CHRISTOPHER LE BRUN DUALITIES (14 May to 26 August, 2018)
Shown for the first time at Wolfson College, this new series of paintings was a continuation from Christopher Le Brun's most recent series of prints, Composer, which explored the musical form of distinct yet related movements and the essentially layered structure of both painting and music. Using a unique technique working directly onto woodcut proofs, these remarkable oil paintings extended Le Brun’s lifelong preoccupation with colour – ‘experiencing rather than seeing’, as he describes it, ‘a property of the world we delight in for itself’ – and testing approaches to the juxtaposition of colour, tone, transparency and form.
The exhibition considered the theme of ‘doubles’ and dualities through a series of diptych paintings, the result of the artist’s long standing interest in the idea of ‘the double’. For Le Brun, the process of painting itself involves an intrinsic duality: ‘cover and uncover, reveal and hide, this goes to the heart of what painting is and does. It can’t be made without covering, and without reducing the original light of the ground.’ The implications of this approach form a connecting thread throughout Le Brun’s work, whether figurative or non-figurative. Combining two different paintings in a diptych allows Le Brun to ‘dramatise this duality’.
A fully illustrated book, Doubles, published by Ridinghouse accompanied the exhibition; the book is on sale at the Porters’ Lodge.
This exhibition was curated by Dr Anna M Dempster, College Research Associate, Wolfson College.
Read more about Christopher Le Brun.
POLITICAL SATIRE AT WOLFSON (20 January to 6 May 2018)
This exhibition in the Combination Room features 21 prints by four of the most important satirists of the period – Isaac Cruikshank (1764 -1811), William Heath (1794-1840), Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), and Charles Williams (1796-1830). Three subjects dominate the satires: the Duke of York’s affair with Mrs Mary Anne Clarke; George IV’s efforts to divorce Caroline of Brunswick; and Napoleon’s ambitions in Europe. All of the satires are hand-coloured etchings and would have been sold by one of London’s many print publishers.
The law features prominently in the prints which provide an overview of political satire produced in Britain during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The satires are on loan from The Right Honourable Lord Collins of Mapesbury , Fellow of Wolfson since 1975, who was appointed a High Court Judge in 2000 and has also served as Lord Justice of Appeal, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and, most recently, Justice of the Supreme Court.
WOLFSON PLACES 2017 (14 April to 6 May)
Wolfson Places 2017 is an exhibition of a selection of the photographs submitted by College members to the competition of this name run in the Michaelmas term of this year. It includes the winner, runners-up, highly commended entries and a selection of other images taken around the College.
ILLUMINATED MOVEMENT (14 April to 6 May)
An exhibition of dance images by Henryk Hetflaisz (b.1978) a Polish-born photographic artist, working in London
Hetflaisz is pre-occupied “with finding a way to set movement free using a medium that traditionally ‘captures’ motion. Imagine”, he says, “that the dancer’s body is a paint brush and the photographic paper is the canvas. First, I paint the bodies of my dance collaborators. Then, they dance expressively in near darkness, while I take a series of long exposures.”
The result is the magical, ethereal bodies that emerge from an incandescence of light against a black background in these photographs. What is important is that “in an age of digital manipulation, […] these images are the result of direct photographic exposure. No digital trickery interferes with the alchemy of photons propelled into movement.”
THE DIASPORIC BRUSH Modern Singaporean Art (20 January to 1 April 2018)
This exhibition combined paintings from the Lee Seng Tee Collection of Wolfson College with the works of six young artists of the Siaw-Tao Chinese Seal-Carving, Calligraphy and Painting Society. The exhibition explored changing meanings of ink and identity in Singapore. The term ‘diaspora’ may be dated, but Sinophone scholars such as Shih Shu-mei have contended that participating in cultural projections forms a link with China that maintains a sort of diasporas identity. In a medium with as much cultural baggage as Chinese ink, successive generations of Singaporean artists had done just that, resolving a dialectic between citizenship and diaspora. This exhibition presented the Nanyang flavour of Singaporean Modern Art in this light, with the Nanyangs of two generations put into sharp contrast.
