The selection of artists for British Art Show 8, opening in Leeds City Art Gallery on 9 October 2015 and touring to Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton have been announced by Hayward Touring. The British Art Show is widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art, with artists chosen for their significant contribution over the past five years.
The curators Anna Colin and Lydia Yee made their selection after extensive research and travel across the UK. Many of the artists have a strong international presence, reflecting the increasingly globalised networks operating in the art world. More than half of the participating artists are making new work for the exhibition, while others will present recent work not previously seen in Britain.
The artists in British Art Show 8 are:
Åbäke, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Caroline Achaintre, John Akomfrah and Trevor Mathison, Aaron Angell, Pablo Bronstein, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Andrea Büttner, Alexandre da Cunha, Nicolas Deshayes, Benedict Drew, Simon Fujiwara, Martino Gamper, Ryan Gander, Melanie Gilligan, Anthea Hamilton, Will Holder, Alan Kane, Mikhail Karikis, Linder, Rachel Maclean, Ahmet Öğüt, Yuri Pattison, Ciara Phillips, Charlotte Prodger, Laure Prouvost, Magali Reus, James Richards, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Daniel Sinsel, Cally Spooner, Patrick Staff, Imogen Stidworthy, Hayley Tompkins, Troy Town Art Pottery, Jessica Warboys, Stuart Whipps, Bedwyr Williams, Jesse Wine, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
The exhibition concept reflects on the status of the object at a time of increasing convergence between the real and the virtual. In today’s seemingly dematerialised reality, many artists are reconsidering the potential of the physical, revisiting skills and practices that have been overshadowed in the transition to the digital. The notion of the object is re-imagined through a variety of production and collaborative processes, as well as through the use of narrative and fiction.
This year the British Art Show benefits from the exceptional support of Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. The grant will enable an integrated programme of audience development activities, including new digital platforms, community engagement and artists’ projects outside the galleries. Other supporters and partners confirmed to date include Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle; The Henry Moore Foundation; Create; Fondation d’entrepise Galeries Lafayette; Northern Ballet; Dovecot Studios and WERK, Birmingham.
Exhibition curators Anna Colin and Lydia Yee said: “Working on the British Art Show has been a rich and stimulating experience. Rather than arriving with a set theme and inviting artists accordingly, the curatorial framework was developed out of conversations with artists and observations made over the course of one year. We were particularly interested in the rereading of objects by artists and other contemporary thinkers as active agents, generative entities, mutating forms and networked realities. This has given us a starting point to explore how production, labour and collaborative processes can enter into dynamic conversation with the objects’ narrative potential and web of relations.”
Roger Malbert, Head of Hayward Touring, said: “The five-year interval between British Art Shows is long enough for each to have a markedly different character and introduce a new generation of artists. This edition signifies a shift of curatorial perspective as well: the exhibition will evolve as it moves from city to city, with more collaborative relationships between artists and local organisations and communities.”
Image: Ryan Gander courtesy Lisson Gallery London