Faces - “Faces”

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					            “Faces”      Worksheet
Answer the following in the boxes provided:-
1.   Which portrait is painted in oils, on a wooden panel?
a)   Mona Lisa
b)   Weeping Woman
c)   Democritus

2.   Which portrait is the only photograph?
a)   John by Chuck Close
b)   Im too sad to tell you by Jan Bas Ader
c)   Girl with hair ribbon by Roy Lichtenstein

3..Which portrait was produced in 1937
a) Weeping Woman
b) Shout
c) Head of EOW

4.   Which of the portraits is the earliest?
a)   Democritus
b)   Mona Lisa
c)   Merry Musician

5.   What is Marc Quinn‟s portrait made from?
a)   Clay
b)   Stone
c)   Blood

6.   Which portrait features a famous past Port Talbot citizen?
a)   John
b)   Head of EOW
c)   Lord Heycock

7.   Which sculpture is made from Ancaster stone?
a)   Goggle Head
b)   Angel of Mercy
c)   Shout

8.   How many portraits are made from bronze?
a)   5
b)   2
c)   3

9.   Which is the largest painting?
a)   “John” by Chuck Close
b)   “Self Portrait” by Helen Scherfbeck
c)   Democritus by Diego Velasquez

10. Which is the most recently produced portrait?
a) Goggle Head
b) Double Sided Face
c) Shout

In your sketchbooks:-
Choose your favourite portrait painting, and your favourite portrait sculpture.
Describe why you like them in separate paragraphs, write a little about the
artist, but more especially what ideas you could transfer to your work after
having studied these. Make a sketch of each one on one page of your sketchbook.

The following is a brief account of each painting and artist:-

“SISTER” by Willie Birch (1942 - ). Painted with acrylic paint on papier
mache with found objects in 1991. (24inches high).
This is a traditional Western form of sculpture – a bust on a pedestal – which has
been adapted for this non-western figure. Using inexpensive, ordinary materials
and festive colours, the artist pays homage to black womanhood with this proud
goddess – like effigy. The surface of this altar like object is covered with found
materials, harking back to African tradition. Th nails for instance relate to
imbueing the object with spiritual power.

“HEAD OF EOW PROFILE” by Frank Auerbach (1931 - ). Painted in oil
on board in 1972. (20inches by 17inches).
The features of the face emerge from a mass of oil paint, scraped and daubed on
the picture surface. Every slash of the brush or palette knife searches for a
painterly equivalent to flesh and light. The built up paint surface is so cake with
the varied approaches that the final, impatient result appears molten. EOW are
the initials of his girlfriend, Estelle West.

“WEEPING WOMAN” by Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973). Painted in oil on
canvas in 1937. (24inches by 19).
The searing emotion of grief experienced by this distraught woman is reflected
with great intensity in the harsh colours and rigid paint strokes. The attention is
immediately focussed on the cold blue and white area around the mouth and
teeth – her eyes and forehead are dislocated – literally broken up with sorrow.
The way the woman‟s face has been distorted and fragmented is a development
of cubist ideas. Picasso is considered to be the greatest artist of the twentieth

“MONA LISA” by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519). Painted in oil on a
wooden panel during the years 1503/6 (30 inches by 21).
The Mona Lisa is famous all over the World for her enigmatic smile and for
being one of the few paintings by the most esteemed of the Renaissance masters,
Leonardo Da Vinci. The identity of the sitter remains unknown – some debate
still rages as to whether the figure is indeed a woman or a man. The painting‟s
beauty lies in the oil painting technique “sfumato”, created by Leonardo,
allowing the artist to produce subtle, atmospheric shading. Leonardo produced
few paintings in his lifetime, but used many drawings and filled many
bronze sculpture, made in 1942. 12 inches high.
A peasant woman, wearing a headscarf, tips back her head and cries out in pain.
By calling her Montserrat, after the mountains outside Barcelona, Gonzalez
relates the suffering of the common people during the Spanish Civil War to the
rough enduring nature of the Spanish landscape itself, This particular work,
made during the Second World War, expresses the distress and anguish endured
in wartime.

