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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.

Portrait of Louise Forthun in front of a Stephen Bram

1992
Angela Brennan

oil on canvas (152.3 cm x 122 cm depth 4.5 cm)

Louise Forthun (b. 1959), artist, works primarily in painting and printmaking and has an aesthetic and conceptual focus on the architectural landscape of Australia’s urban environments. Born in Port Macquarie in New South Wales, she trained at RMIT, Melbourne and the Victorian College of Art. Her stencil-based painting and printmaking method enables Forthun to create complex layers of architectural forms, a technique that alternately defines and blurs the boundaries of the Australian cityscape. The artist's enduring exploration of the urban landscape has solidified her place in the Australian artistic vernacular of landscape painting and printmaking, which includes iconic artists such as Fred Williams, John Olsen and William Robinson. Forthun has exhibited in Australia and internationally since the 1980s and her work is held in private and public collections.

Angela Brennan's portrait of Forthun is an exploration of form and portraiture. The deep velvet palette is cleverly juxtaposed both with the vibrant yellow and green of Stephen Bram's abstract artwork and with Forthun's pale face and white pants. Brennan has captured her subject's striking features: large eyes, manicured brow and sculptural hair. The flat and restrained composition provides a space of mediative calm and offers an intimate and visually striking portrait of one artist by another.

Gift of the artist 2021. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
© Angela Brennan/Copyright Agency, 2021
Stephen Bram painting is kindly reproduced with permission of the artist

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Angela Brennan (age 32 in 1992)

Louise Forthun (age 33 in 1992)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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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 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.

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