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National Portrait Gallery unveils twenty new portrait commissions to celebrate twenty years

18 October 2018

Jessica Mauboy, 2018 by David Rosetzky
Jessica Mauboy, 2018 by David Rosetzky

The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled twenty new portrait commissions of Australian leaders and individualists as part of its twentieth birthday celebrations in a new exhibition, 20/20: Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions.

Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Mr Angus Trumble, is delighted to welcome the twenty new portraits into the national collection.

‘The Gallery has been commissioning portraits since its establishment in 1998. To mark our twentieth year as a national institution it seemed fitting to bring our focus back to one of the Gallery’s founding platforms, the commissioning program,’ said Mr Trumble.

‘Great care was taken in bringing together the subjects and artists to bring out the best in the creative process. As a result, each work is a striking and unique representation of the twenty individuals but also reflective of the relationship they developed with their respective artists. 

‘The Gallery has a collection of more than 2,700 portraits representing a range of individuals who have contributed to Australian society. The commissioning program allows the Gallery to fill gaps in the collection to better reflect Australian history and culture. This group of twenty brings into the collection leaders from a range of fields including the arts, sport, business, industry, education, science, technology and philanthropy. 

‘Commissioning twenty new portraits within eighteen months has been an enormous task for not only our staff but also the artists creating these portraits. We would not have been able to achieve this extraordinary project without the support and generosity of donors. Along with the efforts of staff, artists and sitters, each portrait has been supported by a donor with a total of close to $500,000 contributed to bring the project to life.’

The portraits will be on display for the public to see from 20 October 2018 until 10 February 2019 in a free exhibition titled 20/20: Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions.

The subjects and artists commissioned for the project include:
Li Cunxin by Jun Chen, Tim Fairfax by Russell Shakespeare, David Foster by Jacqui Stockdale, Andrew Gaze by George Fetting, Peter Goldsworthy by Deidre But-Husaim, Fred Hilmer by Evert Ploeg, Tan Le by John Tsiavis, Gail Kelly by Paul Newton, Catherine Livingstone by Mathew Lyn, Jessica Mauboy by David Rosetzky, Mal Meninga by Peter Hudson, Anna Meares by Narelle Autio, Louis Nowra by Imants Tillers, Nicholas Paspaley Jnr by Andrew Bonneau, Ben Roberts-Smith by Julian Kingma, Margaret Seares by Cherry Hood, Tony Shaw by Sarah Rhodes, Michelle Simmons by Selina Ou, Richard Tognetti by Louise Hearman and Jacki Weaver by John Tsiavis.