“SELF PORTRAIT” by Helene Scherfbeck (1862 – 1946). Painted in oil on
canvas in 1912. (16inches by 16)
The artist was 50 years of age making this portrait, influenced by Edvard
Munch, and having a melancholic, solemn air. The colours are muted, the only
bright areas provided by her one aquamarine eye, echoed by the colour of her

“SELF” by Marc Quinn (1964 - ) made in 1991 from his own blood, stainless
steel, perspex and refrigeration equipment. (23 inches by 123 inches)
A cast of the artist‟s head has been made from eight pints of his own frozen
blood – the exact amount present in the human body. It has then been
presereved within a refrigerated container and placed on a plinth. Quinn offers a
brutally realistic perspective on the nature of self - portraiture and self-
expressions as a whole, confronting the viewer with ideas of mortality.

“GIRL WITH A HAIR RIBBON” by Roy Lichtenstein (1923 - ) painted in
oil and magna on canvas in 1965 (48inches by 48).
Painted like a close up frame from a 1950‟s comic strip, this work shows an
attractive blue eyed blonde, turning towards the viewer. Her all American
glamour, and anxious expression suggest a narrative in which she is the
vulnerable heroine in jeopardy. However it is a gentle parody as well as a
homage to contemporary culture, treading a fine line between commercial and
fine art. Lichtenstein uses minute circles in his picture reproducing a technique
used in newspaper and magazine printing.

(1886 – 1980) painted in oil on canvas in 1937 (43 by 33 inches)
All the contours and anxieties of the artists face are outlined in a multitude of
colour tones to suggest his anxiety and anger. The “degenerate artist” theme
comes from the fact that Kokoshkas innovative art was suppressed by the Nazis
during the Second World War. The violent brush strokes appear untidy, but
behind it is control, bringing together the jarring colours into a structured
whole. This self portrait is an example of “Expressionism”, an artistic movement
Kokoshka was very committed to.

“JOHN” by Chuck Close (1940 - ) painted in acrylic on canvas (100 inches by
90) in 1989. This large scale painting appears unexceptional, and yet there is
something about it that is disquietening. Appearing a straightforward portrait,
there are changes of focus and scale. The blurring around the shoulders and ears
makes the face loom towards the viewer. Closer inspection reveals the brush
strokes and delicate application of paint to what is a huge portrait. This is all the
more remarkable when taking in to account that Chuck Close is a paraplegic
with limited movement. His latest works of art have become abstract, using
images made up of multi-coloured dots, only to be viewed from a distance.

“DOUBLE SIDED FACE” by Sean Kehoe (1962 - ) sculpted from a fallen
oak from Margam Park (36 inches high)
Sean Kehoe is an art teacher at St. Joseph‟s Comprehensive School in Port
Talbot, as well as being a sculptor who is beginning to make a name for himself.
Sean likes to work with wood, using a hammer and chisel to bring to life the
thoughts of his fertile imagination. Sean has several examples of his work on
display in Margam Park, the biggest being his “Millennium Gnome”.
The 12 foot high sculpture, on sale for £15,000. was carved out of a six tonne
poplar tree trunk salvaged when ground was cleared for the new Tesco store in
the heart of Port Talbot in 1999.
“I felt sick of all the politics and artistic claptrap talked about the Dome”, said
Sean, “I wanted a simple earthy idea that people would find amusing and
stimulating. It‟s crazy asking people to pay £20 to enter the Dome. They can
come and see my Gnome for free.”
Sean researched garden gnomes and discovered that in folklore they are little
men who mine gold underground. “My gnome has a sack of gold over his
shoulder and instead of it being full of gold it is full of knowledge from the past
2,000 years” he said. “The Gnome has a charismatic smile and the idea is that he
is content and hopeful for the future.”
For the woodland trail, Sean used the theme of the Mabinogion to turn the
experience into a mystical kingdom. A once overgrown area of the Park, near to
the main entrance, now has a walkway through woodland, passing the enclosure
for the park‟s wild boar, completed this year. The wood carvings feature images
from the Mabinogion, the Welsh books of myth and legend, as well as fairy tales
and mystical stories. One of the sculptures features a scaly beast with a gruesome
meal in its jaws, while others include garish head sculptures integrated into the
landscape as well as wooden furniture and signposts. Sean uses wood stain dyes
to add colour to some of his work, but always in keeping with the surroundings.

