National Galleries of Scotland announce Summer 2014 exhibition of portraits by John Byrne.

A new Scottish National Portrait Gallery exhibition set for summer 2014, will present a broad range of portraiture from across John Byrne’s career. The exhibition is the first on this scale to honour the Scottish painter’s work and contribution to Scottish art, at the Portrait Gallery. Works from the gallery’s collection to be prominently featured include Tilda Swinton, b. 1960, Pastel on paper, Robbie Coltrane b.1950, Oil on board, and the much loved self-portrait of John Byrne b.1940, Oil on block-board which currently hangs in the Portrait Gallery café.

Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said:-“We are delighted to be working closely with John Byrne on this exciting project for next summer which will bring together around 50 key works, from drawings to large-scale paintings. John is a great friend of the Portrait Gallery, and we are sure this show will be a huge draw for both fans of John’s artwork, and those who know him in one of his many other artistic guises”

This evening John Byrne will be at the Portrait Gallery for a special In Conversation session with AL Kennedy, as part of the National Galleries’ By Night series, and the first foray into live comedy events at the Festival Fringe for the beautiful gallery building. Byrne’s celebrated painting of Billy Connolly is one of the highlights of the current exhibition of Scotland’s comedy greats Tickling Jock, and the Paisley-born artist also provides the backdrop for the Portrait Gallery Comedy Café, where his self-portrait takes pride of place behind the stage.

John Byrne and AL Kennedy the Dundee-born writer, novelist and comic, will be chatting about their personal favourites among Scotland’s comedy greats – as well as discussing Byrne’s own work on his iconic portraits of figures such as Robbie Coltrane and Tilda Swinton in the Gallery’s world-famous collection.

Tickling Jock: By Night is at the Portrait Gallery on Wednesday 21 August (door open at 6.15 pm) with stand-up from the best of the Fest 2013, comedy tours of Tickling Jock led by The Stand regular Susan Morrison and a tribute to the legendary Chic Murray performed by Glasgow comedian, Scott Agnew.