10th March 2006 - 26th November 2006
Leeds City Art Gallery
26 Hours, Stuart Brisley
Courtesy of Leeds Museum and Galleries
A major display at Leeds City Art Gallery reveals the extent to which a regional gallery continues to develop its collections. Focusing on the period of the 1960s and 1970s, Important Mischief substantially develops this previously under-represented period in the holdings. Through the activities of the Henry Moore Institute, which has matched its work with artists and their families to the needs of the collection, and with the help of national purchase funds, the last five years have seen the acquisition of a number of remarkable pieces.
The display focuses on the performance-based and theatrically-staged work of the period, much of which has historically been difficult to collect. Performances by Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Helen Chadwick and Bruce Lacey are now represented by photographs, films, costumes and accessories. Staged work by Martin Naylor and Michael Kenny is complemented by works on loan from the Arts Council Collection and from the Henry Moore Institute Archive. Earlier and later works by the Boyle Family highlight the on-going time-based nature of their practice. The display takes its name from a work by Martin Naylor. Enigmatic, irreverent and deliberately challenging, Naylor’s title suits a show that explores the margins of sculptural practice.
Many of the works in the Leeds collections have been acquired with the help of the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, which this year celebrates its 125th anniversary. These pieces are marked accordingly, and are among the 100 works supported by the Fund which will feature in the illustrated catalogue of the holdings to be published this autumn. This revised and updated listing highlights how effectively the collection has developed through the partnership of the city and the Henry Moore Institute. Other key pieces, often challenging in both their media and in their recent history, have been supported by the NACF.
- Accompanying Essay:
Ian Breakwell's Unword, 1969-70: early performance art in Britain (No. 52)