‘Lost’ photos by Paul McCartney to go on show at National Portrait Gallery | Paul McCartney

by AryanArtnews
0 comment
‘Lost’ photos by Paul McCartney to go on show at National Portrait Gallery | Paul McCartney

Unseen portraits taken by Paul McCartney in the early 1960s when the Beatles were catapulted to international stardom will go on display at the refurbished National Portrait Gallery in the summer.

McCartney thought the photos, taken between December 1963 and February 1964, were lost, but he recently rediscovered them.

The exhibition, Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm, “will provide a unique personal perspective on what it was like to be a Beatle at the start of Beatlemania,” said Nicholas Cullinan, the NPG’s director. .

“The photographs taken during this period captured the moment when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were propelled from the most popular group in Britain to an international cultural phenomenon, from performances in Liverpool and London to performances on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York to a television audience of 73 million people.

“At a time when so many camera lenses were on tape, these photographs will share fresh insight into their experiences, all through the eyes of Sir Paul McCartney.”

‘Self Portraits in a Mirror’ by Paul McCartney. Photo: Paul McCartney/The National Portrait Gallery/PA

The Beatles star approached the NPG in 2020, Cullinan said. “He said he found these photos that he remembered taking but thought were lost. We sat down with him and started going through them. [It was] extraordinary to see these images – unseen – of such a well-documented, famous and important cultural moment.

“They are taken by someone who really, as the exhibition title alludes, looked out into the eye of the storm at what was happening.”

McCartney plans to publish a book of the photos to coincide with his 81st birthday in June. The 275 photographs in the collection were taken on a 35mm camera in New York, Washington, London, Liverpool, Miami and Paris.

McCartney’s family includes three celebrated photographers. His first wife, Linda McCartney, was the first woman to shoot a Rolling Stone cover. The couple’s daughter Mary McCartney is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker and his brother Mike has published books of images of the Beatles.

Detail from 'Vivien Leigh' by Yevonde (1936, printed 2022-3)
Detail from ‘Vivien Leigh’ by Yevonde (1936, printed 2022-3). Photo: Yevonde/The National Portrait Gallery/PA

Last year, McCartney published The Lyrics, in which he traced his life story through the lyrics of his songs. The book became a bestseller.

The NPG, a Grade I listed building in central London which houses the world’s largest collection of portraits, has been closed since March 2020 for a major refurbishment. During its closure, it loaned works to galleries and museums around the world.

The gallery will reopen to the public on June 22 with an exhibition exploring the life and career of Yevonde, the 20th-century photographer who pioneered the use of color photography in the 1930s. It will include portraits and still-life works that the artist produced throughout her 60-year career and will reflect the growing independence of women during that time, while focusing on the freedom that photography offered to Yevonde.

In the autumn, the NPG will re-establish an exhibition, David Hockney: Drawing from Life, which opened just 20 days before the gallery was forced to close due to Covid in March 2020. The exhibition explores Hockney’s work over the past six decades through his intimate portraits of five sitters – his mother, Laura Hockney, Celia Birtwell, Gregory Evans, Maurice Payne and the artist himself – in a range of mediums and styles, from pencil, pen and ink and chalk to photographic collage and iPad.

Detail of David Hockney self-portrait
Detail of David Hockney self-portrait. Photo: Jonathan Wilkinson/The National Portrait Gallery/PA

The 2023 show will also show for the first time new portraits of friends and visitors to the artist’s Normandy studio between 2020 and 2022.

In February 2024, the gallery will mount an exhibition of contemporary African diasporic artists working in the UK and USA, curated by the former director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Ekow Eshun.

The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure will include works by Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Jordan Casteel, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Noah Davis, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson, Titus Kaphar, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Amy Sherald, Henry Taylor, and Barbara Walker.

In addition to examining how artists portray the Black form, it will address the absence of Black presence within Western art history.

The NPG has unveiled a new logo intended to “better reflect its role as a gallery made by the people, for the people, telling the story of Britain’s past, present and future through portraits”, and ‘ a redesigned website before its re-opening.

Cullinan said: “Our program of exhibitions for our first year [after reopening] presents some of the world’s most famous artists in a fresh light, contains extraordinary and never-before-seen images, uncovers the work of remarkable innovators, maps important cultural terrain and showcases the greatest contemporary portraits.”

  • Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm will run from 28 June to 1 October 2023.
    Yevonde: Life and Color will run from 22 June to 15 October 2023.
    David Hockney: Drawing from Life will run from 2 November 2023 to 21 January 2024.
    The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure will run from February 22 to May 19, 2024.

Related Posts