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Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Competition and Exhibition

Event Details

Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Competition and Exhibition

Time: November 4, 2011 at 10am to November 25, 2011 at 6pm
Location: Kings Place Gallery
Street: 90 York Way
City/Town: London
Website or Map: http://www.kingsplacegallery.…
Phone: 0207 520 1485
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Kings Place Gallery
Latest Activity: Nov 4, 2011

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Event Description

14 October – 25 November 2011

Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Competition and Exhibition

It is not only fitting but something of a delight that, just over a century since Ruth Borchard’s birth, her stunning collection of self-portraits, by leading British 20th Century artists, should be marked by a new National Self-Portrait Competition. Her own collection was a labour of love growing out of her interest in diaries and other autobiographical material and her method of acquiring it, by offering the artists concerned the modest sum of 20 guineas was both shrewd and cheeky. However, she was rarely refused.

Today, in the age of instantaneous digital image-making, it might be assumed that self-portraiture has fallen from favour. Not so; it is as vigorous and as popular as ever. Whatever approach is taken to this apparently circumscribed activity (the response to one’s reflection in a mirror) Celia Paul’s prize-winning entry is characterised by a merciless, almost forensic scrutiny that transcends mere appearance.

Out of 508 entries, 170 works were selected for the exhibition at Kings Place Gallery. The judges, Rachel Borchard, Sister Wendy Beckett, Robert Travers, William Feaver and William Varley shortlisted works by Maggi Hambling, Marcelle Hanselaar, Cherry Pickles, Celia Paul, Fred Crayk and  Mary Mabbutt, but unanimously awarded the £10,000 prize to Celia Paul.

Celia Paul

Celia Paul was born in 1959 in Trivandrum, India and attended the Slade School of Art, London from 1976 – 1981. She has exhibited widely and has works in many public collections including the British Museum, the V & A and the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Lucian Freud was of great influence to Paul during her student years and she appeared in many of his paintings. 

In the last 20 years Celia Paul has emerged as one of the most remarkable and original painters working in the figurative tradition. Her paintings and drawings are intimate portraits of people she knows well and invariably depict a single model or group. "My work is about people and their emotions", she has said. Her dark toned paintings are reminiscent of old masters and share an interest in the effect of light. Her paintings often have a monumental quality, but she is equally adept at capturing emotion in a small soft-ground etching.

Celia Paul’s self-portrait, as well as other works in the exhibition by Donald Sutherland, Laura Gressani, Fred Crayk, Lindsay Simons, Diana Jean Cumming, Daniel Shadbolt, Andrzej Kuhn, Shanti Panchal, Eleanor Bowen,  Maggi Hambling, Marcelle Hanselaar, Hannah Webb, Elizabeth Shields, Anthony Eyton, Leslie Marr, Helena McGrath, Brita Granstrom, Susan Light, Mary Mabbutt, Greg Tricker, Georgina Sleap, Peter Holt, David Caldwell, Thomas Newbolt, and Sally Muir were purchased by the Borchard Foundation to be added to the existing collection of 101 Self-Portraits acquired by Ruth Borchard in the post-war years.

The Ruth Borchard Collection with its new acquisitions will be shown at Kings Place Gallery in the autumn of 2012.

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