Photographic interventions in the collection
12 November 2012
Contemporary photographs by Richard Billingham, Craigie Horsfield and Richard Learoyd are juxtaposed with paintings in the National Gallery Collection.
To coincide with the Gallery’s first major photography exhibition, Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present, the three interventions can be found in rooms 34, 41 and 46.
The positioning of the photographs next to the historical paintings creates resonant exchanges: this is a rare opportunity to see how artists working in different media, and across centuries, investigate time and light, depth and surface.
Above all, the displays reveal how certain themes shared by painting and photography endure across generations of artists.
When Richard Billingham set out to photograph his New Forest landscape, he did so with memories of Constable’s Cornfield fresh in his mind.
Craigie Horsfield draws on centuries of debate about the body in art, reflecting the surface tension and composition of Degas’s painting After the Bath, Woman drying herself.
While Richard Learoyd arrests his model in a single, meticulously anticipated moment, his approach echoes Ingres’s long struggle to capture Madame Moitessier’s formidable presence.
Richard Billingham ‘Hedgerow (New Forest)’ / John Constable ‘The Cornfield’
Richard Learoyd ‘Jasmijn in Mary Quant’ / Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres ‘Madame Moitessier’
Craigie Horsfield E. Horsfield, ‘Well Street, East London, February 1987’ / Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas ‘After the Bath, Woman drying herself’
Image above: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Madame Moitessier, 1856, hanging next to Richard Learoyd, ‘Jasmijn in Mary Quant’, 2008, in Room 41 during the exhibition 'Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present', ©National Gallery, London 2012