In conjunction with the KILGOUR PRIZE 2017, the Newcastle Art Gallery presents THE FIGURE FEMININE an exhibition featuring a selection of female figurative and portrait works from the collection.
The notion of femininity is both socially and culturally constructed and the attributes associated with being feminine, throughout history have been variable and much debated. The portraits presented span the period from the early 19th Century to the 1980s. From James Quinn’s Girl in a red dress n.d. to John Brack's The Third Daughter 1954, local personality Anne von Bertouch 1987 by Judy Cassab, to the impressive Colleen McCulloch by Wes Walters, these works of art showcase the depth of personality and emotion that can be explored by the portrait.
The nature of figurative and portraiture work is to capture an essence or a likeness. Personality can be represented in varying ways, such as motifs, facial expressions, clothing and objects. These are hints to unravelling a painting, print or drawing. As part of the exhibition, the COLLECTION FOCUS wall will change to showcase the extent of the Gallery's collection, including a new acquisition by Mclean Edwards featuring Cate Blanchett and her family; ever-popular portraits by Rupert Bunny; and lastly portraits with explosive colour by Francis Celtlan, Kevin Connor and Philip Sutton.
THE FIGURE FEMININE is comprised of a diverse selection of portraits, sharing how similarities and differences can be traced through various styles. From studies, to traditional likenesses and large-scale canvases, this exhibition showcases a myriad of ways to capture the female figure.