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    Friday, June 11th, 2021

    A major exhibition of the work of Willie Doherty, twice Turner Prize nominee and Northern Ireland’s foremost contemporary artist, has just opened at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. WILLIE DOHERTY WHERE offers an overview of his career in photography and time-based media.

    In the aftermath of Brexit, and in the centenary year of the partition of Ireland, the exhibition focuses on the theme of borders, both real and imagined, a subject which has dominated Doherty’s practice for over four decades. Collectively, the works in the exhibition reveal the numerous complex political, social and psychological implications of borders, both in Northern Ireland and further afield such as Mexico. The exhibition, which runs until September 12, was previously shown in Modena, Italy as part of the British Council’s UK/Italy season.

    Willie Doherty – Remains


    Sunday, January 17th, 2016

    Rembrandt - Self Portrait at the age of 63

    Rembrandt – Self Portrait at the age of 63

    A magnificent late Rembrandt self portrait is on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast until March 13 as part of the Masterpiece Tour organized by the National Gallery in London.  Rembrandt (1606–1669)  produced some 80 self-portraits – paintings, drawings and prints- over the course of his 40-year career. No artist before Rembrandt, and only a very few since, have made self-portraiture such a significant part of their life’s work. Self Portrait at the Age of 63, painted in the final year of the artist’s life, is among the very last works he finished. It is a work of sheer virtuosity: proof, if ever it were needed, that with maturity his talent had only become all the more profound.

    At the Ulster Museum the late Rembrandt is hung with a small group of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings from the Museum collection. These paintings are by artists whose work Rembrandt would have known, including Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan Symonsz Pynas, Jan van der Heyden and Nicolaes Maes.  When viewed together there is sense of entering Rembrandt’s world.

    The Masterpiece Tour reflects the National Gallery’s commitment to promoting the understanding, study and appreciation of its collection to as wide an audience as possible. A  Gallery painting  toured each year between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 Rembrandt’s Self Portrait at the Age of 63 opens at the Ulster Museum then goes to Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal; and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.


    Friday, October 14th, 2011

    SHE was a surprise hit in Ireland in 2011. Now a touring exhibition which celebrates the Queen’s forthcoming Diamond Jubilee – The Queen: Art and Image – has arrived at the Ulster Museum.  Enthusiastically reviewed by distinguished critics the show includes work by Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, Cecil Beaton, Annie Leibovitz and Pietro Annigoni.

    Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art, National Museums Northern Ireland, said: “This exhibition shows how the art of portraiture has changed  dramatically from the 1950s to the present day through various media. It features formal painted portraits, official photographs, media pictures, and powerful responses by contemporary artists. Early works in the exhibition including the photography can be interpreted as quite reverential whereas some of the modern portraits can be seen as controversial or even subversive”.

    The Queen: Art and Image offers a significant selection of unofficial portraits by major 20th century artists including those of Gilbert and George and Gerhard Richter as well as less formal portraits by photographers such as Eve Arnold, Patrick Lichfield and Lord Snowdon. It demonstrates too how artists and photographers have succeeded or failed in their attempts to portray Queen Elizabeth. Organised by the National Portrait Gallery in London in collaboration with National Galleries of Scotland, Ulster Museum, and the National Museum of Wales the show, which has been Edinburgh during the summer, is at the Ulster Museum from October 14 to January 15, 2012. It will be at the National Museum in Cardiff from February 4 – April 29, 2012 and at the National Portrait Gallery in London from May 17 to October 21, 2012. (Click on any image to enlarge it).

    Coronation Cross Gilbert & George, 1981 Tate: Purchased 1982

    Queen Elizabeth II Dorothy Wilding, 1952 © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler/ National Portrait Gallery, London.

    Elizabeth and Philip Potent Gilbert & George, 1981 © Gilbert & George.