Hull as part of its stint as UK City of Culture is presenting nude works of several internationally acclaimed artists including the artists Spencer Tunick, Lucian Freud and Ron Mueck. The exhibition explores the nude and in particular how the depiction of skin continues to fascinate today.
“The Sea of Hull installation was one of the most fantastic projects I’ve ever done, and it was inspiring to be able to intertwine the city’s maritime heritage against an urban backdrop throughout the whole piece.” – Spencer Tunick
Photographs of thousands of live nude figures painted blue at locations across Hull have been unveiled. Artist Spencer Tunick photographed 3,200 people at sites around the city on 9 July for the Sea of Hull project. The images will go on show at the Ferens Art Gallery, in Hull, as part of a new exhibition called SKIN. The Sea of Hull was commissioned by the gallery to mark Hull’s 2017 UK City of Culture status. This is officially the largest nude installation in the UK, under the artist’s direction,
Mueck and Freud’s works are also on display reflecting not only our fascination with surface but the artists’ ability to convey powerful psychological depth and intensity through their work.
Ron Mueck’s striking, meticulously crafted sculptures of the human form, including Wild Man (2005), Spooning Couple, (2005), are drawn from the ARTIST ROOMS collection of modern and contemporary art.
Four of Freud’s intimate paintings on loan from national partners include the painting Two Men (1987-1988) Naked Girl with Egg (1980-1981), Small Naked Portrait (1973-1974) and Large Interior, London W9 (1973), which will also explore the relationship between the artist and the model.
Art critics have already linked Tunick’s contemporary work with the French Impressionist painter, Edouard Manet and therefore it is particularly exciting that The Courtauld Gallery will lend their study for his masterpiece Le déjeuner sur l’herbe to the Ferens. This infamous painting of men in modern dress seated with a naked woman in a park scandalised 19th-century audiences. It has since acted as a reference point for much of the naked portraiture of the modern world, and sets the scene for the works in SKIN.
Work from the art gallery’s rich permanent collection will also be on display as part of the exhibition including 20th century naked portraits from Stanley Spencer’s painting of his second wife Nude, Portrait of Patricia Preece (1935) to John Coplan’s photographic Self Portrait Upside Down (1992).
ARTIST ROOMS is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate and is shared across the UK in partnership with Ferens Art Gallery, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Art Fund and by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
The Ferens Art Gallery opening times are: Monday-Wednesday: 10am-5pm Thursday: 10am-7.30pm Friday-Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: 11am-4.30pm