Thoughts On Portraiture: Rarely-Seen Artworks Join Visitor Favourites For New BMAG Display

Picasso, Pacheco, Auerbach and Bomberg – just some of the artists who feature in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s (BMAG) new free exhibition – Thoughts on Portraiture – which explores how artists have used a wide range of styles and imagery to interpret complex human emotion and experiences.

The display in Gallery 13 draws on Birmingham’s collection of modern and contemporary art and is centred around Man and His Sheep (1989) by Ana Maria Pacheco. This striking installation by the Brazilian-born artist consists of eight lifelike carved wooden figures arranged in a procession. A firm favourite with visitors in the past, the popular artwork has not been on public display for over 5 years. Each imposing figure is carved from a single piece of limewood then painted and waxed to give a startling lifelike appearance. The figures’ onyx eyes and acrylic teeth add to their sinister expressions. Pacheco’s oil painting In Illo Tempore I (1994) can also be seen on display.

The exhibition continues with the rare opportunity to see artworks that have never been on public display before, including an emotionally honest self-portrait by German expressionist painter, Walter Gramatté and a detailed etching by Frank Auerbach which depicts his friend, the art historian Michael Podro.

Thoughts on Portraiture runs until Monday 18 November 2019
For more on the free exhibition visit

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