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The British Art Show is widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art. Organised by Hayward Touring, it takes place every five years and tours to four different cities across the UK. Now in its seventh incarnation the British Art Show opens in Nottingham, and tours for the first time in 20 years to the Hayward Gallery, followed by venues in Glasgow and Plymouth. It is curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton.
The 39 selected artists have been chosen on the grounds of their significant contribution to contemporary art in the last five years. All artworks included have been produced since 2005 and encompass sculpture, painting, installation, drawing, photography, film, video and performance, with many artists creating new works especially for the exhibition. British Art Show 7 will mark a change in direction from previous years, moving away from the model of a survey show to an exhibition with a marked curatorial focus.
"The British Art Show has always been at the forefront of innovation, and this incarnation is no exception." Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery
Subtitled In the Days of the Comet, British Art Show 7 employs the motif of the comet to explore and draw together a set of concerns that thread their way through the practices of the selected artists. Here the comet alludes to the measuring of time, to historical recurrence, and to parallel worlds. Comets are also commonly understood as harbingers of change, and fittingly the exhibition will evolve as it moves from city to city, revealing new works at different venues, creating a unique exhibition in each host city.
"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." Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton, Curators of British Art Show 7.
Lisa Le Feuvre is a curator and writer based in London. She teaches on the postgraduate Curatorial Programme in the Department of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Between 2005 and 2009 she directed the contemporary art programme at the National Maritime Museum. Le Feuvre’s other curatorial projects have been staged in spaces across the UK, including the CCA, Glasgow; The Photographers’ Gallery, London; MOT, London; Stills, Edinburgh; and Arts Council England; working with artists including Gordon Matta-Clark, Dennis Oppenheim, Alexander & Susan Maris and Joachim Koester. Le Feuvre regularly contributes to journals, publications and exhibition catalogues, with her edited publication Failure published by Whitechapel Art Gallery/MIT Press in 2010.
Tom Morton is a curator and writer living in London, UK. He is currently a curator at the Hayward Gallery, London, where he has recently organised exhibitions by Cyprien Gaillard, Matthew Darbyshire, and group show Deceitful Moon. He was previously curator of Cubitt Gallery, London, where he organised exhibitions by Charles Avery, Matthew Day Jackson, and Annika Eriksson, among others. He curated the exhibition How to Endure for the 2007 Athens Biennale, and was co-curator of the 2008 Busan Biennale, South Korea. Morton has been Contributing Editor of frieze magazine since 2003, and also writes regularly for Bidoun and Metropolis M. He is the author of numerous exhibition catalogues essays, on artists including Roger Hiorns, Erik van Lieshout, Pierre Huyghe, Glenn Brown, Andro Wekua and Victor Man.