Me Myself I

Tessa Jackson


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Sansom & Co
2 May 2022
ISBN: 9781911408888
96 pages

From the publisher

Me, Myself, I – Artists’ Self-Portraits will explore self-portraiture by artists based in Britain between 1722 and 2022. It will discuss the ways and traditions through which artists have presented themselves and how the genre has increasingly offered the means to take control and re-present oneself, often challenging society to re-think its social mores. It will provide an illuminating overview and contextual backstory to our current interest in self-representation and the selfie.

Self-portraits can go beyond the professional towards the personal, with self-examination offering both analysis and psychoanalysis. Some artists have made multiple self-portraits over time, reflecting on how we are subject to change. Others have explored issues they have identified with, including the agency of women or the breaking of taboos around sexuality. Self-portraiture has also been a way of promoting oneself, ensuring artistic survival and long-term recognition. Since the 1940s it has played an important role for artists in expressing the complexities of identity and post-colonialism in Britain.

The publication will accompany an exhibition at the RWA, Bristol, curated by Tessa Jackson OBE, 2 May – 19 June 2022. The exhibition will comprise more than 70 works, with historical material on loan from Britain’s national and regional museums, with modern and contemporary material coming direct from artists’ studios and collectors’ homes.