Gillian Wearing, Me as Cahun Holding a Mask of My Face (2012) (Courtesy of the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, and Maureen Paley, London)
In Gillian Wearing’s photographs, she has masqueraded as Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, her mother, brother, grandfather and her younger self. In 2012, she posed as the cross-dressing French Surrealist Claude Cahun, who made her own slippery self-portraits more than 80 years earlier. Works by the two artists go on view together for the first time in Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the Mask, Another Mask (9 March-29 May) at London’s National Portrait Gallery. The show seems “particularly timely” in light of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales, says the exhibition’s curator, Sarah Howgate. Meanwhile, a parallel exhibition of abstract paintings by Howard Hodgkin—who describes them as “representational pictures of emotional situations”—promises to expand the gallery’s definition of portraiture (Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends, 23 March-18 June).