Grundy's super duper exhibitions
Above: Brian Griffiths, 'Beneath the Stride of Giants', 2004. wood
Collection The Saatchi Gallery, London. Commissioned by Camden Arts Centre, London
Blackpool has an important history of sideshow and fairground entertainment, which showcased the exotic, the amazing and the bizarre. With a resurgence in the popularity of such entertainment in recent years Extra Ordinary purposefully sets out to embrace this culture, looking at magic, horror, clairvoyance and spectacle, but removes its focus from the exotic to include artworks that find the extraordinary within the mundane.
The exhibition brings together artworks formed from everyday objects, or familiar routines and experiences repositioned to become absurd or magical. It includes Brian Griffths' 'Beneath the Stride of Giants', a vast maritime vessel, part real part mythical, constructed of salvaged furniture and discarded material.
Above:'Adam' being transported from London to Blackpool, 1939.
Image courtesy the Local and Family History Centre, Blackpool Central Library
Jacob Epstein and Blackpool
Jacob Epstein’s carving ‘Adam’ was first shown in Blackpool during the 1939 summer holiday season. During this time Jacob Epstein was a household name, synonymous with the negative opinions aimed at modern art. His works of Biblical subjects incorporating nakedness and sexuality were sensationalised by the press. The showing of 'Adam' was to be the start of a fascinating relationship between Epstein’s work and Blackpool that would stretch to 1961.
Jacob Epstein and Blackpool looks back at these showings through a selection of the press coverage that was generated at the time to revaluate the events and reveal that they were not the freak shows at the fairground they have been branded by art critics and commentators in recent times, but a story of the clash between Modernist high art and popular culture.
For more information on these exhibitions, please follow this link: Grundy Art Gallery/Exhibitions