Public View (4 February - 23 April 2017) will feature work by over 100 artists who have previously exhibited at Bluecoat, many at the beginning of their career, and several now high profile artists.
A wide range of work will be shown, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures and video, with many pieces previously exhibited in the gallery, some re-made especially for the exhibition, and others completely new.
The exhibition includes:
• A new series of photographs from John Akomfrah, showing for the first time
• Video and photographic documentation of performances in 1967 at Bluecoat by Yoko Ono and Mark Boyle
• Jeremy Deller’s print History of the World, which resulted from his Acid Brass, commissioned by Bluecoat in 1997
• Screen printed posters by designer Malcolm Garrett for early Buzzcocks’ gigs
• Works made especially for the show in response to the gallery’s changing architecture by Nina Edge and Brigitte Jurack
• Works by artists who had early career exhibitions at Bluecoat, including Elizabeth Magill, Paul Morrison, Keith Piper and Imran Qureshi
There is a wide generational breadth of artists, from international names like John Akomfrah, Sonia Boyce, Derek Boshier, Jeremy Deller, John Latham, Yoko Ono, Imran Qureshi and Yinka Shonibare, to younger artists like Jamie Shovlin and Niamh O’Malley, and prominent Merseyside-born artists such as Chila Burman, Mark Leckey and Paul Morrison as well as others living and working in the region, including Leo Fitzmaurice, Paul Rooney, Twin Studio and Imogen Stidworthy.
From Roger Fry’s seminal Post-Impressionist exhibition in 1911, to showcases of the next generation of artists like the recent Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Bluecoat has developed a reputation as an important regional venue for new art. For over a century the gallery has helped launch many artists’ careers, initiated and hosted significant UK and international touring exhibitions, and been at the forefront of new developments in the visual arts, while nurturing the local artists’ community.
The Bluecoat building, a fine example of Queen Anne style architecture, began life as a charity school in 1717, before housing an arts community in 1907 and formally becoming an arts centre in 1927, making it the oldest of its kind in the UK.
Its anniversary programme sees 300 days of celebration, from 4 February - 30 November in 2017, comprising exhibitions, performances of music, dance and live art, literature events, commissions, a sociologist in residence, and a major heritage participation project, My Bluecoat.