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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.

Nicholas Harding

28 Portraits

Previous exhibition from Friday 1 September 2017 until Sunday 26 November 2017
Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving), 2011 Nicholas Harding
Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving), 2011 Nicholas Harding. © Nicholas Harding

Nicholas Harding: 28 portraits is a small exhibition encompassing the variety in the portraits of this intelligent, industrious artist. The works differ in mediums, from the pure, thin line around the quick likeness of Geoffrey Rush to the staggeringly thick paint on the monumental self portrait; and in mood, from the meek figure of the artist’s mother-in-law Edie Watkins to the commanding one of Peter Weiss, looking like a tired old monarch about to start up with a roar. The portrait of Weiss glows in peony-pink, amaranth and crimson oils; that of John Bell is all black, white and grey. The covert, hasty sketches of unknown air travellers are distinct from the direct and careful drawings of famous men and women. In his cluttered portrait with its watery interior light, John Feitelson is small; in his clean, hot and stark portrait, its setting the open ocean, Robert Drewe looms large. Drewe’s expression is pitiably guarded; he looks like a ferocious man at a loss. By contrast, William Cowan’s smartly suited, his black shoes gleam, and sitting on a modernist chair against a blank wall in the artist’s Sydney studio he emanates zest and likeability.

28 portraits

1Megan Washington in ¾ profile, 2016 by Nicholas Harding. 2Peter Weiss, 2016 by Nicholas Harding. 3Anna Volska and Georgia, 2015 by Nicholas Harding. 4John Feitelson, 2009 by Nicholas Harding.

Related people

Nicholas Harding

Dr Sarah Engledow (curator)

Related information

Nat Young, c. 1968 by Albert Falzon
Nat Young, c. 1968 by Albert Falzon
Nat Young, c. 1968 by Albert Falzon
Nat Young, c. 1968 by Albert Falzon

Arcadia

Sound of the sea

Previous exhibition, 2014

An exhibition of photographs by John Witzig, drawings by Nicholas Harding and film footage by Albe Falzon, expressive of the free-spirited, hot-blooded energy of Australian surfers under the cloud of conscription to Vietnam.

Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel
Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel
Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel
Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel

The Popular Pet Show

Previous exhibition, 2016

This exhibition expresses the joy and warmth that many of us derive from our animal companions, and celebrates their trusting, unpretentious ways, with portraits of Australians and their furry, feathered and fluffy friends.

Wendy drunk 11pm, 1983 by Brett Whiteley
Wendy drunk 11pm, 1983 by Brett Whiteley
Wendy drunk 11pm, 1983 by Brett Whiteley
Wendy drunk 11pm, 1983 by Brett Whiteley

Idle Hours

Previous exhibition, 2009

Idle hours is an exhibition of luxurious beauty. Paintings, prints and drawings represent subjects in quiet moods and situations arranged according to the time of day they depict - reading, drawing, snoozing, bathing, sewing, gardening, sitting, looking, making love and spending tranquil time with companions. Works in the exhibition range from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present.

David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding
David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding
David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding
David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding

Through thick and thin

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2017

Sarah Engledow likes the manifold mediums of Nicholas Harding’s portraiture.

We would like to thank our partners.
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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.