Thursday, June 20, 2024

Faces & Figures - Portraits from the RBSA Collection 1785 - 2023

thu25jul10:30 amsun25aug5:00 pmFaces & Figures - Portraits from the RBSA Collection 1785 - 2023(July 25) 10:30 am - (August 25) 5:00 pm RBSA Gallery, 4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA Event Organized ByRBSA Gallery

Event Details

This exhibition of selected works from the RBSA Collection looks at changing approaches to the representation of the face and figure over 200 years.
The exhibition offers some fascinating insights into the cultural life of Birmingham with fine drawings, paintings and sculpture from the Georgian period to the present. There is something for all tastes, including an exquisite watercolour Self-Portrait (1830) by F.T. Lines, and the first showing of a gift of portrait sketches by Edward Samuel Harper of fellow RBSA members – the men who dominated the visual arts in this city during the early 20th century.
In contrast are the expressive drawing, Stark Encounter (1940) by the surrealist Emmy Bridgwater, Jain McKay’s startling face and tattooed torso of Stuart and the Snake (2016), and the swirling kaleidoscope of Skateboarder (1991) by C. Anthony Sawbridge. Striking a more sombre and topical note is the patient’s eye view of the masked and gowned Surgeon Redeployed for Ambulance COVID Transfer (2021) by Andrew Shorthouse. Unmissable are the haunting Girl with Flowers (1950) by Gilbert Mason and the intense, award winning Self-Portrait (1937) by Robert Ball, a local child prodigy who was left to his own devices at Birmingham School of Art to develop his talent without tuition.
The sculpture section includes one of the treasures of the RBSA, the famous bust of the painter David Cox (1860) by Peter Hollins, who shows his sitter in the unlikely but conventional garb of a Roman toga, and the Art Deco inspired Head of a Man (1950) by “Birmingham’s Michaelangelo” William Bloye, whose statues, reliefs and pub signs adorn every corner of the city. The massive wooden Head (2000) by John Alexander Williams has the commanding presence of a totemic idol while, on a smaller scale, there is something serene and timeless in the female figures by John Bridgeman and Joan Woolard.
Private View: Thursday 25 July 6.00 – 8.00pm

Featured image: Anthony Sawbridge, Skateboarder, 1991

The RBSA Gallery is open on: Tuesday – Saturday. Opening hours are 10.30am – 5.00pm. Plus Sunday (summer months) 11.00am – 4.00pm



July 25, 2024 10:30 am - August 25, 2024 5:00 pm


RBSA Gallery

4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA

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The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.

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