Famous artists create conversation in the Black Country
The University of Wolverhampton and The New Art Gallery Walsall hosted a visit by internationally renowned artist, Gilbert & George, as part of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA).
The visit is part of a nationwide programme of in-conversations, exhibitions and events in celebration of the Royal Academy with Art Fund support – the national fundraising charity for art.
Gilbert & George are a Turner Prize-winning artists who create art together as one artist. The Turner Prize winning artist is based in the East End of London and began creating art in 1967 when they met at St Martin’s School of Art.
The internationally renowned artist visited the Black Country, attending the Wolverhampton School of Art Master’s (MA) students’ Fine Art Exhibition at The New Art Gallery in Walsall and then visiting the Wolverhampton School of Art (est. 1851) for a tour. They then took part in an ‘In Conversation’ event in the University’s Chancellor’s Hall at City Campus hosted by Stephen Snoddy, Director of The New Art Gallery Walsall. Over 100 people were in attendance, including classes from local schools and colleges.
Gilbert & George’s approach to art is anti-elitist and has adopted the slogan ‘Art for All.
Sam Hope, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We were thrilled to host a visit by Gilbert & George who are recognised across the world for their art.
“The opportunity for our art, design and media students, the Friends of the Wolverhampton School of Art and the wider public, to engage with Gilbert & George is a real coup for art and culture in the Midlands.
“We showcased the best that the Black Country has to offer with a tour of our nationally recognised art galleries in Walsall and Wolverhampton as well as introducing them to the fantastic work of our art students at the Wolverhampton School of Art covering a range of disciplines from Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, Sculpture, Film, Animation and Ceramics.”
Stephen Snoddy, Director of The New Art Gallery Walsall, said: “Gilbert & George are icons of contemporary art. Their work amuses, shocks, provokes and raises fundamental questions about birth, love, death, sex and religion.”
Gilbert & George has received acclaim with extensive solo exhibitions in the UK, USA, France, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Russia and China; numerous Honorary Doctorates from academic institutions including Plymouth University; and awards such as the Special International Award, the South Bank Award and the Lorenzo il Magnifico Award.
In 1986 they won the Turner Prize which is widely considered to be the UK’s most prestigious contemporary art award. In 2005 they represented the UK at prestigious international art exhibition, the Venice Biennale and in 2007 Tate Modern held a retrospective of their work. In 2017, the artists celebrated their 50th anniversary
Art galleries and museums across the country are joining the Royal Academy to celebrate 250 years of making, debating and exhibiting art.
The Wolverhampton School of Art MA Fine Art Exhibition is opening on Tuesday 18th September 2018 at The New Art Gallery Walsall at 6.00 pm with Gilbert & George as special guests.
The Wolverhampton School of Art is supported by the Friends of the Wolverhampton School of Art.