Gerry Judah – THE CRUSADER

Part of the Artist Reactions Series
Main Exhibition Space, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
6 November 2010 – 6 November 2011
To mark this year’s Remembrance, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester is exhibiting THE CRUSADER, a unique and specially commissioned artwork by Gerry Judah.
THE CRUSADER has been created in direct response to contemporary global conflict. It reflects on modern day wars but also resonates with the history of world conflict, making it a powerful and thought provoking piece. The sculpture comprises a 7 metre three-dimensional crucifix covered with a lattice of war-torn buildings lacquered in snow white. The setting in the Imperial War Museum North’s landmark building – designed by Daniel Libeskind to represent a globe shattered by conflict – is fitting, given THE CRUSADER’s imposing appearance.  Gerry Judah’s work is a reaction to the Imperial War Museum as well as its themes.
THE CRUSADER is the culmination of five years of engagement with conflict in which Gerry Judah has created a series of three-dimensional paintings of urban decimation through conflict, inspired by recent historical events with a particular focus in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is the first and only sculpture in this body of work, which was initially conceived when Judah produced the acclaimed Auschwitz-Birkenau model for the Holocaust Exhibition in the Imperial War Museum, London in 2000.
THE CRUSADER is on exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North from 6 November 2010 for a year. The huge creation is the first exhibit visitors will see on entering the Museum’s Main Exhibition Space. It is placed on the wall above head height at a diagonal angle towards the viewer, who receives the full impact of the towering sculpture – the effect of the cross and the multiplicity of the decimated buildings.
Jim Forrester, Imperial War Museum North Director, said: ‘THE CRUSADER is a very dramatic sculpture that will provide an emphatic welcome to everyone this Remembrance. It offers an unusual perspective on conflict at a very poignant time of year, showing how war shapes lives.’
THE CRUSADER is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Photography: David Barbour
Gerry Judah was born in 1951 in Calcutta, India and grew up in West Bengal before his family moved to London when he was ten years old.

He studied Foundation Art and Design at Barnet College of Art (1970–1972) before obtaining a First-Class Honours degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London (1972–1975) and studying sculpture as a postgraduate at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (1975–1977).

He went on to build a reputation for innovative design, working in film, television, theatre, museums and public spaces, creating settings for productions at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Royal Festival Ballet, London Contemporary Dance, Royal Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, BBC, British Museum, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin. He has also designed spectacular sculptures for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed and bridges in London and Cambridge.

In 2000, Gerry Judah was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in London to create a large model of the selection ramp in Auschwitz-Birkenau for the Holocaust Exhibition which was opened by the Queen in 2000. Extensive research and numerous visits to Auschwitz led Judah to produce a highly acclaimed work that encouraged him to take his art in yet a new direction. Returning to his fine art beginnings he began to make art born of his reflections on historical events. He created a body of large three-dimensional paintings exploring the devastations of war and the ravages man has made upon the environment caused by recent conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East with solo exhibitions: FRONTIERS at the Timber Yard, London in 2005, ANGELS at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London in 2006 and the British High Commission, India in 2007, MOTHERLANDS at the Louise T Blouin Foundation, London in 2007, COUNTRY at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton 2009, BABYLON at Flowers East Gallery, London 2009 and a solo exhibition opening in December 2010 at the Fitzroy Gallery in New York.

Gerry Judah’s work has been exhibited at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Camden Arts Centre and Yorkshire Sculpture Park and has entered many international public and private collections including the Charles Saatchi Collection London, Anita and Poju Zabludowicz Collection London, Imperial War Museum London, Essi & Fatima Maleki Collection London, David Roberts Collection London, Chris Drake Collection Sussex, Centre for Arts Israel, Irena Hochman Collection New York, Bobby Kapoor Collection India, Museum of Old and New Art Australia and The Earl of March Goodwood.

Duration 06 November 2010 - 06 November 2011
Times Open 7 days a week except 24 - 26 December
Cost Free
Venue Imperial War Museum North
Address The Quays Trafford Wharf Road Manchester M17 1TZ, ,
Contact 0161 836 4000 / /

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