Plymouth professor curates major international art exhibition
A Plymouth University professor is the brains behind a major London exhibition featuring some of the greatest portraits of the 20th century.
Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900, which will be staged at the National Gallery in London, has been compiled from collections across the globe, and includes works by some of the period’s most influential artists.
It has been curated by Dr Gemma Blackshaw, Associate Professor in History of Art and Visual Culture at Plymouth University. It opened yesterday (oct 9) and runs until January.
The exhibition explores a period of seismic change in Vienna when it was transformed from a multi-national, multi-ethnic and multi-faith city, and the imperial capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
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Dr Blackshaw said: “These works cover a period which began with liberal and democratic reform, but ended with the rise of the nationalist movements and anti-semitism.
“This is reflected in the artwork, as pieces which initially reflect status and belonging shift to portraits which express a sense of anxiety and alienation.”
The exhibition features iconic portraits by some of the biggest names in the art world, such as Gustav Klimt, alongside less widely known artists.
The exhibition is the latest national show coordinated by a Plymouth University academic.
Professor Dafydd Moore, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said it was a coup.
“At Plymouth we pride ourselves on inspiring our staff and students to excel both academically, creatively and in the wider cultural sphere. Gemma’s exhibition serves to further strengthen Plymouth’s national reputation in art history.”