Tacita Dean is a British European artist based in Berlin and Los Angeles who works with many mediums but primarily in film. Dean first came to prominence in the 1990s and is now considered to be one of the most influential artists working today.
This major new exhibition will focus on portraiture primarily through the medium of 16mm film. The exhibition will be the first in the Gallery’s history to be devoted to the medium of film, and also reveals Tacita Dean’s own longstanding and personal interest in portraiture as a genre. Works on display will include Dean’s films of influential figures such as her major six-screen installation with Merce Cunningham in Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS… (2008) alongside her film of Claes Oldenburg in Manhattan Mouse Museum (2011) and her film diptych of Julie Mehretu GDGDA (2011), all previously unseen in the UK, as well as Mario Merz (2002), Michael Hamburger (2007), Cy Twombly in Edwin Parker (2011), and David Hockney in Portraits (2016). Also on show for the first time in the UK will be two photographic works: GAETA, fifty photographs, 2015 taken in the studio of Cy Twombly and The Line of Fate with Leo Steinberg. Dean is also making two new films, Providence, for the exhibition, and His Picture in Little, made specifically for presentation within the Gallery’s permanent collection.
In an unprecedented collaboration, three major London galleries, the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, and National Gallery, will open three distinct exhibitions with the artist Tacita Dean in 2018. The three exhibitions, Tacita Dean: LANDSCAPE, PORTRAIT, STILL LIFE, shaped by Dean’s response to the individual character of each institution, will explore genres traditionally associated with painting – landscape at the Royal Academy of Arts, portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery and still life at the National Gallery – seen through the contemporary prism of Dean’s wide-ranging artistic practice.
(Photo: Tacita Dean, Portraits (detail), 2016, 16mm colour film, optical sound, 16 minutes, continuous loop. Location photograph by Matthew Hale Courtesy the artist; Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris)