Painted Faces

05 Dec 12 - 17 Nov 13

Back to by Marlene Dumas, courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London. Photo Alex DelfanneJohn Frederick Lewis, Hhareem Life, Constantinople 1857 (detail)

Back to by Marlene Dumas, courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London. Photo Alex Delfanne

Painted Faces is an exhibition inspired by the recent acquisition of a work by internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Marlene Dumas, showing the talented singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. This exhibition expands upon one of the main themes of Dumas’ work, the depiction of female beauty in art.

Combining the tradition of portraiture in art with the tradition of make-up in popular culture, all of the artworks on display are inspired by the impulse to capture beauty, both natural and altered. Collectively they present very different versions of an 'ideal' image.

Famous for their elaborate and stylised application of make-up, the role of the courtesan defined a tradition in Japanese woodblock prints. Known as ‘bijinga’ or ‘beautiful women’, such prints show the special attention paid to the wearing of make-up and to adornment as described, and, sometimes defined in art.

(Above:Kikugawa Eizan, Tsukioka of the Hyogoya from the series Five Holidays in the Pleasure Quarters, colour woodblock print.)

Further interpretations of beauty are presented through historical works including the exquisite watercolour ‘Hhareem Life’ by John Frederick Lewis, and intricately painted Chinese export watercolours in the style of the Tingqua workshop, capturing the intensity of the face and figure in detail. All of the artworks on display are works on paper from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ collections.

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The infamous bombing of Guernica took place on this day in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. This attack, carried out by allies of the Spanish nationalist government, inspired Picasso to create his famous works 'Guernica and 'Weeping Woman'. Read more about them here in Sarah's blog.

A Cry from the Heart - Picasso, Guernica, and British artists | Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Blog
www.twmuseums.org.uk
In this masterpiece painting, style and subject are completely united, with the jagged fragmentation of the face, thick black lines and harsh colours expressing the woman's agonised grief. Weeping Woman is part of Picasso's emotional response to the bombing of civilians in the city of Guernica durin…

11:05am 26 Apr 2015

There's still time to book up for Simon Martin's talk today at 2pm. We're very excited to hear from the curator of the exhibition himself.

Saturday Talk with the Exhibition Curator, Simon Martin - Laing Art Gallery
www.twmuseums.org.uk
In the 1930s artists working in every style - including the Bloomsbury Group, the Surrealists and even abstract artists - were inspired by the Spanish Civil War to create paintings, sculptures, posters, banners and even volunteer to fight. Curator of the exhibition Simon Martin, Artistic Director of…

10:00am 25 Apr 2015

YouTube

Sing and Dance for King and Country - Rachael Hales (part of Decoded 1914 - 18)

Sing and Dance for King and Country is an audio-visual installation exploring the experiences of the people of Tyneside during the First World War, through the lens of local folk traditions and practices. Decoded 1914-18 was a two-week programme of audiovisual installations and events that explored the First World War and its effect on those living in Tyne & Wear. www.decoded1914.org.uk

War Workings / Sound Mirrors - Tim Shaw & John Bowers

Inspired by artefacts from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Tim Shaw and John Bowers created a sound installation on site at Discovery Museum in Newcastle over a two-day period. The duo invited the public to join them in making, listening and re-inventing technology from the First World War. Decoded 1914-18 was a two-week programme of audiovisual installations and events that explored the First World War and its effect on those living in Tyne & Wear. www.decoded1914.org.uk

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