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Identity: Hodgkin, Cahun, Shonibare, Ofili
Wed 17 May 2017, 10:00 – 12:00 BST
A series of intriguing exhibitions which revolve around the exploration of identity are taken place in London early this summer. The National Portrait Gallery will be looking at the portraits of Howard Hodgkin, a great colourist, and painter during a period when painting was no longer in fashion. But as Hodgkin was always an abstract artist, how can these be portraits? How can colour and line fully express someone’s character and attitude? We planned this talk before the Hodgkin’s recent death, which will make it all the more poignant and worthwhile. Another of the NPG’s increasingly innovative exhibitions pairs Claude Cahun with contemporary artist Gillian Wearing. Cahun, working alongside her life partner Suzanne Malherbe, explored her idenitity (or identities) through a series of complex photographs which challenged notions of sexuality and gender in the 1920’s and 1930’s. And finally, we will consider race, a major theme in the works of both Yinka Shonibare and Chris Ofili, who contribute to exhibitions at the Royal Academy and National Gallery respectively.