Nicole Farhi may be best known as a fashion designer, but as the doors open on her first gallery exhibition, it seems that she is now also destined to make a name for herself as a sculptor.
From the Neck Up, which runs from Wednesday September 17 to Friday October 3 at Bowman Sculpture in central London, features a series of 12 busts in clay, bronze and aluminium (£5,000-£15,000) of famous names from the worlds of fashion, art, stage and screen. Actor Bill Nighy (first picture) rubs shoulders with fellow thesps Dame Judi Dench and Helena Bonham Carter, while artist Eduardo Paolozzi (who was Farhi’s tutor and mentor) is joined by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud (second picture). American Vogue’s Anna Wintour is here too, instantly recognisable in her trademark sunglasses.
Some more abstract works, such as Pure Force II (third picture), are also on show, but it is the representational pieces that really catch the attention. Farhi, who invites her subjects to come to the studio to be photographed before beginning work on the armature, clearly has a deep interest in the human face, and these remarkably accomplished busts capture the spirit of each sitter as much as their physical likeness.