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The Portrait Now

The Portrait Now cover

Published to coincide with the National Portrait Gallery's 150th Anniversary year and the Icons and Idols: Commissioning Contemporary Portraits exhibition from 2 March to18 June 2006.

280 x 220mm, 160 pages
With over 90 illustrations
ISBN1 85514 358 5, Special Gallery Price £16.99 (Published price £20, paperback)
Published end February 2006

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Out of print

The Portrait Now
Sandy Nairne and Sarah Howgate

"... collection of portraits that shows how central the genre is to contemporary art." Daily Express

The Portrait Now presents over ninety of the best contemporary portraits from across the world, including the most recent work of internationally acclaimed artists. Focusing on works from the early years of the new millennium, this book highlights the continuing appeal of representing the human face.

In an era of mass-media and the Internet, where images can be exchanged globally in an instant, and in a world in which we are being recorded visually more than even before ­ from the passport photograph to the CCTV camera ­ the desire for distinctive commissioned portraiture endures. Faced with an increasingly complex world, artists are responding to the human face and body in ever more imaginative ways. Drawing upon works in all media, The Portrait Now explores the latest developments in painting, sculpture, video art and photography, and highlights the changes that are occurring in the artistic presentation of the human form, demonstrating the inventiveness of the genre. Each portrait is accompanied by an insightful caption and biography of the artist.

Highlights include works by

  • Female Artists such as Tracey Emin, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Saville, Pinar Yolaçan and Victoria Russell in which they explore themes such as identity, perceptions of beauty, and female sexuality.
  • Black and Asian Artists including Darvish Fakhr, winner of the 2004 BP Travel Award, The Singh Twins, Atul Dodiya, Zwelethu Mthethwa, and Zhang Huan in work which frequently deals with issues surrounding cultural identity.
  • Photographers including Mario Testino, Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gary Schneider, Bettina von Zwehl and Beat Streuli. "Photographic portraiture has become fully accepted in the world of galleries and exhibitions, as it often includes some of the most telling and engaging images of people around us." Sandy Nairne


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