The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a major new portrait of designer Sir Jonathan ‘Jony’ Ive by the photographer ANDREAS GURSKY, supported by Scott Collins in partnership with Outset Contemporary Art Fund.
This is the second in a series of three Outset commissions, following on from the first portrait of Malala Yousafzai by the artist Shirin Neshat in 2018.
Jonathan Ive by Andreas Gursky was photographed in March 2019 and is now on public display at the National Portrait Gallery, having been commissioned for its permanent collection.
The portrait is as much about Jony Ive as it is about Apple, the world’s largest technology company, and its seminal new headquarters at Apple Park, California. As one of a few portraits by Andreas Gursky and the only portrait commission he has undertaken for a public museum, it reflects the long-standing professional admiration between them.
Jony Ive is one of the leading figures in contemporary design. As Apple’s Chief Design Officer, he is responsible for the design, including the look and feel of hardware, user interface, packaging and major architectural projects. Described by founder Steve Jobs as ‘his creative partner’ Ive joined Apple in 1992. From his early cutting-edge designs for the iMac and iPhone to realising the vision of Apple Park in 2017, his role has been central to Apple’s progressive ambition and success. Holding over 5,000 patents, Ive has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from the Royal College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and both Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In 2013 Sir Jony was knighted for his services to design and enterprise and in 2017 he was appointed Chancellor of London’s Royal College of Art.
I have been obsessed with Andreas’ work for a couple of decades and vividly remember the thrill of first meeting seven years ago. His very particular and objective presentation of what he sees, whether voluminous landscapes or the rhythm and repetition of supermarket shelving is both beautiful and provocative. Mindful that he rarely makes portraits, this is a conspicuous and particular honour for me.
It was fascinating to take photographs in the new Apple HQ, a place that plays such a historically crucial role in our present and future. And above all, it was inspiring to work with Jonathan Ive within this setting. It was he who found the form for the technological revolution that was initiated by Apple and his aesthetic has left a mark on an entire generation. I admire his immense visionary power and have tried to express this energy in my portrait.
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery
We are delighted to have commissioned this remarkable new portrait, which captures two of the world’s foremost creative minds whose ground-breaking work continues to push the boundaries of technology and culture. I am extremely grateful to Outset Contemporary Art Fund for their support in developing this series of commissions that represents some of the great contemporary icons of the early 21st century.
Internationally renowned photographer Andreas Gursky has exhibited in biennales and solo shows across the world for over thirty years. He has been the focus of major touring exhibitions including ‘Retrospektive 1984 – 2007’, ‘Andreas Gursky: Works 1980 – 2008’ and his latest retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 2018 commended him as one of the most significant photographers of our time. Born in 1955 in Leipzig, since the mid-1980s Gursky has focused intently on the motif of the landscape and the human existence within it. The fundamental constant throughout his work is the relationship between individual and mass entity as well as between single figure and ornamentation. With respect to the present, he further includes in his works iconic images which mirror the complex social developments of globalisation, against the background of the flood of information, current mass phenomena, and visionary architectural concepts.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 to encourage through portraiture the appreciation and understanding of the people who have made and are making British history and culture. Today it promotes engagement with portraiture in all media to a wide-ranging public by conserving, growing and sharing the world’s largest collection of portraits. The Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square, holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. With over 1000 portraits on display, across three floors, from Elizabeth I to David Beckham, the Gallery has something for everyone. Artists featured range from Holbein to Hockney, and the Collection includes work across all media, from painting and sculpture to photography and video. As well as the permanent displays, the Gallery has a diverse and ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events that promote an understanding and appreciation of portraiture in all forms. www.npg.org.uk