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Bryan Charnley: the art of schizophrenia

From

16 February 2015

To

22 May 2015

Location

Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Beckenham
Kent BR3 3BX

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The paintings of Bryan Charnley (1949-1991) used visual metaphor and symbolism to vividly illustrate the physical experience of schizophrenia, an illness Charnley lived with from adolescence until his premature death in 1991.

Bringing together works from the Bethlem collection and many rarely seen works from the Estate of Bryan Charnley, this exhibition looks back at Charnley’s life and work – from his early photo-realist inspired portraits and cityscapes to the direct expression and communication of his later allegorical paintings, many inspired by other works in the Bethlem collection. ‘Here I saw art stripped of all esoteric and conceptual pretensions’, he wrote, ‘I gladly adopted this approach which seemed to be more vital than any current “-ism”’

The first major retrospective of this British artist, Bryan Charnley will also be the inaugural exhibition in Bethlem Museum of the Mind.

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"Sleep" by Bryan Charnley

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Bryan Charnley’s depictions of schizophrenia 1 of 3

To mark Schizophrenia Awareness Week 2014, Kirsten Tambling considers how Bryan Charnley depicted his experiences of schizophrenia in his art. 

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Bryan Charnley’s depictions of schizophrenia 2 of 3

Kirsten Tambling continues her Schizophrenia Awareness Week consideration of how Bryan Charnley depicted his experiences of schizophrenia in his art.

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