In the 1970s Keith Milow's work took on the characteristics of minimalism - a movement which emerged as a reaction to Pop Art with its rich and colourful allusions to everyday life and popular culture. Minimalists believed that a work should be more purely conceptual and devoid of traditional aesthetic references; many of them produced work based on serial progressions and the repetition of stark geometric shapes. The use of non-traditional, industrial materials was also common.
'Second Portrait' is made of sheet lead attached to a wooden core. It has some affinities with other 1960s reliefs such as Geoffrey Clarke's 'Slab and Bar Relief' which is in the University collection (displayed near the main entrance to the Arts Centre).