Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

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.

Eye to eye

Previous exhibition
from Saturday 14 December 2019 until Sunday 16 February 2020
Miranda Otto
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti + Campbell. © Montalbetti & Campbell

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze. The progression of visages is designed to prompt the senses, tapping into the endless subjectivity of being human. Where one viewer sees a subject’s distant stare as baleful, another perceives a fatalistic cheer; here’s a face in three quarter profile pondering past triumphs, or perhaps you sense a layer of barely-there regret? Does the full stare with smouldering countenance shock or seduce, or is it a bit of both? Whether sparking familiarity, empathy, diffidence or reverence, our summer collection show invites you to slow down – to see eye to eye with another life and imagine that lived experience. Eye to Eye features portraits of Natalie Imbruglia, Kev Carmody, Miranda Otto, David Williamson, a marble bust of Peter Garrett and many more, including several works new to the collection.

64 portraits in the exhibition

1 Glenn Murcutt, 1992 Ken Done. © Ken Done. 2 Natalie Imbruglia, 1999 Polly Borland. © Polly Borland. 3 Songman, portrait of Kev Carmody, 2006 Peter Hudson. © Peter Hudson. 4 The Vivisector - David Williamson, 2017 Danelle Bergstrom. © Danelle Bergstrom. 5 Bust of Peter Garrett, 1991-2016 Peter Schipperheyn. © Peter Schipperheyn/Copyright Agency, 2021. 6 The Witching Hour - Elena Kats-Chernin, 2017 Wendy Sharpe. © Wendy Sharpe.

Related information

Lindy Lee
Lindy Lee
Lindy Lee
Lindy Lee

The long game

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2020

Penelope Grist spends some quality time with the Portrait Gallery’s summer collection exhibition, Eye to Eye.

Elle Macpherson, 1995 photographed by Andrew Macpherson
Elle Macpherson, 1995 photographed by Andrew Macpherson
Elle Macpherson, 1995 photographed by Andrew Macpherson
Elle Macpherson, 1995 photographed by Andrew Macpherson

Women in Vogue

Celebrating Sixty Years in Australia

Previous exhibition, 2019

This exhibition showcases sixty years of the Vogue Australia archive together with a special tribute to some remarkable Australian women who have featured in the pages of Vogue, and includes iconic portraits of Kylie Minogue and Elle Macpherson, among others.

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency