Compton Verney prepares for 20th birthday - The Leamington Observer

Compton Verney prepares for 20th birthday

Leamington Editorial 8th Dec, 2023   0

A NEW sculpture park will be unveiled at Compton Verney next year.

The country house art gallery near Wellesbourne will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year with its most wide-ranging programme to date.

The connection between landscape and creativity will take centre stage from March with the unveiling of a unique sculpture park.

It will feature works by eight contemporary artists from around the world, whose work will sit in the grounds laid out by famous landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in 1768.

The grouping of the sculptures has been inspired by the history and setting, but curators at Compton Verney say it will also challenge the idea of the 18th century landscape design as a form of ‘utopia’.

The sculpture park will include works from leading UK-based artists such as Sarah Lucas, who often uses ordinary objects to challenge sex, class and gender, Permindar Kaur, who commonly uses domestic items to question the meaning of ”home”, and British-Ghanian artist Larry Achiampong, whose work focuses on Pan African, future histories, speculative fiction and identity, both personal and communal.

Work from international artists will also feature, including London-based French artist Nicolas Deshayes, who explores organic and synthetic texture through his work, and Lithuanian artist Augustus Serapinas, who draws on his country’s history and culture to produce works made from found material and borrowed objects.

Two major figures in sculpture will also have their work featured. On display will be works by the late French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, best known for her monumental spider sculptures that feature in galleries worldwide, and the late Turner Prize-nominated British artist Helen Chadwick, who created works investigating ideas of gender and the body.

A number of exhibitions are also planned during the anniversary year to champion the work of women artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Louise Bourgeois, Paula Rego, Dora Carrington and more.

There will also be a major solo show by Chila Kumari Singh Burman, alongside an exhibition exploring the history of portrait miniatures from the 16th to the 19th century.

Compton Verney’s collections will also be explored in new ways, as artist-in-residence Gayle Chong Kwan unveils new work realised in the context of the 20/20 Project, inspired by the collection of ancient Chinese bronzes, and the panels of an 16th century altarpiece are reunited.

And an important new acquisition which made national headlines earlier this year will be displayed for the first time – Allegorical Portrait of Two Ladies, painted in the 1650s.

Painted by an unknown artist, this 17th century depiction of a black woman and a white woman sitting alongside each other is extremely rare.

The picture was saved for the nation by Compton Verney after the UK Government placed an export ban on its sale.

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