“LORD HEYCOCK” by Robert Thomas (1926 – 1999) a bronze head cast,
made in 1971, 30inches high.
Robert Thomas was a Welsh sculptor of considerable repute. He died in 1999
aged 73, becoming famous for his bronze incarnations of the Princess of Wales,
(the only artist to have sculpted Lady Diana from a sitting), Aneurin Bevan and
Viscount Tonypandy. Thomas worked from his studio in the garden of his home
in Barry, South Glamorgan, where his vibrant, lifelike faces and statues of the
famous were designed, but also where fantasy sculptures like “Captain Cat”,
now on Swansea Marina were produced. His passion started aged nine, when he
dug out mud from the river - bank near his boyhood home of Cwmparc in the
Rhondda. Inevitably it became his career. As his understandable recognition as a
sculptor increased, celebrities such as Cliff Morgan, Geraint Evans and Lord
Heycock sat for his modelling sessions. For his bust of Princess Diana, Thomas
visited Kensington Palace for sittings an hour at a time over three months.
Thomas liked to “get to know” his subjects. For representations of people no
longer with us, such as his Aneurin Bevan in the centre of Cardiff, he would read
about them and talk to people who knew them, photographs only show one
dimension, he felt.
His sculpture, “Lord Heycock” is representative of several of his very realistic
sculptures which feature notable dignitaries of the Principality. As Thomas says,
“A statue has to capture the „feel‟ of the personality. The right shaped nose, the
correct hairstyle, the facial expression – they can all be styled by a competent
sculptor to resemble the man or woman. But, on their own, such detail would not
add up to much of a sculpture”. Thomas‟s Lord Heycock therefore sums up the
strength of character, and steely determination, of one of Port Talbot‟s most
famous champions, and characters. The sculpture is on display in the Orangery,
Margam Park.

“THE SHOUT” by Glynn Williams. Made in 1982, sculpted out of a block of
Ancaster stone.
Glynn Williams began his artistic career under the teaching of Tom Wright in
Wolverhampton College of Art, in the late 1950‟s. Peter Fuller, an art critic of
the time, described William‟s early work as that produced by a sculptor “born a
virtuoso carver, one of those rare individuals who can cut, chisel and find
convincing sculptural forms with such facility that he is barely aware that he is
gifted”. William‟s favourite medium for sculpting is stone, and almost all his
large output of work is carved out of this medium. Glynn Williams is now
sculpture professor at the Royal College of Art in London.
Glynn Williams has had many sculptures exhibited in Margam Park, two of
which remain there today. One is “The Shout”, a large sculpture made out of
Ancaster stone, which was produced in 1982. It was placed in a more prominent
position in the deer park during William‟s retrospective exhibition in 1992. The
previous siting overlooked the entrance and Orangery car park, and was in a
relatively bleak area, possibly a little more in keeping with the message Williams
was trying to get across.
The sculpture now is to be found inside the Orangery gardens in a relatively
hidden spot under sheltering trees. It shows William‟s slightly abstract, chiselled
surface, and is roughly life size.
The sculpture itself features a mother cradling the lifeless body of her baby. The
face of the Mother is contorted into a wide mouthed scream as she suffers the
pain of the death of her child. The sculpture therefore is about the futility of war,
the abandonment of normality, the suffering of innocent victims. The mother
seems to be screaming to the World, “Why did this have to happen!”

“MERRY MUSICIAN WITH VIOLIN” by Gerrit van Honthorst, painted
in 1624, oil on canvas.
It is very difficult for anyone to hold a smile for longer than a few minutes – it
therefore makes this portrait by Van Honthorst remarkable – a convincing
portrait of a fleeting moment captured using a medium that must have taken the
artist months. The detail in this picture suggests almost a photographic quality
“DEMOCRITUS” by Diego Velasquez, painted in 1628, oil on canvas.
The face Velasquez has painted is smiling, not only with his mouth, but with his
eyes, and the lines of the face have an uncanny accuracy. The face is painted with
careful regard to lighting, a severe contrast used to give the face structure and

“GOGGLE HEAD” by Elisabeth Frink (1930 – 1993). A bronze head cast,
made in 1963, 62 cm high.
Fascinating and frightening, the menacing head, its identity hidden by shiny
goggles, suggests deliberate violence. It evokes images of modern day bad men,
henchmen, dictators. Frink made many series of heads representing her own
feelings of the complex nature of mankind , its strengths and its vulnerabilities.
One of her sculptures is on permanent display in Margam Park.

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