News

‘The Shape of Things: Still Life in Britain’ (11 May 2024 – 20 October 2024)

Barnes

Join us for the first major exhibition to explore British still life.

The Shape of Things questions the idea that still life is a lesser genre, showing how important it is to artists and society. Featuring a ‘Who’s Who’ of Modern and Contemporary British artists, the exhibition digs into still life’s rich symbolism and how it’s pushed boundaries and new ideas.

The exhibition will shift from 17th-century ‘vanitas’ paintings to post-impressionism to abstraction and from pop to conceptual art. It will invite viewers to think about life’s challenges, such as love and grief, identity and the subconscious, life and death and plenty and waste. Today, these challenges also include biodiversity loss, the legacy of colonialism, and climate change.

On display will be a selection of works by modern and contemporary artists in Britain including Hurvin Anderson, Vanessa Bell, Edward Burra, Patrick CaulfieldLucian FreudGluckDuncan GrantRichard Hamilton, Mona Hatoum, Jann Haworth, David Hockney, Lee Miller, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, William Nicholson, Eric Ravilious, Anwar Jalal Shemza, William Scott, Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer, Edmund de Waal, Rachel Whiteread and Clare Woods. The exhibition will look at how these artists have used traditional art history to express the complexities of the human condition.

Phoebe Cummings, an artist working with clay, will create a site-specific installation for this exhibition – Phoebe Cummings: I hear myself with my throat