by Ellie Jakeman August 02, 2023
Lubaina Himid CBE RA,Between the Two my Heart is Balanced 1991. Tate. © Lubaina Himid, courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London.
Visit the largest festival of contemporary art in the UK
Join us for Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest contemporary visual arts festival which takes place across Liverpool’s public spaces, galleries and museums. Visitors to the city can enjoy a dynamic programme of free exhibitions, performances, screenings, community and learning activities and fringe events over a 14 week period that shine a light on our city’s vibrant cultural scene.
The 12th edition of the Biennial is titled uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things and addresses the history and temperament of the city of Liverpool and is a call for ancestral and indigenous forms of knowledge, wisdom and healing. In the isiZulu language, uMoya means spirit, breath, air, climate and wind.
The artists on display at Tate Liverpool explore the space between life and death and how to work through ancestral pain towards healing. Highlights include Isabel do Rosário’s largescale textile pieces, exhibited for the first time outside of Brazil, the first showing of Edgar Calel’sRu k’ ox k’ob’el jun ojer etemab’el (The Echo of an Ancient Form of Knowledge) 2021 and Torkwase Dyson’s monumental Liquid A Place 2021 which directly converses with the brutal histories of the water and docks which surround the gallery.
The display also includes work by Fátima Rodrigo Gonzales, Francis Offman, Gala Porras-Kim, Guadalupe Maravilla, Lubaina Himid, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, and Shannon Alonzo.
Francis Offman Untitled 2021-2022. Courtesy the artist; Herald St, London; and P420, Bologna. Photo by Carlo Favero
Join a free guided tour and learn about the artworksin the Liverpool Biennial display.
Tate Liverpool, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, Liverpool L3 4BB
Explore our Liverpool Biennial 2023 exhibition with one of our experienced guides. Find out more about works by artists such as Fátima Rodrigo Gonzales, Francis Offman, Gala Porras-Kim, Guadalupe Maravilla, Lubaina Himid, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Shannon Alonzo.
Tours last approximately 40 minutes. Daily at 12.15–12.55, 10 June – 17 September 2023
Images courtesy of YSP “Giants from the Abstract Sculptures series (2014-18), are anthropomorphised bronze sausages that reference the wiener hot dog, which takes its name from Austria’s capital”
Opening to the public on Saturday 10 June 2023, Trap of the Truth features more than 100 works, including 55 sculptures indoors, 19 sculptures in the landscape, paintings, photographs, videos and drawings created over 30 years of the artist’s career. Several works will be shown for the first time.
Erwin Wurm (b.1954) is one of Austria’s most prominent artists, highly regarded for his 2017 Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Over three decades he has challenged the rules of sculpture, the limitations of the human body, and its relationship to the spaces we inhabit. His work disrupts perceptions of the familiar and sensible, and in a process that abounds with humour and experimentation, he frequently reimagines commonplace objects by giving them human characteristics.
Wurm ponders what sculpture is and what it can be, stretching its boundaries, and calling into question the value and importance we place on everyday objects. He is both playful and political, using ludicrous scenarios to create work that addresses how we conform to society’s demands and how sculpture can upend cultural beliefs.
“At some point I came to realise that everything surrounding me can be material for an artistic work, absolutely everything. To begin with, because I had no money and worked relatively quickly, I used scraps of wood and cans. Then I used old clothing, which did not cost anything, before ultimately realising that I could actually use anything around me. That was the decisive step, as then anything was possible.”
- Erwin Wurm
Image courtesy of YSP
Introducing us to Wurm’s philosophical contemplation, the exhibition title Trap of the Truth refers to the thinking of influential 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes, who set out to interrogate the subjectivity of truth. This questioning of reality is immortalised in the phrase “I think, therefore I am”.
Outdoors, 19 sculptures will occupy YSP’s heritage landscape, including new and never-before-seen works. Three sculptures from Wurm’s Bags series explore consumer culture and objects of status. They include the five-metre-tall, pastel blue Big Step (2021), which takes the form of the Hermès Birkin bag, a contemporary symbol of prestige and wealth, and is personified with long elegant legs appearing to be walking purposefully. Dance (2021) and Trip (2021) – a briefcase and suitcase respectively – complete the series, with their long, dynamic legs giving a sense of human life within the landscape.
