Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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

Previous exhibition 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)

Related information

Installing David Walsh
Installing David Walsh
Installing David Walsh
Installing David Walsh

On the road again

Magazine article by Dr Deborah Hill, 2017

Deborah Hill talks figures with character, as the National Portrait Gallery touring exhibitions program welcomes its millionth visitor.

Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso

Shop Talk

Magazine article by Stephen Phillips, 2016

Angus and the arbiters talk (photo) shop for the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penny Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

Lovers And Luggers : Publicity Shot featuring Shirley Ann Richards Lloyd Hughes And Elaine Hamill (1937)
Lovers And Luggers : Publicity Shot featuring Shirley Ann Richards Lloyd Hughes And Elaine Hamill (1937)
Lovers And Luggers : Publicity Shot featuring Shirley Ann Richards Lloyd Hughes And Elaine Hamill (1937)
Lovers And Luggers : Publicity Shot featuring Shirley Ann Richards Lloyd Hughes And Elaine Hamill (1937)

Starstruck

Australian Movie Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2017

Striking, beautiful portraiture comes out of the most thoroughly documented creative process there is – filmmaking. In a ground-breaking collaboration the National Portrait Gallery and National Film and Sound Archive invite you into this captivating realm between real and fictional worlds. 

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.