A HAYWARD GALLERY TOURING EXHIBITION: British Art Show 6
28 January – 2 April 2006
Saskia Olde Wolbers
Tours to venues across the cities of Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol
Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
The British Art Show occurs every five years, and is the largest and most ambitious survey of recent developments in art from the UK. Organised by the Hayward Gallery, the British Art Show 6 opens at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on 24 September 2005, and tours to venues across Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol. All 50 artists and artists’ groups featured work in Britain, and together represent the breadth and vitality of current British practice.
In developing the shortlist for the British Art Show 6, curators Andrea Schlieker and Alex Farquharson travelled extensively throughout the UK and considered the work of over 500 artists. They said: ‘It is a particularly exciting moment for us to assemble this exhibition, as the art scene in Britain is now broader in outlook, more vibrant and internationally oriented than at any other time in the British Art Show’s 26-year history.’
The range of practices represented is equally varied, with a number of artists working across several disciplines, from sculpture, painting, film and video to performance. British Art Show 6 also includes several commissions for projects in the public realm. For the first time since the British Art Show was launched in 1979, 50% of the artists featured in the exhibition are women and 50% were born outside of the UK.
As well as broadening in scope, the British Art Show 6 goes beyond the conventions of a touring exhibition, evolving as it moves to each host city. It features off-site works, a Live Art programme, and works that respond to the venues, cities and audiences on the tour. Where relevant, some artists are represented by different works in different cities.
Speaking about the exhibition, the curators said: ‘We noticed several interlocking themes that characterise much of the art we encountered – there are frequent references to specific moments in the history of modernism; several artists are engaging with international politics from a personal perspective, and collaborations are increasingly sought with people and organisations beyond the art institution. References to architecture, the urban environment, landscape and ecology are equally prevalent’.
GATESHEAD 24 Sept 2005 – 8 Jan 2006
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
MANCHESTER 28 Jan – 2 Apr 2006
Castlefield Art Gallery; Chinese Arts Centre; Cornerhouse; The International 3; Manchester Art Gallery; Urbis; The Whitworth Art Gallery
NOTTINGHAM 22 Apr – 25 Jun 2006
Angel Row Gallery; New Art Exchange; The Bonington Gallery; Djanogly Art Gallery; Nottingham Castle;