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A sensational collection of 45 original paintings and drawings from the Arts Council Collection demonstrate the versatility of some of the country’s most celebrated 20th century and contemporary artists.

Featuring works by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Chris Ofili, Paula Rego and LS Lowry, the paintings and drawings in this exhibition all explore the theme of people. Whether traditional seated portraits or candid depictions, they demonstrate the varying perspectives of Britain’s celebrated artists. There are people on their way to the pub, lounging on beaches and at the barbers, exploring artist’s as people-watchers and shrewd observers of the daily life of human beings.

Featured works by the artist David Hockney are an exhibition highlight demonstrating his versatility in style and form as well as his masterful technique as a portrait artist. Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (1968) marks the beginning of a perspective that Hockney would become particularly known for and is the first example of the artist attempting a ‘double portrait’. Other works include Portrait Surrounded by Artistic Devices (1965), where Hockney demonstrates multiple styles of painting on one canvas, and the early-work We Two Boys Together Clinging (1963), painted in a uninhibited child-like style and celebrating homosexuality in a time when it was still illegal in England.

Other works in the exhibition feature well-known pieces by Turner-prize winners including Antony Gormley and Howard Hodgkin as well as multiple Turner-prize nominees and original drawings by Henry Moore.

This exhibition is supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.

PaintingPrints & drawingsArt galleryMuseumModern art

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