Quick - to Margate!

January 23 2015

Image of Quick - to Margate!

Picture: ArtFund

The first leg of Sir Anthony Van Dyck's nationwide, 3 year tour begins tomorrow in... Margate. The National Portrait Gallery's newly acquired self-portrait is part of what looks to be a very impressive exhibition at Turner Contemporary on artist's self-portraits. The shop (above) is already bursting with Van Dyck goodies. I want one of those T-shirts!

On the new exhibition, Turner Contemporary's website says:

We reflect on artists' self-portraits from Sir Anthony van Dyck's last Self-portrait of 1640-1, recently saved for the nation, to Louise Bourgeois. Over 100 works, most of which are from the National Portrait Gallery London, are brought together for an expansive look at the artists’ self. 

Historical and contemporary artists sit side by side, including Sir Anthony van Dyck, Mary Beale, Louise Bourgeois, John Constable, Tracey Emin, Jason Evans, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Angelica Kauffmann, Sarah Lucas, Gillian Wearing, Yinka Shonibare MBE, JMW Turner and Andy Warhol.

I'm definitely going to try and see this. Long way from Edinburgh though... The show is on until 10th May.

On the Turner Contemporary website (and here on You Tube) there's a most curious video of 'visitors' to the gallery discussion Van Dyck's self portrait, and what it 'means'. The discussion was apparently 'led by philosopher Ayisha de Larerolle', and the results 'inspired the script for the Comedy Art Audio Guide, narrated by Comedian Hugh Dennis.' Well, having watched the video, I'll be impressed if Dennis if can salvage anything remotely amusing from the discussion; much nonsense was talked. It might have been better with an art historian in charge. But these days I suppose everyone's view is valid, no matter how wrong it is.

Update - here are the dates for the rest of the Van Dyck tour:


  • Turner Contemporary, Margate: 24 January – 10 May 2015
  • Manchester Art Gallery: 21 May – 31 August 2015
  • National Portrait Gallery, London: 4 September 2015 – 3 January 2016
  • Dulwich Picture Gallery, London: 12 January – 24 April 2016
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: May – August 2016
  • National Portrait Gallery, London: September – December 2016/January 2017
  • Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle: January – May 2017
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh: June – August 2017
  • National Portrait Gallery, London: September – December 2017/January 2018


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