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Posts tagged with 'contemporary art'

Shark Fin Soup sculpture

28 March 2013 by Lisa

There’s a lot of variety in the artwork included in ‘New Works at the Walker’ and we think this helps make it a fascinating exhibition. You can see everything from sculpture and paintings to video installations and costume. Here’s the curator of the exhibition, Lucy Gardner, to tell us about one of the more unusual sculptures on display…


Woman looking into a suitcase containing shards of glass

This unusual sculpture is made from glass, mirror glass and leather suitcases.

“This wonderful, slightly surreal piece called ‘Shark Fin Soup’ was made by artist Johnathan Froud.

He cleverly uses mirror glass to create an illusion of space within the small confines of the suitcase. Froud is an artist know for using unusual materials to recreate and distort the reality with which we are all familiar. He wants to break away from restrictions, just as this shark fin has broken with convention by appearing to swim in this small case. Read more…

An inspiring International Women’s Day

8 March 2013 by Lisa

Etching of a woman having a 'back street' abortion

Etchingsfrom Paula Rego’s abortion series.

Happy International Women’s Day! This day is the perfect time to stop and think about which women might be inspiring to you. Outside of family and friends, one person who I find inspiring is Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Two years ago I visited her dedicated museum ‘Casa das Histórias’ (‘House of Stories’) and was blown away by her work. It spans from etchings to installations to dramatic, large-scale paintings.

I admire her (and her work) as she is not afraid to show the experiences of women, especially exploring subjects which are often considered ‘difficult’ or controversial. You also get an idea of her personal experiences too, which I also find inspiring as I think she must be quite brave to expose her feelings in this way. Her work often has a sense of fear running through it – a feeling she has recently admitted is still a constant in her everyday life.  Read more…

Book sale bargains

3 January 2013 by Karen

A brightly coloured teaset

A divine Clarice Cliff ‘tea for two’ set from Age of Jazz.

As January is synonymous with sales and spring cleaning we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of a clear out in our book warehouse. So if you fancy bagging yourself a bargain then check out the offers on our online shop.

It’s an eclectic selection and there are some great books, my personal favourites being ‘When Time Began to Rant and Rage…’ which is a fab book of Irish figurative work and totally worth a fiver, Age of Jazz: British Arts Deco Ceramics as I’m a sucker for a deco teaset, and British Watercolours and Drawings from the Lady Lever’s collection.

If you’ve still not got a John Moores catalogue then now is the time to buy one as they’re reduced to £7.50. And if you buy it from the Walker shop you get the John Moores China version for free. Read more…

John Kirby – exploring Magritte

13 October 2011 by Lisa

Our curators at the Walker Art Gallery are currently working on a project with the contemporary artist, John Kirby, whose paintings have been compared to the work of René Magritte in the past.

Although John doesn’t really see this similarity himself, he still took up the invitation to visit the Magritte exhibition at Tate Liverpool when he visited recently. It turned out to be a revelation… 


John Kirby looking at paintings in the Walker

John Kirby having a look at paintings in the Walker before visiting Tate Liverpool.

Over the years, my work as an artist has occasionally been compared to that of the Belgian Surrealist, René Magritte. Although I found his work interesting I was never influenced by him as I was by say Edward Hopper, The American Realist painter or Balthus who depicted claustrophobic interiors charged with an uncomfortable eroticism.

I can see vague similarities in the way Magritte painted his rather stiff and secretive characters and I was once in a show of contemporary artists that seemed to the organisers at the Modern Art Museum in Ostend, Belgium to have an affinity with the Belgian artists but I was wary and a little bored by the assumed link. So when I was asked I visited the show at the Tate Liverpool, tired after a long day and without much enthusiasm. However, I was wrong to dismiss the artist. Read more…

We are the champions!

31 May 2011 by Lisa

It’s been an exciting time for us here at National Museums Liverpool as we have been happily weighed down with yet another award!

Angela Samata with the TMP Tourism Event of the Year award

The John Moores Painting Prize has beaten the rest in its field to be named Merseyside’s Tourism Event of the Year. The John Moores 2010 exhibition, which ran at the Walker Art Gallery from September to January, was the most successful ever in terms of visitor numbers.

