In our twentieth century gallery, Revealing Characters looks at the enduring attraction of the portrait. Here we dig beneath the surface to uncover the stories of the people on display. All are individuals who have made their mark - their portraits a record of their contact, however fleeting, with an artist. As photography replaced the need to record what someone looked like, artists adapted. Their skills are used to capture more than a likeness, using the human face to explore their own artistic expression as well as the emotional life of the sitter.
The selection of works reflects the diverse range of artistic styles and approaches taken by artists in their challenge to represent their sitters and keep them real. From the painterly to the photographic, works include Stewart Carmichael’s affectionate portrayal of his wife and Wolfgang Tillman’s sophisticated selfie.