In late 2010, I curated an exhibition of contemporary art over three venues, choosing artists who look specifically at history within their work – be it visually (through use of, and comment on, a particular medium/material), culturally and politically (critique of gender representation, and of certain sections of historical societies), or through other methodological frameworks. The resulting show, Young Masters Revisited, was kindly sponsored by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery.
At Sphinx Fine Art on Kensington Church Street, I was able to work with the gallery’s large collection of Old Master works from the 17th to 19th centuries and hang examples alongside contemporary works. Particular highlights included Lucas Cranach the Younger, Sassoferrato, Willem Kalf and Gustave Courbet, with which works by Briony Anderson, Leigh Chorlton, Victoria Hall, Karen Knorr and others were paired or hung nearby.
At the Old Truman Brewery, a large and now defunct brewing complex on Brick Lane, I looked at the work of the same contemporary artists, as well as others not displayed at Sphinx, in isolation from these histories. I recreated a Long Gallery space within the industrial white space of the brewery with works opposite each other in a more confrontational arrangement than had been possible or appropriate at Sphinx. Ghost of a Dream created a large room-like installation of mirrors and chandeliers, as well as a specially made light box for the show, and other artists exhibited new photographic, painted, and sculpted works in a variety of media: from porcelain and fibre optics to lottery tickets and woodcuts. Highlights included Katsutoshi Yuasa, Charlotte Bracegirdle and Claire Partington.
The Courtauld Institute of Art once again provided hospitality to a flailing student, enabling me to mount a solo exhibition of wall-mounted polyptychs by Lluis Barba for the Autumn of 2010. This included an impressive reworking of Hieronymous Bosch’s Haywain (c.1485-90).