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Jon Bird curates new Leon Golub show at the National Portrait Gallery
18 Mar - 25 Sept, National Portrait Gallery, London

Jon Bird curates new Leon Golub show at the National Portrait Gallery

Professor of Art and Critical Theory Jon Bird, in association with Paul Moorhouse, Senior Curator of Twentieth-Century Collections, National Portrait Gallery, curated the display of Leon Golub Powerplay: The Political Portraits on show at the National Portrait Gallery until 25th September 2016.

The internationally recognised American artist Leon Golub (1922 – 2004) is best known for his large-scale paintings of Mercenaries, Interrogations and Riots in which the depiction of power is a central concern. This display focuses on Golub’s Political Portraits from the 1970s. Comprising portraits of heads of state, corporate, military and religious leaders, it explores the evolution of the ‘gaze’ in the artist’s pictorial language, in particular the way facial expression conveys an impression of power and the psychology of the sitter. Often depicting an individual at various stages of his public life, these images are documents of arrogance and venality traced across the features of powerful men.

Fidel Castro I by Leon Golub, 1977. Ulrich Meyer and Harriet Horwitz Meyer Collection. Photograph by Michael Tropea, Chicago

Fidel Castro I by Leon Golub, 1977. Ulrich Meyer and Harriet Horwitz Meyer Collection. Photograph by Michael Tropea, Chicago