Concurrent exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery link two artists who were born and died within years of each other and shared many similarities but created remarkably different work. Their art has been little known but their impact on subsequent generations and contemporary artists is considerable.
Marlow Moss is now regarded as one of Britian’s most important Constructivist artists, though for many years her significance was overlooked. This exhibition presents paintings, reliefs and sculptures drawn from collections in the UK and Europe that are primarily concerned with an interrogation of space, movement and light. She lived and worked between Paris and Cornwall for much of her life, changing her name and permanently adopting a masculine appearance in 1919. The exhibition is supported by letters and photographs drawn from the Tate Archive.
Also at Leeds Art Gallery a closely linked exhibition considers the pioneering work of Claude Cahun, (1894-1954). Riveting photographic self-portraits show her acting out diverse identities both male and female in scenes that range from the starkly minimal to the elaborately staged. An avid participant in the cultural avant-garde of Paris in the 1920s and 30s mingling with many of the leading artists of her day, Cahun eventually moved to Jersey, in the Channel Islands where she was imprisoned during Nazi occupation.
This is the first time that work by these two artists has been shown together; an accompanying symposium on Thursday 12 June 2014 will introduce and contextualise their practice and look at their impact on contemporary artists working today.
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