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- Charnley, Bryan, 1949-1991
- 18 May 1991
- Part of
- Bryan Charnley Self-portraits.
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About this work
Also known as
18 May 1991.
1 painting : oil on canvas ; 50.9 x 50.8 cm
Charnley's diary entry reads: "From 10th may I had cut down to one anti-depressant (Triptysol) and so was not sleeping much. My mind seemed to be thought broadcasting very severly and it was beyond my will to do anything about it I summed this up by painting my brain as an enormous mouth, acting independently of me."
Bryan Charnley (1949-1991) was a British artist whose work illustrates his experiences of schizophrenia. In 1969 he enrolled on a BA in sculpture at the Central School of Art and Design, but left due to a breakdown. He started painting in 1978, and from the late 1980s he began to get recognition for his work, with Bethlem Royal Hospital purchasing four of his paintings. From 1987 to his death he kept a dream diary as a way of understanding his own mind. In March 1991 he decided to experiment with his medication and embarked on a series of self-portraits, a series which exposed his mental illness. The series was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 1995. He took his own life in July 1991.
Bryan Charnley. 1991. 9th self-portrait. [Oil on canvas]. Wellcome Collection: Library no. 3049695i
Charnley, J. (2018). Bryan Charnley: art and adversity, page 177.
Exhibited in ‘Bryan Charnley self-portraits: face to face with schizophrenia’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London, 21 July – 3 December 1995.
Title provided by the Estate of Bryan Charnley.
Dated 18-5-91 on recto. Numbered 9 on verso.
Purchased by Wellcome Collection in 2018 from the Estate of Bryan Charnley.
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