Dear Portrait


Dear Portrait

20 July - 13 October 2013

Dear Portrait includes twenty international artists, with works that deploy the use of the portrait in various ways, and invites their subjects to respond to the works involving them. Through both the selection of works, and an exhibition concept that gives voice to those portrayed, Dear Portrait raises new understandings of ‘the portrait’, as well as of exhibitions based on traditional themes.

Nina Beier, Pierre Bismuth, Maurizio Cattelan, Tim Gardner, Loris Gréaud, Ryan Gander, Gareth Griffith, Isabell Heimerdinger, Carsten Holler, Annette Kelm, David Lamelas, Jessica Longmore, Jerry McMillan, Elizabeth Peyton, Laura Reeves, Wilhelm Sasnal, Wolfgang Tillmans, Mungo Thomson, Ian Wallace, Franco Vaccari

Ed Ruscha, Jonathan Monk, John Baldessari, Lynda Morris and Lee Ranaldo amongst others.

Through painting, sculpture, drawing and video Dear Portrait includes instances where the ‘portrait’ falls in line with traditional standards, together with those that potentially expand the definition of what portraiture might be.

As a gathering of portraits, Dear Portrait contains a number of conversations between an artist and an individual or a group of people. While this dialogue is inherent, the individuals represented in each work, in being invited to write a text in response to the work and the artist producing it, give rise to another. As the texts generate an additional portrait through the written word, they also deviate from the standard interpretive text accompanying a work on view in a museum or gallery. Shown alongside the respective works, they offer a deeper insight, revealing something that is largely unknown about the artwork or artist – something anecdotal, intimate and sentimental, and always personal.


While Dear Portrait presents the portrait and its various expressions today, it also refreshes the perception and experience of exhibitions as a whole – how they take form, how they are presented and how they are viewed, received and interpreted.