Jonathan Yeo Portraits - National Portrait Gallery London
11th september 2013 - 5th january 2014
Jonathan Yeo's highly successful mid-career retrospective, which began at the National Portrait Gallery in London, went on to tour to two further institutions - The Lowry in Greater Manchester and the Laing in Newcastle Upon Tyne - over an eighteen month period and placed Yeo as the one of the leading portrait artists of his generation.
The exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery saw him unveil several previously unseen portraits, including Damien Hirst, Kevin Spacey as Richard III and Malala Yousafzai. His portraits of Michael Parkinson and Rupert Murdoch, also exhibited, continue to be part of the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection.
"Yeo’s vision as a portraitist is to communicate the personality of the sitter as compellingly as possible. The subject’s gaze, in art as in life, attracts attention. This is a fact as much biological as aesthetic: looking at a person makes them look at you. Once the viewer has been “pulled into” a portrait in this way, the next stage – as in life – is to work out what kind of person this is. The more complex the image on view is, the more nuances it contains, the more interesting it will be."
Martin Gayford, author and art critic, 2013
The tour involved many memorable events, most notably the publication of The Many Faces of Jonathan Yeo and the BBC1 Culture Show special, which was filmed to coincide with the opening at the National Portrait Gallery. The final show at the Laing concluded with a visit from HRH Duchess of Cornwall, who was invited to see her portrait there for the first time.
Prints & books available from the National Portrait Gallery - click here