Wednesday 3rd August 2011 Art Walk Schedule

5.30 pm – PSL: Young Hunters (A on map)
6.15 pm – Leeds Art Gallery: Damien Hirst & A Series of Artworks Carefully Arranged (B on map)
7.00 pm – Henry Moore Institute: Mario Merz, What is to be done? (C on map)

Meet at 5.30 at PSL [Project Space Leeds]. This month the walk will involve approximately 15 minutes of walking in total, see below for a map of our route.

The Leeds Art Walk is a monthly tour of exhibitions in Leeds led by Pavilion and artist Amelia Crouch. The Leeds Art Walk takes place on the first Wednesday of every month and is free and open to all.

For more information please contact or 0113 242 5100

More about the exhibitons:

Young Hunters

An exhibition by young people inspired by the Artemis collection and the Hunter Gatherer exhibition at PSL.

Between May and July 2011, PSL partnered young people (15-17 years old) with their own mentor, all of whom are professional artists. The aim of the project has been to give young people an insight into how professional artists work and to give them space and time to think and create work themselves as artists.

Damien Hirst, Artist Rooms

A major new exhibition of work by Damien Hirst forms part of the national ARTIST ROOMS programme which will see collections of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland going on display at venues around the country.

Hirst has strong links with Leeds, as he grew up in the city and also attended Leeds College of Art and Design before shooting to national and international prominence in the mid-1990s with his groundbreaking and controversial use of animals preserved in formaldehyde in many of his works.

The Leeds Art Gallery exhibition will be the first dedicated display of Hirst’s work ever seen in Leeds, and will trace the artist’s career from his student days to his later works after he had established himself as one of the world’s highest profile artists. The key ideas behind his career – birth, illness, death and religion – will all be identifiable in the display, and it will include one of his seminal works ‘Away from the Flock’ which was first exhibited in 1994 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

A Series of Artworks Carefully Arranged

Inspired by Damien Hirst’s Artist room, an exhibition of gallery artworks selected by young people studying Visual Communication at Leeds College of Art

“We are a group of self-selected students studying BA (Hons) Visual  Communications at Leeds College of Art, invited by the Gallery to curate an exhibition inspired by ARTIST ROOMS: Damien Hirst.

Since the project first began in September 2010, we have had many meetings, workshops and conversations, both as a team and alongside Gallery staff. We have worked on all areas of exhibition organisation and curatorial practise including: theme development, selection of artworks, exhibition display and interpretation. Two of us will be working with audiences to stimulate enjoyment and exploration of our exhibition theme over the summer.

Visits to the Gallery stores and conversations with the Gallery’s Curator of Contemporary Art, greatly influenced the final choices for our exhibition. In the end, we selected 19 artworks from Leeds Museums and Galleries’ collections, bringing together historical and contemporary Art. In the exhibition and Artspace are interactive artworks presenting our own responses to the theme. These invite our audiences to become part of the dynamic of the exhibition; a performance in itself.”

Mario Merz: What is to be done?

Mario Merz (1925 – 2003) was a leading figure of Arte Povera, a term referring to a loose grouping of Italian artists who turned their attention to their surrounding environment in the immediate post-war period. Merz rethought the possibilities of sculpture by observing the world around him. The title of this exhibition is a question central to Merz’s approach to art making. His work was driven by asking: what can an artist do in the face of a precarious future?

Along with other Arte Povera artists, Merz turned away from representing modernity for its own sake, instead seeking to explore the role of art in day-to-day human experience, turning to materials that were ready at hand. In Merz’s case, these include glass, metal tubing, blankets, bottles, wood shavings and neon, the focus of the selection of works in this exhibition.  His sculptures also respond to systems that form our natural surroundings, such as the mathematical Fibonacci sequence.

The exhibition presents twelve works made between 1966 and 1977; many have been rarely exhibited in the last four decades. ‘Automobile pierced by neon’ (1969-82) is a Simca 1000 car impaled with arrows of light from a neon tube; ‘What is to be done?’ (1968-73) poses the question of this exhibition’s title in neon on a bed of wax; and ‘Object hide yourself'(1968) is one of Merz’s distinctive igloos, built from bags filled with wood shavings circled by his own neon-lit handwriting.*

Merz began using neon in 1966, seeking to find a contrast between natural phenomena and the logical that would complicate and energise his chosen materials. The neon passes through different forms – here at the Henry Moore Institute these include a car, bottle, blankets, glass and wax. Merz described his use of neon operating as ‘a kind of thunderbolt that would enter objects’.

Alongside the selected works, two film portraits of the artist will be displayed, one by Gerry Schum (‘Lumaca’, 1970 from the Identifications series) and the other by Tacita Dean (‘Mario Merz’, 2002), who has recently been commissioned by Tate Modern to create the next installation in the Turbine Hall. Schum’s film shows Merz in a natural setting, drawing a snail spiral following the Fibonacci sequence directly on to the screen. Dean’s ‘Mario Merz’ shows the aging Merz in Tuscany, sitting in silence with a large pinecone in his hand. Both films are a study of light in space and form in nature – core ideas in Merz’s sculptural work.

To complement the main gallery show, on Thursday 27th October, there will be a one-day Mario Merz conference, The Politics of Protagonism, which looks at the social and political ambitions of Merz’s 1960s and 1970s work. Speakers include Lisa Le Feuvre, Nicholas Cullinan and Martin Holman. Additionally, there will also be a series of talks and an essay in the Institute’s Essays on Sculpture series.




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