“Erwin Wurm’s sculpture will be a riot of expression and colour against the green Yorkshire landscape and in the galleries. His imaginative powers are limitless, and we hope that visitors will be inspired, energised, confounded, and amused by sculptures that portray familiar objects but in a way that is entirely unexpected. Couture handbags grow long legs and arms and have real attitude; a four-metre-high hot water bottle becomes a big, warm mother; a real truck bends and climbs a gallery wall; a gigantic gherkin stands proud. Wurm draws attention to the ways in which humans conform to society’s demands, to the psychological impact of contemporary culture, and to how we use history and tradition to scaffold our lives. The exhibition will provoke and captivate and it’s a great pleasure and privilege to stage Erwin Wurm’s first museum show in the UK.”
- Clare Lilley, Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Image courtesy of Warrington Museum & Art Gallery artist Val Hunt
Our planet is home to an amazing variety of creatures, from the tiniest insects to magnificent beasts, but many of them are at risk of extinction. Find out about the importance of biodiversity and what we can do to help in this new family-friendly exhibition. The exhibition features sculptures by creative recycling artist Val Hunt,paintings by young conservationist Aneeshwar Kunchala alongside items from the museum’s collection.
Val Hunt retrieves those everyday things we throw away and presents them in a new and fascinating dimension. Her work recycles a diverse selection of rubbish but her favourite material is drinks can metal. From this she creates innovative sculptures, wall hangings, hats and jewellery. Val has two, solo touring exhibitions. Reincarnated Rubbish and the environmental exhibition, Reincarnated Rubbish-Endangered and Extinct.
These exhibitions aim to inspire, inform and encourage everyone to experience the fun of creative recycling.
8 July 2023 – 14 Jan 2024 Gallery 8
Left: Detail from Daniel Crews-Chubb's 3 Immortals (ultramarine blue) and (right) the artist in the Ashmolean's Cast Gallery
This summer, the Ashmolean launches a new exhibition series of contemporary art: Ashmolean NOW. Contemporary artists are invited to create new work inspired by the Ashmolean’s historical collections.
The first exhibition is dedicated to contemporary painting. It juxtaposes the work of two London-based painters, Flora Yukhnovich and Daniel Crews-Chubb.
Despite stylistic differences, the work of both artists links art historical inspirations with a dynamic and contemporary painterly language. The paintings displayed, all made specifically for this exhibition, convey a timeless passion for the medium of painting, its materials and processes.
Daniel Crews-Chubb (b. 1984) will present a group of large-scale paintings that take inspiration from ancient sculptures of deities and non-human figures found in the Ashmolean.
These ‘immortals’, as Crews-Chubb calls his fantastical figures, are created through a laborious process of addition and revision including drawing, impasto, and collage.
The textured patchwork of his canvases gives Crews-Chubb’s monumental subjects a three-dimensional presence that, as he describes, ‘corrodes the boundary between painting and sculpture’.
Left: Detail from Flora Yukhnovich's Honey Trap, 2022, inspired by artworks in the Ashmolean's Still Life Paintings gallery, such as Willem van Aelst's A Vase of Flowers with a Watch (right)
Her large-sized paintings feature intense red, pink, peach and green colours and an abstracted painterly language. Circular forms and soft contours suggest organic growth, while glowing light and dark contrasts create an illusion of three-dimensional depth.
Yukhnovich's work playfully and critically explores different notions of femininity in the history of art and popular culture, looking at contrasting stereotypes like ‘virtuous’ and ‘monstrous’ women.
I have had a strong interest in the visual and creative arts since a very early age. After completing an Art and Design Degree and Post graduate studies I have taught Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, Textile design , Fine Art print and Illustration for over 20 years. Before teaching I was a freelance artist and illustrator and decided 4 years ago I would return to freelance and commissioned work. I have created many domestic and commercial murals for hospitals and hospices. I work part time for ARTdiscount as a content creator and product tester.
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