Wolfson Fine Arts presented this exhibition in association with The Siaw-Tao Chinese Seal-Carving, Calligraphy and Painting Society, and acknowledges the support of Leicestershire County Council for the loan of Paysage Chinois by Cheong Soo Pieng from their permanent Collection.
Representing Partition: India and Pakistan (14 October to 9 December, 2017)
Falling in the 70th year since India and Pakistan were rendered independent nation states, the series will explore the visual character of this moment, and understand how visual culture was used to facilitate, and articulate this transformation for global audiences.
The show offers an original contribution to understanding the visual significance of Partition and includes sketches made at the precise moment of the hand-over in 1947, photojournalism and illustrated adverts. Bringing together loans from the Imperial War Museum, London Library, Royal Academy, Centre of South Asian Studies and Royal Asiatic Society for the first time, the exhibition is an opportunity to experience the political use of representation during this challenging process. In parallel an exhibition of the work of contemporary Kashmiri artist Prashast Kachru examines the impact of this critical moment.
Richard Sorrell (b.1948) is a painter of invented people ‘doing things’. He works in oil, acrylic and watercolour. His career started as a predominantly landscape, portrait and still-life painter – by instinct a draughtsman, and interested in the appearance of things, particularly plants and animals – an objective painter. His subjective painting – the invented compositions – have come to greater prominence since the 1990s.
A Woman’s Skin: Eileen Cooper RA (6 May to 24 September 2017)
A selection of paintings, collages and bronzes, including works specially made for the exhibition, by Eileen Cooper OBE RA, Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools since 2010. Eileen Cooper trained at Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art. Her works can be found in museums, galleries and private collections from Birmingham and Manchester to Nuremberg and New Haven. Cooper became a Royal Academician in 2000 and in 2010 was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, the first woman to hold the post since the Academy's foundation in 1768. As Keeper she is responsible for guiding the next generation of artists admitted to the Royal Academy Schools, the oldest established art school in Britain.
Valley of Vision (21 January to 16 April 2017)
Works depicting the vibrant industrial mining culture of the Rhondda Valley by George Chapman, Josef Herman, Ernest Zobole, Jack Crabtree, Nicholas Evans and others. Kim Howells, former Welsh Labour Party MP for Pontypridd, gave an engaging talk to mark the opening of the exhibition - read the text here. Read more in the brochure.
Counterpoints - Contemporary Russian Art at Wolfson College (9 October 2016 to 19 February 2017)
Showcasing the dynamic work of Alexei Lantsev, a graduate member of the Moscow Artists' Union. The exhibition featured many works that were created especially for the space. Read more in the brochure.
Reimagining the City - Kettle's Yard in new places and spaces (29 October 2016 to 8 January 2017)
Celebrating 50 years as part of the University of Cambridge - Reimagining the City brought together works from the Kettle's Yard Collection that captured artists’ interpretations of the city, both real and imaginary cities that spanned several decades. As well as artworks by modern European and British artists such as Christopher Wood and Ben Nicholson, the exhibition contained an example of the glassware that Jim Ede collected that is usually displayed in the Kettle’s Yard house, providing an imaginative interpretation of the city through the eyes of Ede, after he described it as appearing to him to be like ‘a golden city’. Curated by Kyle Percy, Kettle’s Yard
Founders, Presidents, Benefactors and Personalities (1 March to 30 September 2016)
Works from the College's own art collection that represented some of the key people involved in the founding and ongoing development of the College.
Pottery in the Bernard Leach Tradition (1 March to 30 September 2016)
The jugs, caddies and vases from the Bradshaw-Bubier collection. All the potters represented worked for part of their career at the St Ives Pottery in Cornwall, which was founded by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada in 1920.
Ramsay Ong: A selection of Batik Orchid Paintings from the Lee Collection (1 May to 30 September 2016)
An award-winning batik artist from Sarawak, Ramsay Ong had originally trained as a draughtsman, but decided to work in batik in the 1970s. These orchid paintings date from that time and demonstrate his achievement of rich textures and three-dimensionality. The paintings were purchased by Dr Lee Seng Tee and they form part of a collection of 55 paintings that Dr Lee donated to Wolfson College in 1992. Further small exhibitions of parts of the Lee Collection will follow.
