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British Art Show opens at Hayward Gallery

  • Date: 21 February 2011
  • Area: London
Painting of boy under patchwork quilt

Andrew Gray Aged 7 and Inge’s Patchwork Quilt by Alasdair Gray, 2009. Credit: Alasdair Gray. Courtesy the artist and Sorcha Dallas

The British Art Show opened last week at London's Hayward Gallery.

The contemporary art show, organised by Hayward Touring exhibitions, takes place every five years, visiting four different cities across the UK. This year's show features a London exhibition for the first time in 21 years, with additional exhibitions in Nottingham, Glasgow and Plymouth. Both Hayward Touring and the Hayward Gallery are publicly funded through Arts Council England.

Curators Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton have selected the 39 artists for the show, on the grounds of their significant contribution to international contemporary art in the last five years. The artworks included have been produced since 2005 and encompass sculpture, painting, installation, drawing, photography, film, video and performance.

Among those exhibiting are Sarah Lucas; Christian Marclay; Charles Avery; Anja Kirschner and David Panos; Roger Hiorns; Juliette Blightman and Alasdair Gray, with many artists creating new works especially for the exhibition.

Subtitled In the Days of the Comet, British Art Show 7 uses the motif of the comet to represent four themes: the measurement of time, historical recurrence, parallel worlds and change. Feeding from the idea of change, each of the four exhibitions is unique and new works are revealed in each city. Outside of London the show is split across venues, while the exhibition is united under one roof in the Hayward. 

Highlights from the London exhibition include a rare full screening of Christian Marclay's cinematic collage and 24 hour working timepiece, The Clock; a specially commissioned bell by Steven Claydon, cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which will chime 21 times a day; and a series of performances, talks and screenings from participating artists.

British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet runs from 16 February to 17 April at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London.

For more information visit the British Art Show website.