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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.

Eye to eye

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

1Glenn Murcutt, 1992 Ken Done. © Ken Done. 2Natalie Imbruglia, 1999 Polly Borland. © Polly Borland. 3Songman, portrait of Kev Carmody, 2006 Peter Hudson. © Peter Hudson. 4The Vivisector - David Williamson, 2017 Danelle Bergstrom. © Danelle Bergstrom. 5Bust of Peter Garrett, 1991-2016 Peter Schipperheyn. © Peter Schipperheyn/Copyright Agency, 2020. 6The Witching Hour - Elena Kats-Chernin, 2017 Wendy Sharpe. © Wendy Sharpe.

Related information

Lindy Lee, 2003 Greg Weight
Lindy Lee, 2003 Greg Weight
Lindy Lee, 2003 Greg Weight
Lindy Lee, 2003 Greg Weight

The long game

Magazine article by Penny 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, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

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.

Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish

Primed

Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

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.