Liz Rideal

Career summary

I have taught at all levels of art education, including the Slade School of Fine Art and the National Portrait Gallery.

I have also developed related skills curating exhibitions, writing books and pursuing a range of interpretative and analytical activities, conceiving web-based projects, organising and speaking at conferences and giving public talks and lectures.

My artwork is held in museums, art galleries and private collections in the UK, USA, Switzerland, Germany, France and Canada.

I am also engaged in the public art arena, making both temporary and permanent work for specific buildings.

Areas of interest / research

Having worked at the NPG on a broad range of projects over 30 years, Liz Rideal has a good overview of British portraiture and the Gallery’s collection in particular, however self-portraiture and the function of clothing and drapery within portraits are her areas of special interest.

Details of books/publications relating to your work on British portraiture

Authored Publications:

Recent essay published by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in their catalogue for the exhibition on Self-portraits, 2012, entitled: ‘Golden Years? 1900-1950: A non-digital world. Self-expression, self-promotion, self-preservation’.

Insights: Self-portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 2005.

‘Drapery and Pattern in Portrait Painting as a Source for my Work in the Photo-booth, with particular reference to The Curtain Maker William Larkin’, in The Journal of Cloth and Culture, Berg, Oxford & New York, 2003.

Mirror/Mirror: Self-portraits by women artists, co-authored with Whitney Chadwick and Frances Borzello, National Portrait Gallery & Watson-Guptill, New York, 2001.

Double Take – Comparing the Art of Graphic & Photographic Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery & Berol UK Ltd, 1998.

Conference Papers:

‘Drapery and Pattern’ delivered at National Gallery conference ‘Drapery in Visual Culture: contexts,clothing, corporealities’, 2002 (see publications above).

Conference organised and chair:

‘Mirror/Mirror’ at the National Portrait Gallery. Paper delivered, ‘Identity (is a great big part of me): The photo-booth: disguise, revelation, authorship and collaboration’ 2001.

Exhibitions Curated:

‘A Question of Identity: Self-portrait Photographs 1850–2000’, National Portrait Gallery, September 2005 to January 2006.

A Question of Identity: Self-portrait Photographs 1850-2000, National Portrait Gallery, 2005

‘Mirror/Mirror: Self-portraits by Women Artists’, National Portrait Gallery, October 2001 to February 2002, and touring to Leeds, Canterbury and Bath. Exhibition website.

‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, April to June 1999, Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull.

‘The Room in View’, exhibition touring to Eastbourne, Bath, York, Brighton and Canterbury, 1996.

‘Portraits in Disguise. How sitters choose to ‘fancy’ dress for their portraits : a Duchess as a milkmaid, a nobleman in Van Dyck costume, an artist as Neptune’, National Portrait Gallery, 1994.

‘Screen Deep’. Computer installation by Julie Myers juxtaposed with work by Andy Warhol, Huysmans and Lely, National Portrait Gallery, 1992.

‘The (Changing) English Face’. Drawings on paper which exemplify different drawing techniques and media, reflecting the varied style of British portraiture, National Portrait Gallery, 1992.

‘Double Take – Comparing the Art of Graphic & Photographic Portraiture’, National Portrait Gallery, 1991; the exhibition toured to 9 UK venues

‘Dorothy Wilding Photographic technique’, National Portrait Gallery, 1991.

‘Camera Obscura – An upside down experience’. An investigation into the theory of the photographic camera, without its chemistry, National Portrait Gallery, 1990.

‘The Self-Portrait  How do artists see themselves?’ National Portrait Gallery, 1990.

‘Looking to Construct’. Completed works and preparatory drawings by Schwartz, Procter, Powys Evans and Sutherland, National Portrait Gallery, 1989.

Lucy and George Larkin; C17th Journeyman painter’. Specialist painting techniques in full length paintings of the period, National Portrait Gallery, 1988.

‘Shadowplay’. An exhibition of photographic works using dramatic shadow to enhance the image of the sitter by Wilding, Beaton and Gordon Anthony, National Portrait Gallery, 1988.

‘Magnification versus miniature’. Questioning the importance of different scale used in the making of portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1987

‘Sculpture in the Basement’. A look at the various materials and methods of portrait sculptors, including Roubiliac and Frink, National Portrait Gallery, 1987.

‘The Reproduced Image’. From copy workshop to photographic studio, focusing on the Van Dyck painting of the ‘Five Children of Charles I’ (1637), National Portrait Gallery, 1986.

‘The Art of the Drapery Painter’ Van Aken and other unsung heroes, National Portrait Gallery, 1985.

‘The Honest Portrait’. Two types of portrait separated by 400 years: Contemporary work by Tony Bevan, juxtaposed with unknown artists from the seventeenth century, National Portrait Gallery, 1984.

‘Growing up Lifesize’. Self-portrait of children. In collaboration with Helen Chadwick, National Portrait Gallery, 1983.

UCL profile

Personal website