British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet

Past exhibition
Hayward Gallery Touring

Installation View at British Art Show 7 at Nottingham Castle
Nathaniel Mellors, Ourhouse (detail), 2010 (c) the artist. British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet (installation view), New Art Exchange, Nottingham, 2010. Photo: Alexander Newton

This mixed-media exhibition with work by 39 British artists looked at the idea of the comet as a harbinger of change

Widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art, the British Art Show is organised by the Hayward Gallery and has taken place every five years since 1979.

Through paintings, sculpture, installations, video, film and performance, British Art Show 7  explored the ways in which artists conjure histories – distant or near, longingly imagined or all too real – to illuminate our present moment.

Subtitled 'In the Days of the Comet', British Art Show 7 took as its motif the idea of the comet as a harbinger of change, a measure of time and a marker of historical recurrence. Besides reflecting these and other cosmological concepts, the works proposed alternative ways of thinking about the 'here and now'. Many of the 39 artists and artists' groups made works especially for the exhibition.

Touring to four cities including London, where it was shown at the Hayward, BAS 7 featured a number of premieres, including new films by Elizabeth Price, Christian Marclay, Luke Fowler and Nathaniel Mellors. The Hayward showing featured newly produced works by Steve Claydon, Charles Avery and Tris Vonna-Michell.

Curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton, British Art Show 7 opened in Nottingham and, following its London showing at the Hayward Gallery, travelled to Glasgow and Plymouth.

Featured artist:

Charles Avery, Karla Black, Becky Beasley, Juliette Blightman, Duncan Campbell, Varda Caivano, Spartacus Chetwynd, Steven Claydon, Cullinan Richards, Matthew Darbyshire, Milena Dragicevic, Luke Fowler, Michael Fullerton, Alasdair Gray, Brian Griffiths, Roger Hiorns, Ian Kiaer, Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Sarah Lucas, Christian Marclay, Simon Martin, Nathaniel Mellors, Haroon Mirza, David Noonan, The Otolith Group, Mick Peter, Gail Pickering, Olivia Plender, Elizabeth Price, Karin Ruggaber, Edgar Schmitz, Maaike Schoorel, George Shaw, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sue Tompkins, Phoebe Unwin, Tris Vonna-Michell, Emily Wardill and Keith Wilson.

Exhibition venues

This exhibition toured to the following venues:

  • Nottingham:  New Art Exchange, Nottingham Castle Museum, Nottingham Contemporary
  • London: Hayward Gallery
  • Glasgow: Centre for Contemporary Art Gallery of Modern Art, Tramway
  • Plymouth: Peninsula Arts, Plymouth Arts Centre Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, The Slaughterhouse, Royal William Yard
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