Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels


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ISBN: 9781855147478 Category:

Lucy Dahlsen, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Thomas Crow


Peyton is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Internationally celebrated, her work has been at the forefront of a re-evaluation of figurative art and the tradition of portrait painting since the 1990s. Curated by Lucy Dahlsen in close discussion with the artist herself, the exhibition and publication comprise around 50 key works which will tour internationally.

Known for her psychologically acute portraits, Peyton treats her subjects with a distinctiveintimacy, whether they are friends, historical figures, or cultural icons. Her diverse and ever-expanding repertoire of recurring subjects includes Kurt Cobain, Frida Kahlo, Napoleon, Queen Elizabeth II, and David Hockney, among many others. Painted from life, memory and found imagery, her highly stylised portraits combine exquisite technical ability with a sensibility predicated on a sincere emotional connection to her subjects.

Beginning with key portraits from the first two decades of her career, the exhibition, which will be the artist’s first museum retrospective in the UK for ten years, will investigate the expan-sions in her work that have unfolded since 2009 and include new works. Peyton’s recent works, derived both from life and from a wide range of secondary sources, including film, literature, painting and opera, offer an increasingly complex exploration of portraiture in which the relationship between artist and subject becomes explicit.

Additional information

Weight 476 g
Dimensions 16.7 x 21.5 cm
Publisher name National Portrait Gallery Publications
Publication date 1 June 2020
Number of pages 232
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 16.7 x 21.5 cm
Weight 476 g


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Lucy Dahlsenis associate curator of the National PortraitGallery's 20th Century and Contemporary exhibitions, displays and collections, including acquisitions and contemporary commissions.

Dr Nicholas Cullinanis Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Thomas Crowis an American art historian and art critic.