National Velvet Painting by Annabel Dover

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National Velvet

Annabel Dover

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National Velvet

Annabel Dover

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Painting: Oil on .

‘I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart’ Anne Frank

The 1944 film National Velvet, about a girl and her horse, was notable for introducing the world to a new young star – the 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor. Whilst Taylor was embarking on her journey to superstardom another girl was cutting out magazine images of film stars and sticking them to the wall of a tiny, hidden apartment in occupied Amsterdam. National Velvet was released for Christmas 1944 - the last Christmas that Anne ever had.

‘Our little room looked very bare at first with nothing on the walls; but thanks to Daddy who had brought my film-star collection and picture postcards on beforehand, and with the aid of a paste pot and brush, I have transformed the walls into one gigantic picture. This makes it look much more cheerful…’
The Diary of Anne Frank

In 1959 George Stevens made the film The Diary of Anne Frank. It is a ludicrous portrayal of the 13-year-old Anne, who is represented as a passive good-natured child, as opposed to the passionate and difficult teenager we see in her diary. The role of Anne was to be played by Elizabeth Taylor, then Audrey Hepburn (who was the same age as Anne and was asked now in her 30s to play the role of a 13-year-old) before Millie Perkins was cast. The actors all visited Anne Frank’s bedroom and the film was then shot by 20th Century Fox in Cinemascope on the largest sound stage in Hollywood. Anne dreamt of a fantasy film star version of herself and ironically Hollywood depicted her in a fantasy version of her own tragic life.

For her second solo show at Transition, Annabel Dover transforms the gallery into a sparse domestic space containing a series of tentatively representational paintings of Anne Frank's wall of images alongside a series of paintings from her own family album and some short films of incidental events. This work is part of Dover’s ongoing examination of collecting, particularly eccentric, small scale or domestic collections and collectors.


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