Leeds Art Gallery has removed its collection to welcome the 42 artists showing in the eighth edition of the British Art Show. The programme curator at the museum, Sarah Brown explains that this new exhibition – which is organised by London’s Hayward Gallery every five years and travels to Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton – needed a venue for a singular presentation of the exhibition.
“With the Hayward being closed, there wasn’t really a chance to see the British Art Show in its entirety,” Brown stated to the Art Newspaper. “I was quite keen that there was that opportunity and once I began to tot up the spaces that we actually had, it was clear the Leeds Art Gallery was substantial enough to take the exhibition.”
The curator added that as a result of the new exhibition’s installation at the museum, much of the city’s collection is out on loan, stating: “Leeds lends phenomenally, so we’ve just done more. We’ve said yes to a lot of loans. Paula Rego to São Paulo—yes! Yes to Tate. Yes to [loans of works by] Stanley Spencer. So key works are out on loan and others are in storage.”
The co-curator of the show, Anna Colin – with the Whitechapel Gallery’s Lydia Yee, explains that with the new exhibition the viewers will “travel through quite a few of the artists’ work, and across generations, across the country and across media, as well”; adding that the exhibition has a ‘friendship room’ where we have artists and designers who have worked together for many years: Ryan Gander, Martino Gamper, Bedwyr Williams, Abäke, Will Holder,” Colin says. “These are artists who’ve collaborated before, but they may not have exhibited all together in the same room, so we were interested in bringing these enduring relationships to the larger public.”
Leeds: Leeds Art Gallery; 9 October 2015 – 10 January 2016
Edinburgh: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Talbot Rice Gallery, University Of Edinburgh Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: 13 February – 8 May 2016
Norwich: Norwich University of The Arts, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery: 24 June – 4 September 2016
Southampton: John Hansard Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery: 8 October 2016 – 14 January 2017