Nicholas Harding: 28 portraits is a small exhibition encompassing the variety in the portraits of this intelligent, industrious artist. The works differ in mediums, from the pure, thin line around the quick likeness of Geoffrey Rush to the staggeringly thick paint on the monumental self portrait; and in mood, from the meek figure of the artist’s mother-in-law Edie Watkins to the commanding one of Peter Weiss, looking like a tired old monarch about to start up with a roar. The portrait of Weiss glows in peony-pink, amaranth and crimson oils; that of John Bell is all black, white and grey. The covert, hasty sketches of unknown air travellers are distinct from the direct and careful drawings of famous men and women. In his cluttered portrait with its watery interior light, John Feitelson is small; in his clean, hot and stark portrait, its setting the open ocean, Robert Drewe looms large. Drewe’s expression is pitiably guarded; he looks like a ferocious man at a loss. By contrast, William Cowan’s smartly suited, his black shoes gleam, and sitting on a modernist chair against a blank wall in the artist’s Sydney studio he emanates zest and likeability.
A folio of British street portraits 1824–1844
until Sunday 22 October 2017
Dempsey’s people: a folio of British street portraits 1824–1844 is the first exhibition to showcase the compelling watercolour images of English street people made by the itinerant English painter John Dempsey throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.
Collection display galleries
The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia. Visitors to the Gallery can follow the development of portraiture from oil painting to digital media.Entry is free.