Wadsworth, Lorna May (1979)

Born in Sheffield, Wadsworth now operates from her East London studio. Rising to prominence in the contemporary art world before she had even graduated from university, notable early works include portraits of the Rt. Hon. David Blunkett and Archbishop of Canter-bury Dr Rowan Williams. Her most acclaimed work is her monumental portrait of the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher completed from five life sittings. The result is one of the most commanding and respected formal portraits of a modern British Prime Minister. She continues to challenge the portrait tradition and a recurrent theme throughout her work is the inversion of the gendered gaze. The canon of Western art has invariably favoured the female subject seen through the eyes of the male artist. In her series Beautiful Boys, Wadsworth transfers the power balance so that she holds the gaze of the male subject and places him on display for all to see. A retrospective of her work will be held at Graves Gallery Sheffield in 2019, bringing together her most celebrated works for the first time, including her contemporary interpretation of The Last Supper, which is twelve foot long and features a black Christ.

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