Gallery programme for 2019 is published.

Eternal Triangle of Love by Sharmanka Travelling Circus, photo copyright Robin Mitchell

Here’s a complete list of exhibitions coming to Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery between now and the end of 2019.

The Victoria Art Gallery’s programme for 2019 will include an exhibition dedicated to paper, a display of kinetic sculptures, prints by Louise Bourgeois, and shows from popular local artists including Peter Brown and Nick Cudworth.

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Work by Nick Cudworth

Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “We hope this exciting programme of exhibitions will appeal to both residents and visitors to Bath. As always, admission to exhibitions will be free for residents with a Discovery Card and Friends of the Gallery, and there will be accompanying talks, tours and family activities throughout the year, as well as educational workshops linked to the exhibitions.”

On Paper, from the Arts Council Collection
Main Gallery, charges apply
1 December 2018 – 17 February 2019

On Paper showcases the work of acclaimed 20th-century and contemporary artists who work with paper. Looking beyond the mark-making of drawing to consider the material itself, the exhibition explores how artists have used paper as the focus of their work in creative and unusual ways.

Demonstrating a range of approaches to collage, drawing and sculpture, On Paper showcases the work of more than 40 artists including Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Eduardo Paolozzi, Cornelia Parker, Wolfgang Tillmans and Bridget Riley, among many others.

Nick Cudworth: Bath Night Paintings 2003-18
Small Gallery, free
1 December 2018 – 17 February 2019

Nick is well known for his portraits of celebrities and for his paintings of Bath street scenes, meticulously executed in a style similar to that of old master painters such as Vermeer. For this exhibition he presents more than 20 of his stunning Bath night paintings in the form of giclée prints on stretched canvas. The artist’s brilliant eye for the effect of light on colour ensures visitors will want to explore the city’s beautiful buildings after dark. All works will be for sale.

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Eternal Triangle of Love by Sharmanka Travelling Circus, photo copyright Robin Mitchell

Sharmanka Travelling Circus
Main Gallery, charges apply
23 February – 7 May 2019

Sharmanka, from the Russian word for barrel organ, is a performing mechanical theatre that will delight visitors of all ages. Sound and movement combine with striking images to make for a humorous and at times slightly macabre experience.

The sculptures are the work of artist and inventor Eduard Bersudsky, who left Russia for Scotland in 1993. Collaborating with theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya and light and sound designer Sergey Jakovsky, Eduard began producing his kinetic sculptures in 1974 as a protest against the prevailing Soviet ideology.

The works incorporate pieces of old furniture, scrap metal and grotesque carved figures. Examples include Swinging Big Ben in which Time is moved on, cheerily and cheekily, by a menagerie of industrious little creatures. In The Eternal Triangle of Love the jolly Harlequin and sad Pierrot – characters from the Italian commedia dell’arte – have been competing for the love of Columbine for so long that they have not noticed her transformation into the figure of Death.

Louise Bourgeois Prints
Main Gallery, charges apply
23 February – 7 May 2019

This Hayward Touring print exhibition features two series by one of the most important and influential artists of recent decades, Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010). Best known for her powerful, emotionally charged sculptures, steel cage installations and fabric figures, her prolific output grew increasingly expressive throughout her career.

The French-American artist’s work, whether in sculpture, drawing or printmaking, always maintained strongly autobiographical themes, centring on her own obsessions and vulnerabilities. After many years focusing primarily on sculpture, Bourgeois returned to printmaking during the later years of her life – from the 1980s until her death in 2010. The two series in this exhibition were made while she was in her eighties.

Endangered & Extinct: Creative Recycling by Val Hunt
Small Gallery, free
23 February – 7 May 2019

With inspiration, ingenuity, humour and skill, artist Val Hunt has created a fascinating selection of large and small sculptural pieces, which are both appealing and informative. Animals, exotic birds, fish, dinosaurs and species of flora – all on the edge of extinction or already extinct – have been made from a selection of throwaway material, especially Val’s favourite medium, drinks can metal.

This exhibition presents a subtle message about recycling and preservation, raising awareness of why the creatures on show are endangered or extinct. Find out why species are disappearing from this planet at an alarming rate. Most works are available for purchase.

Bath Society of Artists 114th Annual Exhibition
Main Gallery, charges apply
18 May – 29 June 2019

Now in its 114th year, this popular exhibition showcases the best of the region’s artistic talent and is a must for art lovers and collectors alike. The Society was founded in 1904 with 26 members. It has grown over the years to a membership of around 120 diverse, talented artists. Many distinguished 20th-century painters have exhibited with the Society including Walter Sickert, Patrick Heron, Mary Fedden and Howard Hodgkin.

The annual exhibition, which is open to non-members, attracts up to 1,000 entries, with sales doubling in the last few years. The prizes on offer total more than £3,000. During the exhibition members of the public can vote for their favourite artwork, the winner receiving the Public Choice Prize. For information on how to enter artwork, please visit www.bsartists.co.uk.

