The Portrait Now

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2006 - Art - 160 pages
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In today’s art world, many artists are using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity. The Portrait Now brings together more than eighty portraits from internationally acclaimed artists to demonstrate the accomplishment and inventiveness of this art form.
Recent works by John Currin, Sally Mann, Catherine Opie, Chuck Close, Lucian Freud, Thomas Ruff, Wolfgang Tillmans, Vik Muniz, Thomas Struth, and many others reveal developments in painting, sculpture, video art, photography, self-portraiture, and caricature. Challenging the boundaries of figurative art, these works often go beyond likeness, break free of traditional media, and respond to complicated political, religious, and social issues. With beautiful color images of and in-depth discussions on each work, the book also includes an insightful introductory essay that places portraiture within a historical context and examines how this art form--as well as the purpose it serves--has evolved. 
The Portrait Now is an indispensable reference book for anyone interested in contemporary art.


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The portrait now

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In the decades after World War II, modern art was defined by abstraction, while figurative art was largely ignored. Portraiture recently swung back into favor as contemporary artists deploy the genre ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Sandy Nairne is Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, and was formerly Director of Programmes at the Tate. Sarah Howgate is Contemporary Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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