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Mead Gallery Exhibitions 2015

MAKING IT: Sculpture in Britain: 1977-1986

Making It Exhibition

Tony Cragg George and the Dragon, 1984 © Tony Cragg. DACS 2015 Courtesy Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (Photo: Anna Arca)

A Touring Exhibition from the Arts Council Collection
Thu 8 Oct – Sun 29 Nov 2015

The late 1970s and 1980s witnessed the emergence of a younger generation of artists working in the UK who began to receive international attention for practices which, although incredibly diverse, shared a revived interest in the sculpted object, in materials, and in ideas around making. Making It is the first exhibition to survey this exciting moment in British sculpture. It shows how approaches to object making were reinvigorated by the breakthroughs in conceptual and performance art made by preceding generations and by sculptural and cultural inspirations from beyond these shores.

Drawn primarily from the holdings of the Arts Council Collection and augmented with major loans from important UK public and private collections, Making It represents the work of over 40 artists including Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and Alison Wilding. This substantial exhibition embraces a wide range of sculptural practices, highlighting shared concerns, as well as important differences, between and within established groups.

The exhibition has been curated by Natalie Rudd, Senior Curator at the Arts Council Collection, with Dr Jon Wood, Research Curator at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. The Arts Council Collection is grateful to the Henry Moore Institute for their research support and for making available the rich resources of the Henry Moore Institute Research Library.

Imagining a University

Imagining a University Exhibition

The fiftieth anniversary of the University of Warwick also marks the fiftieth anniversary of its Art Collection. This exhibition examines how the forces that shaped the University also influenced the development of the collection.

The exhibition opens with the modernist utopia of the early University where the great colourfield paintings were hung like flags for the new, egalitarian age. It looks at how prints were bought to respond to ideas of a community in the 1970s, humanising the campus. In the 1980s, both the University and the collection were rewired by a new phase of development that included the creation of the Mead Gallery, while at the millennium, commissions sought to redefine public art in the context of a university. In the twenty-first century, the University Art Collection has many roles: delivering teaching, learning and research; introducing thousands of children and their families to the University; providing work experience for students and opportunities for artists; developing a sense of place and identity for the campus; initiating and extending discussions with its many audiences.

The exhibition will include the work of over 100 artists including Hurvin Anderson, Claire Barclay, Jack Bush, Terry Frost, Tess Jaray, Patrick Heron, Richard Long, Francis Morland, Yoko Ono, Eduardo Paolozzi, Fiona Rae, Anne Redpath and Andy Warhol.

This exhibition forms part of The University of Warwick’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Close and Far: Russian Photography Now

Close and Far Exhibition 

Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky. Peasant girls, Russian Empire, 1909, Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Prokudin-Gorsky Collection, Washington D.C.

Close and Far is an exhibition centred around the recently rediscovered works of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, an early pioneer of colour photography who was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, to document the vast and varied empire he presided over. The result was an extraordinary graphic encyclopaedia of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Today, Russia is still a land of dramatic extremes. Where Prokudin-Gorsky witnessed the effects of Russian imperialism first-hand, contemporary artists are working in the aftermath of the collapse of both the Romanov and the Soviet empires. Close and Far presents recent photography and films by artists whose work explores the subject of identity and place in post-Soviet times.

Close and Far has been curated by Kate Bush.

“Fabulous.” – The Evening Standard

John Akomfrah: The Unfinished Conversation

John Akomfrah Exhibition 

The Unfinished Conversation, 2012. Three-screen installation, HD video, colour, sound, 45 mins (detail of still). Courtesy the artist and Carroll Fletcher.

Stuart McPhail Hall (1932-2014) arrived in Britain from Jamaica as a student in 1951 and, by 1968, had become a key architect of cultural studies and one of Britain’s foremost public intellectuals. A founder of the New Left Review in the 1950s, Hall joined the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University in 1964 and became director there in 1968. Hall believed identity and ethnicity not to be fixed, but to be the subject of an ‘ever-unfinished conversation’. In The Unfinished Conversation, artist John Akomfrah interweaves archival imagery of Hall with news footage from the 1960s and 1970s, all overlaid with a stunning soundtrack incorporating the writings of William Blake, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf; Jazz and Gospel music.

“Akomfrah’s film… is as unexpected as it is brilliant.” – Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 2012

The Unfinished Conversation is an Autograph ABP Commission and was produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, Smoking Dogs Films, in collaboration with Professor Stuart Hall.