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Bill Morris

1 of 2 portraits of Bill Morris

Bill Morris, by John Keane, 2005 - NPG 6721 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Bill Morris

by John Keane
oil on inkjet printed cotton mounted on canvas, 2005
45 1/4 in. x 37 7/8 in. (1150 mm x 963 mm)
Commissioned, 2005
Primary Collection
NPG 6721


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In his portrait of Bill Morris we see the development of Keane's practice from this earlier work in the combination of a digitally printed background with a painterly three quarter portrait, a stylistic approach he recently employed in a recent portrait of a farmer from a series addressing the political situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Bill Morris is shown standing outside Transport House in Holborn, the headquarters of the Transport and General Workers Union. His open collar suggests a departure from his previous official position and an informality and humanism in keeping with his personality and tireless work as an advocate and spokesman for workers. The crisp but uncharacteristic blue of the London sky refers to a Caribbean light, evoking a sense of place that is of great importance to the sitter.

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