Abstract Art at the Tate and The Indiscipline of Painting

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‘The Indiscipline of Painting’ was an exhibition of abstract painters at the Tate St Ives gallery in Cornwall, celebrated for its association with avant-garde artists including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Naum Garbo and Peter Lanyon who gave the small fishing village its international reputation. The show includes work from 49 international artists from the 1960s to the present day and features paintings by Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Bridget Riley, as well as contemporary artists such as Jeremy Moon and Tomma Abts, who won the Turner Prize in 2006.

The painter, Daniel Sturgis, who conceived the idea for this retrospective, wanted to explore the continuing legacy of abstract painting and how it has changed and evolved over the decades as new generations have embraced and reinvented the language of abstraction. He collaborated with Sarah Shalgosky, curator of the Mead Gallery at the Warwick Arts Centre where the exhibition will move in January 2012.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 8.45.28 AMThe HiBROW production team visited the exhibition and its curators in the run-up to the show’s opening in St Ives in October 2011. HiBROW was there to explore the ideas behind the show, to witness its mounting, interview several of the featured artists and to engage with the wider artistic life of St Ives and the surrounding area – a region renowned for supporting and offering a home to artists. The resulting films will offer a special insight into the relationship between painters and the public, artists and galleries, ideas and artworks.

HiBROW also spoke at length with Tate St Ives artistic director Martin Clark whose team mounted the show; discovered a satellite art show at the local Newlyn Art Gallery; attended a lecture at University College Falmouth by artist and critic Michael Craig-Martin; visited a local painter, Naomi Frears, who contextualised the St Ives tradition; and observed celebrated Swiss painter Francis Baudevin creating a specially commissioned mural on the wall of the Tate’s famous atrium.

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