Last Thursday the exhibition scooped the top prize at the Mersey Partnership Tourism Awards at the BT Convention Centre. It beat strong competition from the Grand National Festival, Mersey Ferries Manchester Ship Canal Cruise and Mersey Tunnel Tours. Read more…

Show Me the Walker

6 May 2011 by stepheng

Two male and one female competition judges

The three judges take a break.

 

I’m looking forward to BBC 2 screening Show Me the Monet from this Monday after organising and supervising the marathon filming sessions over a January weekend.

 

A film crew filled three of our galleries at the rear of the Walker Art Gallery to film this competition show being screened at 5.15 pm every weekday night from Monday 9 May to Friday 20 May.

 

In a nutshell it involves artists being grilled about their artworks by three critics – David Lee, Charlotte Mullins and Roy Bolton (pictured left to right). The aim is to be included in an exclusive exhibition at the Royal College of Art, next to London’s Albert Hall. Read more…

A Glass Act is Revealed

23 March 2011 by Lucy

This week, our guest-blogger in National Museums Liverpool press office is Jack Poland, who was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the new Museum of Liverpool.


Last week, I was one of a fortunate few to witness the unveiling of the iconic Liverpool Map as the Museum of Liverpool revealed its latest instalment.
The Liverpool Map

The Liverpool Map has been installed in the new Museum of Liverpool.

The map was the product of sculptors Jeffrey Sarmiento and Inge Panneels’ nine months of arduous work. It took little time, however, to acknowledge that such labour had well and truly paid off as the six-segment sculpture, each one weighing 100kg, was finally unveiled.

Even the picturesque Pier Head as its backdrop could not entice the viewing eyes away from the magnificent art piece which binds the geographical map of Liverpool with a cultural one. As light shines through the 17 layers of fused glass the map takes on a whole new level of interest. Hours upon hours of time are guaranteed to be lost when viewing the map as well known faces, places and words will burst out at every possible angle. The attention to detail of the artists was there for all to see, from the intricate implementation to the famous faces being placed as close as possible to their relevant geographical locations. Read more…

Record breaking John Moores!

16 December 2010 by Laura

Crowds in gallery

Record breaking visitor figures at 2010 John Moores Painting Prize

We were pretty confident this was a special exhibition but it is always nice when our visitors agree! Almost 47,000 people have visited since it opened its doors in September, making this the most popular ‘John Moores Painting Prize’ in the competition’s 53 year history!

The exhibition is open until 3 January 2011, but visitor figures already stand at 10,000 more than the final figure for the last exhibition in 2008, when Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture.

If you are stuck for Christmas present ideas or would just like a memento of this year’s fantastic exhibition why not pick up one of our exclusive Gary Hume badges at the Walker Art Gallery shop (£9.95)? All proceeds go towards funding future exhibitions. Read more…

Congratulations Cara!

9 December 2010 by Laura

We had some exciting news recently from one of the John Moores exhibitors, Cara Nahaul, who has been selected along with two other artists for the Jerwood Painting Fellowship 2011.

Painting

Cara’s painting “Somewhere between prayer and agenda”

Born in 1987, Cara is one of this year’s youngest exhibitors and is following in the foot steps of other John Moores artists whose inclusion in the exhibition has proved to be an important stepping stone in their career. One of the best examples being the artist Peter Doig, whose work broke records in 2007 when it sold for £5.7 million, and who has described his John Moores win in 1993 as a “pivotal point”. Read more…

Our Jason

7 December 2010 by Laura

Artist talks to audience in gallery

Jason discusses his colourful and complex painting.

Aaron Eastwood is a final year English student at the University of Liverpool and is currently volunteering with us in the press office. Yesterday he went along to the Walker Art Gallery to catch the last of the John Moores artist talks. Here is what he made of it:


Local artist Jason Thompson’s painting, ‘Refractions (Robert Hooke)’, stands proudly in this year’s John Moores Painting Prize as the first piece made by a National Museums Liverpool employee to be chosen for exhibition! Read more…