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War and Rumours of War: 1940s British works on paper from The Hepworth Wakefield
Main Gallery, charges apply
6 July – 15 September 2019

This exhibition, drawn largely from The Hepworth Wakefield’s outstanding collection, allows us to revisit a decade of anxiety, austerity and idealism that resonates strongly with our lives today. Artists featured include Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Barbara Hepworth, Edward Bawden and John Piper.

Bernard Ollis: A Tale of Two Cities
Small Gallery, free
6 July – 15 September 2019

Bernard Ollis was born in Bath and spent his formative years here. He was a pupil of St John’s Junior School Bathwick, Weston All Saints School, and in 1962-1967 attended the Bath Art Secondary School. After taking his BA at Cardiff College of Art, from 1973-1976 Ollis completed his Masters in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London where visiting artists and lecturers included David Hockney, Peter Blake and Howard Hodgkin.

Ollis has held many lecturing posts in Australian universities, finally becoming Director of the National Art School, Sydney in 1996-2008. He stepped down from this post to concentrate full time on his art, basing himself around his Sydney studio. He travels extensively and has held multiple artist residencies in diverse locations such as Cairo and Antarctica. The works in this show are based on memories and recent visits to the cities of Bath and Paris, where he has a studio and works part of the year.

James Tower: a Centenary Celebration
Main Gallery, charges apply
21 September – 24 November 2019

James Tower (1919-88) was born in Sheerness on the north Kent coast, with access to windswept beaches, the mudflats of the Thames and Medway, and a shoreline teeming with plant and animal life – an environment that left an indelible impression on the future artist.

After studying painting at the Royal Academy Schools from 1938-40, he continued at the Slade from 1945-8. Widely recognised as one of Britain’s most important 20th-century studio potters, he was also a highly respected art school lecturer, first at Bath Academy of Art (1949-66), where he set up the pottery studio and worked as one of the few full-time teachers, then later at Brighton Polytechnic (1966-86) where he was Head of Sculpture.

In an artist’s statement Tower declared his intention of making ‘forms to convey a sense of wholeness, releasing inner tensions, serene and harmonious, a world where abounding energy is held in calm restraint. The objects which I strive to make are attempts at hymns to the beauty of the natural world.’

This loan exhibition celebrates the centenary of the artist’s birth with at least 40 of his best sculptural ceramic pieces as well as previously unseen examples of his drawings and paintings.

Richard Twose: Circus paintings
Small Gallery, free
21 September – 24 November 2019

Richard Twose was born in Devon in 1963. He studied 3D Design at the University of Creative Arts, Farnham and became a successful jewellery designer for 13 years. In 2000, however, looking for new challenges, he closed his jewellery business and moved to a village south of Bath. Whilst teaching art and history of art at a sixth form college in Bristol he began to paint portraits. In 2014 Richard was awarded second prize at the BP Portrait Award in the National Portrait Gallery, whilst his portrait of Ken Loach was selected for the BP Portrait Award in 2017.

Alongside prestigious portrait commissions, Richard spent time with Gifford’s Circus and went on to work closely with acrobats from CircoMedia, Bristol, observing and drawing dancers during rehearsals. Rather than depicting arrested or frozen movement, these depictions of figures and horses deploy energetic brushstrokes and graphic marks in order to convey a strong sense of motion continuing over time.

Peter Brown: from Bath to Broadway
Main Gallery, charges apply
30 November 2019 – 9 February 2020

This exhibition features over 100 new oil paintings and drawings by Bath-based artist Peter Brown, more commonly known as ‘Pete the Street’. The exhibits celebrate the streets and green places of Bath as well as far-flung places where his easel has taken him.

The works of art include scenes of well-loved Bath locations such as Widcombe, Hedgemead Park, Lansdown and Milsom Street, as well as lesser-known but equally beautiful corners of the city. These atmospheric views are captured in different states – quiet and bustling – and in all weathers, even during rain and snow. The artist insists on using the street as his studio and incorporates passers-by into his work.

Despite being in demand globally, Peter never tires of painting his home city. He came to Bath in 1986 to study a foundation course in art. He then continued his training in Manchester and Greenwich before returning to Bath in 1993. A fully illustrated catalogue will be available.

Sally Muir: The Dog Show
Small Gallery, free
30 November 2019 – 9 February 2020

Sally Muir has had dogs all her life and, for nearly as long, has drawn and painted them multiple times. Some years ago she began a Facebook project, posting her dog art daily. As people became interested she became more adventurous in her materials, combining wire drawings, lithography, paper cuts, pen and ink and potato prints.

The project finished several years ago, but Sally continues to find people and their dogs endlessly fascinating. She has held successful one-woman shows with Anthropologie in London and Bath, and in 2017 a book of her dog portraits came out, A Dog a Day. This new exhibition is guaranteed to bring smiles and nods of recognition to visitors’ faces, even if they are not dog owners!

www.victoriagal.org.uk