The Art Fund brings Queen and Country to the National Portrait Gallery

  • 11 November 2009

On the day that the nation observes a two minute silence to remember those who have given their life in service to their country, The Art Fund announces that Steve McQueen's Queen and Country will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in the Spring.

McQueen collaborated with 155 families who lost a loved one in Iraq to create a commemorative artwork - Queen and Country. The work comprises sheets of facsimile postage stamps of soldiers’ faces housed in a large oak cabinet.

Its move to the NPG will mark the culmination of a UK-wide tour of the artwork led by The Art Fund, as well as the related campaign for Royal Mail to issue the facsimile sheets as official stamps – an integral part of the artist’s realisation of the work.

The Art Fund bought Queen and Country outright for the Imperial War Museum in 2007 and is spearheading the campaign and managing the tour of the artwork. To date over 21,000 have signed The Art Fund’s online petition in favour of the stamps which can be found at www.artfund.org/queenandcountry.

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund said: "Queen and Country is a powerfully moving work presented by an artist of international renown which challenges us to think again about the relationship we have with those who die serving in our name. The public support for these stamps demonstrates the enthusiasm for the whole country to join in reflection and tribute. Bringing the work to the National Portrait Gallery is an important next platform for the campaign to see Steve McQueen’s vision realised".

Queen and Country will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery between 20 March and 20 July 2010.

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