Out of the Shadows: Portraits by the Douglas Brothers

9 August 2017 - 28 January 2018

Room 32


Daniel Day-Lewis by The Douglas Brothers, platinum print, 1989, NPG P1998 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Daniel Day-Lewis
by The Douglas Brothers
platinum print, 1989
NPG P1998
© The Douglas Brothers

The late 1980s saw a new generation of young musicians, actors and novelists receiving critical acclaim for their work. This display presents portraits of these now celebrated cultural figures. A young Damon Albarn is photographed the year before the release of Blur’s debut album Leisure; Kazuo Ishiguro is pictured in the year his novel The Remains of the Day won the Booker Prize for Fiction.

These evocative photographic portraits were taken by the duo Andrew (b.1952) and Stuart Douglas (b.1962).The brothers began collaborating in 1986, producing innovative photographs that drew on historical photographic processes. Using a large format camera and long exposures in low light conditions, the Douglas Brothers produced expressive, psychologically charged portraits. Sitters emerge from dark interiors in images that celebrate the nuances of shadow. Rather than prioritising clarity and description, their portraits evoke mood and atmosphere.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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