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Nicholas Harding

28 Portraits

Friday 1 September until Sunday 26 November 2017
Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving), 2011 by Nicholas Harding
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Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving), 2011 by Nicholas Harding

Nicholas Harding takes a sketchbook everywhere, and the focus exhibition Nicholas Harding: 28 portraits shows that when he runs out of pages he draws on whatever else is to hand. Based in Sydney, Harding has been exhibiting for 25 years. From the early 1990s, he made his name with huge pen and ink depictions of the shabby streets of inner Sydney, and the scrubby trees of the beaches of the north coast of New South Wales. Now he is known equally for lush paintings on the same themes, as well as flower pieces, beach and river scenes and dazzling landscapes. Since 1994 he has exhibited regularly in the Archibald, Wynne, Dobell, and Sulman prizes. In 2001 he won the Archibald Prize for his portrait of John Bell as King Lear, as well as the Dobell Drawing Prize for a view of tracks at Central Station. Harding was a major contributor to the National Portrait Gallery exhibitions Idle hours in 2009-2010, Arcadia: Sound of the Sea in 2014 and The Popular Pet Show in 2015-2016. Over the past seven years his paintings of Robert Drewe, John Bell, Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh have been acquired for the Gallery’s permanent collection. Nicholas Harding: 28 portraits sets them alongside gorgeously coloured recent oil portraits, delicate gouaches and bold ink and charcoal drawings, some borrowed from private collections and some from the artist’s studio. The free exhibition will afford a glowing welcome to visitors to the National Portrait Gallery over spring 2017.