Exhibition

Art in an Electric Atmosphere: the Library and Archive of Herbert Read

2 Sep 2019 – 1 Aug 2020

Cost of entry

FREE

Treasures of the Brotherton

Leeds
England, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • A number of bus services run from the city centre to the Parkinson Building. Take bus numbers 1, 6, 28, 56, or 97. Ask for the “Parkinson steps” bus stop.
  • The galleries are 1.1 miles from Leeds Railway Station. The station is about a 20-minute walk, 15-minute bus ride, or 10-minute taxi ride away from the Parkinson Building.

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Who was Herbert Read? Discover the life of an anarchist, art critic and poet.

About

Delve into the contradictions in the life of Sir Herbert Read, who gained a considerable international reputation as a poet, critic, anarchist, educationalist, historian and philosopher.

Guest-curated by artist Stephen Sutcliffe and arts organisation Pavilion this exhibition comprises over 165 items from Read’s archive and library. It has been put together with a collagist’s sensibility to reflect the contradictory life of the man himself.

The son of a farmer, Read was raised in Yorkshire and studied at the University of Leeds. In 1915 he went to fight in the First World War, emerging in 1918 as a decorated hero, committed pacifist and published poet. He went on to be one of the most important cultural figures of the day, co-founding the Institute of Contemporary Arts with Roland Penrose.

Using Read’s own collection, the exhibition gives a unique glimpse into the private life of this multi-talented man. On display is everything from the mundane, such as a 1964 receipt for a domestic dishwasher, to the extraordinary, like a postcard sent to Read by Pablo Picasso.

Central to the exhibition is a new projected video work by Glasgow-based and Yorkshire-born collage artist Stephen Sutcliffe.

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