Thursday, July 13, 2006

Culture Queen-The National Portrait Gallery McBean Exhibition

On Monday it was off to The National Portrait Gallery to see what is astonishingly, the first museum retrospective devoted to Angus McBean (1904-90), one of the most significant British photographers of the twentieth century.

Following on from the success of last years Beaton exhibition this dazzling array of more than 100 works by McBean are a real treasure trove.

From his surrealist portraits of the 30’s to his long stint as theatre portraitist supreme and on to his come-back, as a photographer of 1960’s pop idols. Mcbean kept up a furious pace and went on to be re-discovered by yet another generation during his second come-back in the heady days of the 1980’s.

The photographs themselves range from Marlene Dietrich to Rum DMC and include major figures from dance theatre and film as well as his now famous work with Pop Idols, The Beatles, Shirley Bassey and Cliff Richard. Unlike Beaton whose society portraits were formulaic at best Mc Bean shows a verve and wit which remained undiminished throughout his long and prolific career.

If you have the chance, get yourself down to The National Portrait Gallery and see the work of one of the 20th Centuries great eccentrics and true geniuses.

Angus McBean: Portraits5 July - 22 October 2006

More Rank & Bile


Jason said...

where is the gallery?

Myles said...

The National Portrait Gallery is in London by Trafalgar sq

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