Kate Green: Where Do Ideas Come From (16 January to 20 March 2016)
In the mixed-media works Kate Green chose for this exhibition, she explores the language of childhood; the stitched pieces contain elements of silence and are about the need to re-create stillness and beauty in her life. As stillness has grown within her, Kate's language has become more direct and speedy. Her watercolours reflect this development.
Henry Moore and Photography (9 October 2015 to 28 February 2016)
The exhibition considered the little-examined subject of the role of photography in Henry Moore’s creative process. A selection of 20 photographs from The Henry Moore Foundation Archive and two maquettes for monumental works, Three Standing Figures (1945) and Reclining Figure (1969), explored Moore’s use of photography to study light, texture and form and to help site his large-scale sculptures.
The Royal Academy at Wolfson (31 January to 19 December 2015)
A rotating exhibition of Royal Academicians, curated by Honorary Fellow Anthony Green RA, includesd paintings, prints and drawings, all of which had been lent to the College by the artists. Many works had never been exhibited before. An illustrated leaflet (pdf) accompanied the exhibition. Listen to Anthony Green's introduction.
Richard Deacon: This is where ideas come from (July to September 2015)
An informative and beautifully crafted catalogue was produced for this exhibition. Copies are still available for£10. Contact us if you wish to purchase a copy (£15 including p&p).
At the official launch event on 16 July the exhibition's curator, Phillip Lindley, discussed the show with the sculptor. Listen to the discussion here.
Ben Levene RA: a retrospective (November 2014 to January 2015)
Ben Levene (1938–2010) was a master of still life, which he saw as an art form within an art form, the recreation within a painted composition of a selection and arrangement of real objects combined with abstract design. He taught generations of artists from 1963 until 1998 at Camberwell School of Art, the Royal Academy Schools and as a tutor for City and Guilds. He served as curator in the Royal Academy Schools from 1995 and exhibited regularly throughout the UK and abroad.
Bredon House: the first 100 years (April 2014 to January 2015)
In 1965, this College was founded by the University of Cambridge with a single building, Bredon House, which has been at the heart of the College since its earliest days, and remains central to the College as it is today, and to its future.The house was built in 1914 for John Stanley Gardiner (1872-1946), Professor of Zoology, and he and his family lived there until his death in 1946, when it passed to the University under the terms of his will.
Myths, Memories & Mysteries - how artists respond to the past (June to November 2014)
This exhibition by a group of contemporary Greek, Australian, British and Chinese artists explored the influence of the past upon artists' work. The exhibition and related activities were shared across two venues: Wolfson College and the Museum of Classical Archaeology. Click here to listen to a series of talks accompanying the exhibition.
Wolfson Gardens through the Lens (Lent and Easter 2014)
Twelve photographs by Head Gardener, Phil Stigwood, display the beauty of the College Gardens through the seasons as seen by one who knows them best
Peter Brookes, Cartoonist (Lent 2014)
A selection of Peter's recent original cartoons was on display during Lent Term 2014 and an online version continues to be availablehere.
Collaboration: the Print Studio and Kip Gresham (Michaelmas 2013)
26 prints by a range of contemporary artists, each a collaborative work between the artist and members of the Print Studio. The exhibition was accompanied by a discussion with Kip Gresham of the Print Studio.
Edward Bawden (Summer 2013)
Nine linocuts of Aesop's Fables were on loan from Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden throughout the summer. (poster)
Anthony Green RA (Easter 2013)
Unusual paintings and prints by the distinguished realist painter and printmaker Anthony Green RA, curated by Senior Member Frank Whitford with generous assistance of the artist. (poster)
Coast (Lent 2013)
Photographic prints by John Naughton, Jane Goodall and Jane Stockdale. A workshop on how to take better landscape photographs was run by Jane Goodall. (poster)
London Markets (Michaelmas 2012)
Edward Bawden CBE RA was commissioned by Herbert Simon, Managing Director of the Curwen Press, to produce a series of six London Markets as limited editions in 1967, to be printed by the Curwen Studio, then based just offTottenham Court Road in London. (more...)