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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Bare

Degrees of undress

Daily from Friday 14 August 2015 until Sunday 15 November 2015
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley

Bare: Degrees of undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. Bare selects and remixes portraits from our collection around elements of nakedness. Fun and forthright, the exhibition will interrogate our instinctive, embedded and complex reactions to the bare. Surprising relationships appear, including portraits of Australia’s greatest sportspeople and our foremost creative achievers.

Portraits of Billy Slater, Germaine Greer, Dame Edna Everage, Matthew Mitcham, David Gulpilil, Megan Gale and many others are on display. It is intriguing to explore the subtle but crucial differences between the naked and the nude, being dressed or undressed and seeing someone clothed or unclothed. Bare reflects on the decision to uncover part, or all, of the body in a portrait, which says as much about the self, personality, identity and character as a selection of clothing.

62 portraits

1Hetti, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. 2Billy Slater, 2005 Julian Kingma. 3Professor Germaine Greer, 1999 Polly Borland. 4Dave Graney and Clare Moore, 1996 Bleddyn Butcher. 5Waiting for Zipporah (Christine Anu), 2002 Elizabeth Barden. 6Dan Sultan, 2011 Martin Philbey.

Related people

Penny Grist (curator)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.