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The celebrated 18th-century Spanish painter and etcher Francisco JosÃ© de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) was in his seventies and recovering from a serious illness when he made his last series of powerful prints, The Disparates. Depicting the folly of mankind, these etchings, produced between 1819 and 1824, are a savage satirical attack on the political and social customs of his day. Unpublished during Goya's lifetime, the etchings were hidden away in Spain after the artist's self-imposed exile to Bordeaux.
Dark in mood and similar to the terrifying 'black paintings' with which he decorated his house, The Disparates were produced while Goya was living in the Quinta del Sordo (the House of the Deaf Man), on the outskirts of Madrid. These are amongst his most disturbing and obscure plates and convey Goya's unsettled state of mind. Spain had returned to a dictatorship after a brief liberal period, and many of Goya's works, including a series of macabre etchings titled The Disasters of War, were not published under the oppressive climate of the Inquisition.
The New Art Gallery Walsall is pleased to present the first major solo show in Britain by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Joana creates large-scale sculptures, frequently made with familiar, domestic objects. They are witty, colourful, engaging and provocative. This exhibition will provide a valuable opportunity to view some of her most important large-scale works in one space.
This exhibition by Birmingham-based British photographer Andrew Jackson brings together a series of photographs produced over two extended visits to Cape Town. Jackson's observations focus on urban spaces and the sense that the emerging South Africa is increasingly symbolised by its cities.
FOCAL POINT GALLERY
Daley Thompson Portrait
By David Buckland
Many people define Daley Thompson as Englands greatest athlete. Born in Worcester Park, England in 1958 he is of Nigerian and Scottish heritage. He is a former decathlete from England winning the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, breaking the world record for the event four times. After winning two Olympic decathlon gold medals in 1980 and 1984, Thomson competed for an unprecedented third Olympic decathlon gold at the 1988 Seoul Games but was hampered by injury and could only finish fourth. Thompson was the first athlete to simultaneously hold Olympic, Commonweath, European and world titles in a single event.
A Thousands Faces
A Thousand Faces - Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Walsall and Willenhall 2007
Ming De Nasty has been commissioned to make photographic portraits of people from the markets and high streets of the main towns of the Borough of Walsall, Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Walsall and Willenhall.
Hundreds of people have participated in this mammoth photographic portrait which will be displayed in the form of a giant wall hanging in the main hall in the Garman Ryan Collection.
Out of the Box
Interventions in the Garman Ryan Collection
The New Art Gallery Walsall collects many diverse art works both historic and contemporary. Fitting seamlessly into the Garman Ryan Collection, the contemporary works enliven the thematic display which Kathleen Epstein decided upon when she gave the amazing gift of the collection to Walsall in 1972. Their presence enables us to view the contemporary works in the light of other similarly themed historic artworks, making connections between old and new art.
Including works by: Tim Braden, Melanie Carvalho, Helen Chadwick, Jake and Dinos Champman, Martin Creed,
James Steel staircases
Nathan Coley, Tracey Emin, Ron Mueck, Ana Maria Pacheco, Shanti Panchal, Gurminder Sikand, David Thorpe, Gavin Turk and Richard Wentworth.
Celebration of the Bi-Centenary
Many people from Walsall's Afro-Caribbean communities will work with artist Pauline Bailey to create a sculpture to commemorate the bi-centenary of the abolition of Slavery Act.
A partnership project between The New Art Gallery Walsall, Acserg and The Creative Development Team. Funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund
Walsall Society of Artists
The annual display by local amateur artists accompanied by demonstrations each weekend of the exhibition. An area for visitors to try their hand at watercolour painting has become a regular and popular feature of this exhibition.
JANE AND LOUISE WILSON
This exhibition, originally shown at Haunch of Venison in Zurich, consists of large scale photographs and a multi-screen installation.
The black and white photographs show decayed, abandoned coastal bunkers. Though monolithic and compelling, these now useless edifices have become merely repositories for graffiti and litter, perhaps a place for shelter for local tramps. They occupy a place between land and sea. Though they carry the scars of battle, they seem now to defy any sense of time and place.
In the multi-screen installation, an exploration of the bunkers is inter-cut with footage of a rare deep sea squid, the Vampire Squid. Though only around 15-30 cm in size, it possesses the largest eye proportional to its body of any known creature. Its body is also studded with small light-producing organs called photophores, which are turned on and off to ensure either invisibility or defensive flashes. The eye of the squid seems to embody both the eye of the spectator and also of the camera as it moves constantly and fluidly through the sea or over the surfaces of the bunkers.
Jane and Louise Wilson have frequently explored relationships with architectural space and particularly those spaces which resonate with associations of power and control. Other works have focused on the old Greenham Common missile site, the derelict Stasi headquarters and the empty pavilion of Victor Pasmore.
Born in 1934, John Pickering trained in classical sculpture and life drawing at Bilston and Birmingham Schools of Art. For a number of years following art school, he worked as a stone carver on projects including Saint Philip's Cathedral in Birmingham and as an assistant in a wood pattern-making factory.
During the 1970s, Pickering found intuitive art an increasingly inadequate vehicle for his ideas. So, he turned to the rigour of geometry, and more specifically, the inversion principle (MPÂ•MO=MRÂ²). It is inversion's infinite generation of spatial transformations and sensual curves which has formed the basis of all his subsequent work.
John Pickering has not conceived his structures as being rooted in space; many can be rotated through 90 or 180 degrees. He has also intended that his structures, subject to structural engineering and the use of hi-tech construction materials, be interpreted on an architectural scale.
CHRISTOPHER LE BRUN
A selected survey exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture from the last 30 years which shows how Le Brun is still evolving as an artist. Le Brun's work moves effortlessly between figuration and abstraction and he clearly enjoys the physicality of paint. A repertoire of symbolic forms and underlying themes re-occur throughout his work. He cites influences as diverse as MallarmÃ©, Delacroix and Philip Guston.
A catalogue will accompany this exhibition.
In and around
Robert Bevan - Breton women outside church
Queen Charlotte Islands - Eagle - Haida people