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REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting

Bacon, Freud and Hockney on show at Walker Art Gallery

REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting is a vibrant new exhibition which runs at the Walker Art Gallery from 10 July until 29 November 2015. Curated by artist Chris Stevens and organised by the Sainsbury Centre, the exhibition brings together over 50 works celebrating the strength of British painting, with some of the best and most influential artists of the last 60 years.

Major 20th-century artists are represented, such as Walter Sickert, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and LS Lowry, alongside contemporary painters including John Keane, Ken Currie, Paula Rego and George Shaw.

Uncompromising and direct, the work of each artist represented retains a strong reference to the real world, ‘the stuff of life’. While, some might argue, painting has been eclipsed in the media in recent decades by minimal and conceptual art, installation, photography and film, REALITY testifies to the survival of painting as a medium and reveals the impact of British painting today.

Commenting on the exhibition, guest curator Chris Stevens, whose work also features in the exhibition, said:

“It is an enormous privilege to bring together in one exhibition a group of artists who have been a major influence on my personal development as a painter.

“The painters in this exhibition have been selected under the banner of Realism through their interest in everyday subject matter. Each painter is figurative or representational in nature and yet REALITY will present an extraordinary overview of artists, all with highly individual approaches towards the making of a painting.”

The artists tackle a diverse range of subjects, referencing the body, relationships, history, politics, war, the urban environment and social issues. Despite these different references, the works are all united by two things: the harsh realities that have concerned key British artists over the decades, and the simple act of painting.

Ann Bukantas, Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool, said:

“REALITY presents a superb selection of modern and contemporary British art which we’re really looking forward to showcasing at the Gallery.

“The Walker Art Gallery has a long history of championing British painting, notably through the John Moores Painting Prize, which has provided a stage for some of today’s most renowned contemporary artists – some of whose work features in this incredibly exciting exhibition.”

The Walker Art Gallery, located on William Brown Street, Liverpool, is open daily from 10am-5pm. Entry to the Gallery and exhibitions is free. For more information, visit liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker

REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting was organised by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia.

REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting features works from the following artists:

Francis Bacon, Tony Bevan, John Bratby, Cecily Brown, Katarzyna Coleman, Graham Crowley, Ken Currie, Dexter Dalwood, Peter Doig, Lucian Freud, Philip Harris, Clive Head, David Hepher, David Hockney, Luke Jackson, Chantal Joffe, John Keane, L.S. Lowry, Alan MacDonald, Jock McFadyen, Paula Rego, Ray Richardson, Terry Setch, George Shaw, Walter Sickert, Chris Stevens, Caroline Walker, Alison Watt, Carel Weight.

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