main show, there is a youth category called Next Generation. The 38th BP Portrait Awards had 2,580 submissions from 87 countries. Of that number, a panel of judges selected 53 to be exhibited. The following were my favorite.
Delfin // Jesús Maria Sáez de Vicuña Ochoa // oil on board
Simona // Lukáš Betinsky // oil on canvas
Emma // Antony Williams // egg tempera on board // 3rd Prize
Another Find Day on Elysian Fields Avenue, Nola // Éva Csanyi-Hurskin // oil on linen
Archipelago // Brian Shields // acrylic on canvas behind part-mirrored glass
Double Portrait // Thomas Ehretsmann // acrylic on board // 2nd Prize
Gabi // Henry Christian-Slane // oil on board // BP Young Artist Award
Four Hands // Bill Viola // Black-and-white video polyptych on four LCD flat panels, continuously running // 2001
“The Moving Portrait,” an exhibition dedicated to media and video works by Bill Viola, were on view in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Viola uses events from the past, both historical and personal, to create his works. “The Raft,” was inspired by Theodore Gericault’s 1818-1819 “The Raft of the Medusa,” which depicted a French shipwreck near Senegal in 1816. However, instead of a raft of shipwrecked men, Viola shows men and women being knocked down by crashing water. As they rise the water comes and knocks them down again. This video projection was made for the 2004 Athens Olympics. While this work was inspired by a historical event and a past painting, “The Dreamers” was influenced by Viola’s near-drowning as a child. This work consists of seven video screens of seven individuals suspended in water. One of the individuals is Viola himself.
The Raft // Bill Viola // Color high-definition video projection 5.1 channels of surround sound, duration: 10:33 minutes // 2004
The Dreamers // Bill Viola // Seven channels of color high-definition video on seven plasma displays: four channels of stereo sound, continuously running // Performers (L) Gleb Kaminer (R)Rebekah Rife // 2013
Object 1999 // Antony Gormley // Iron Cast
Hanging above the escalator in the National Portrait Gallery is a body. It is the body of artist Antony Gormley. Well, it is not his actual body, but a cast iron replica of Gormley. Titled Object 1999, visitors come face to face with this work as they ascend to the floor above.
Petras // Laura Guoke // Acrylic on canvas // Winner of the BP Travel Award 2016
It’s that time of year again! The National Portrait Gallery has announced the 2016 winners for the BP Portrait Award. This year it received over 2,500 works from 80 countries. After seeing the winners, my friend and I made our own ranking while in the exhibition. Here are our my favorites.
Jean 2015 // Jean-Paul Tibbles // Oil on canvas
Silence // Bo Wang // Tempera on board // Second Prize
Diversion // Charlie Masson // Oil on board
Hayden As Henry // Stephen Earl Rogers // Oil on canvas
Laura in Black // Joshua Larock // Oil on linen
This year marks the 100 year anniversary of British Vogue. To celebrate this achievement is the exhibition Vogue: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery. Inside are large prints, negatives and the original Vogue issues dating back to the first edition. The show begins in the present and as you progress through the exhibition you travel in time all the way to 1916.
Known for his significant contribution to the world of sculpture, Alberto Giacometti’s work in painting is also of importance. In a show titled Pure Presence at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Giacometti’s sculpture pieces are coupled with his oil paintings to provide for a more in-depth understanding of the progress of the artist’s work. This show highlights the influence of Giacometti’s personal life on his artistic career. Be sure not to miss this exhibition as it closes in early January!