2010’s British Art Show Showcases UK’s Contemporary Talent. The British Art Show 7 will open at Nottingham Contemporary on October 23, 2010, before moving to the Hayward Gallery, in London, on February 14, 2011. It will be at Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art between May and August 2011, and at Plymouth Arts Centre from September until December. The show is expected to have more than 300,000 visitors attending. British Art Show 7 will tour Glasgow, Nottingham, London and Plymouth.
The show, which is a review of contemporary art that is held every five years, will be revealing some of the UK’s most respected artists. The first show was in 1979 when 112 artists work were toured to Sheffield, Newcastle and Bristol. In 2005-6 a record 330,000 people went to see it. In 1990, it formed part of Glasgow’s celebrations as European Capital of Culture.
Artists Exhibiting at the British Art Show 7
Painter Phoebe Unwin and former YBA Sarah Lucas are amongst the 39 artists whose work will be part of the exhibition, which will include sculpture, painting, installation, photography, film, drawing, video and performance.
Previous British Art Shows have showcased the work of artists Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili and Sam Taylor-Wood. In recent years the general consensus has been those who are selected to join the Hayward Gallery’s nationwide tour are among the hottest emerging stars to watch out for.
This year’s 39 selected artists have been chosen on the grounds of their significant contribution to contemporary art in the last five years. They include Argentine-born painter Varda Caivano, sculptor Mick Peter, collaborative filmmakers Anja Kirschner and David Panos, and 75-year-old Scottish artist Alasdair Gray.
Phoebe Unwin studied at the Slade School of Art
There will be some highly experienced artists who are taking their work in a new direction, such as Lucas and Alasdair Gray, the 75-year-old Scottish author and poet, who is the oldest artist in the show.
There will too be younger names that look likely to become much better known. The youngest is the installation and performance artist Tris Vonna-Michell, 28, who combines storytelling with performance and who recently topped a poll of curators asking them to name their favourite young star.
‘In the Days of the Comet’
Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery who organise the show, said in the April 26, 2010, BBC article that the show had always been, and continued to be, at the “forefront of innovation”. He said: “The curatorial premise of the British Art Show 7 allows visitors the chance to discover younger artists, and also re-evaluate and reconnect with artists whose work they thought they were familiar with, but whose new developments hold many surprises.”
British Art Show 7, which has been called ‘In the Days of the Comet’, has been curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton. They said in the April 26, 2010 Independent article that “Our subtitle is taken from HG Wells’ 1906 science fiction novel ‘In the Days of the Comet’.”
Wells novel charts the near-future appearance of the strange heavenly body over the skies of Britain. A green gas is released, creating a huge change in all mankind, leading to a rejection of war and exploitation, and a heightened appreciation of beauty.
“We are interested in the recurrent nature of the comet as a symbol of how each version of the present collides with the past and the future and the work of the artists in British Art Show 7, in many different ways, contest assumptions of how ‘the now’ might be understood.”
The curators said they had not set out to provide a comprehensive survey of the current scene but instead had spent a year researching what they regarded as the most significant artists working in Britain over the past five years. Of the work that will go on show, around 80 per cent will be specially created, some of it specifically for the settings where it will be displayed.