profile picALEXANDER NEWLEY is a leading contemporary portrait artist on both sides of the Atlantic, known for his iconic depictions of major figures including Gore Vidal, Billy Wilder, Christopher Reeve, Oliver Stone and Steven Berkoff. His portrait of America’s infamous polemicist and wit, Vidal, and his dramatic triple-portrait of Actor, Activist and former star of Superman, Christopher Reeve, imprisoned in his life-supporting wheelchair, form part of the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery at The Smithsonian in Washington DC.

His full-length portrait of Sir Nigel Hawthorne in character as Mad King George III, was used by the English National Theatre as the promotional image for their production of Alan Bennett’s play “The Madness of George III”, and his portrait of writer, Dominick Dunne, passionately scribbling in his notebook during his coverage for Vanity Fair of the OJ Simpson trial in Los Angeles, was chosen for the cover of Dunne’s best-selling memoir about the trial, “Another City, Not My Own,” and went on to achieve widespread exposure all over America.  In 2006, Newley received his highest honor when his portrait of Hawthorne in character as George III was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum for their permanent collection celebrating Theatre in the 20th century.

Recent successes have included his mesmeric, multilayered “Head of Lincoln” which is now the central attraction at The Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois—the home of Lincoln studies–and Newley’s mischievous portrait of Jeffrey Archer hiding his face, for his ongoing series, “Redemption”, featuring public figures who have endured incarceration and returned to society.  Newley is, in his own words, “fascinated by the unknowable human self and how it variously disguises and forms itself into the mask of personality.”

Working mainly in pastels and oils, and making a close study over many years of the Old Masters, Newley has evolved a style that combines the best virtues of classical technique with the energy and edge of contemporary subject matter.