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Maud Sulter, Bettina von Zwehl & others @ The V & A

27 July 2015 - 26 February 2016

Facing History: Contemporary Portraiture is a display of 80 prints and photographs drawn from the V&A’s collection.  It explores the variety of artists’ responses to the idea of portraiture over the last 20 years. There are works by over 20 artists including Julian Opie, Grayson Perry, Thomas Ruff, Maud Sulter and Gavin Turk. Portraits range from colour woodcuts and photographs to black and white etchings, cut paper silhouettes and bronze medals.
The display highlights how contemporary artists taken inspiration from traditional modes of portraiture such as portrait miniatures, medals and death masks.  It also examines the ways in which the portrait is used today in passport photographs and identity cards, and shows how contemporary practitioners have been inspired by artists who made a speciality of portraiture, including Frida Kahlo, Rembrandt and Vermeer. These woodcut and dry point prints portray different women dressed as Frida Kahlo, touching on ideas about identity, individuality and self-presentation. The theme of the display was prompted by the acquisition of the series Made Up Love Song by Bettina von Zwehl, a previous V&A artist-in-residence.


27 July 2015
26 February 2016
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