British Art Show 8 set to open at Leeds Art Gallery in 2015

Caption: The British Art Show 8 will be arriving at Leeds Art Gallery in 2015.

The internationally renowned exhibition, British Art Show 8, will open at Leeds Art Gallery in October 2015.

Organised every five years by the Hayward Gallery as part of the Hayward Touring programme, the British Art Show showcases the very best work of both emerging and established artists. It is the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK calendar, attracting over 420,000 visitors in its tour to four cities in 2010 and 2011. After Leeds the show will go on tour to a further three cities Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton.

The show will be curated by two curators appointed by a panel of senior curators from the host venues and Hayward Touring. This year sees Anna Colin and Lydia Yee chosen as the curators for the British Art Show 8. Both Anna and Lydia bring great experience to the role, having each worked on major exhibitions in the UK, Europe and the USA.

It is over a generation since Leeds last hosted the British Art Show, which in 1990 showcased artists such as Rachel Whiteread and Cornelia Parker. British Art Show 8 will open in Leeds, building on the city’s already vibrant art scene with an accompanying programme of events and activities. This will be a great opportunity to see in a single location, the very best of art produced in the UK at the home of one of the region’s most popular and respected art galleries, Leeds Art Gallery. Following the British Art Show in 2016/2017, there will be a major collection re-display that will showcase one of the strongest collections of 20th century British art in the UK.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure & skills said:

"It is a really fantastic honour for us as a city to be opening the British Art Show 8 at Leeds Art Gallery in 2015 and we are looking forward to Anna and Lydia curating the exhibition.

"The British Art Show exhibition has earned a reputation for showcasing the very best of contemporary art work by both emerging and established artists, and we are extremely excited that Leeds Art Gallery will be hosting and playing its part in this unforgettable event."

Anna Colin and Lydia Yee, curators of British Art Show 8 said:

"We are delighted to have been selected to curate British Art Show 8 and look forward to building upon the show's vital forty year history and expanding its possibilities.

“We plan to develop the exhibition in close dialogue with emerging and established artists who reflect the complexity of artistic practice today and to foster a lively exchange between the artists, venues and audiences."

Roger Malbert, Senior Curator, Hayward Touring, said:

"For almost four decades the British Art Show has been acknowledged as one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art in this country. Each edition has captured a unique moment in British art, and this one will be no different.

"We are delighted that Lydia Yee and Anna Colin have accepted our invitation to curate British Art Show 8. They bring to the role a wealth of experience and understanding of British and international contemporary art. Both have solid reputations as curators and thinkers and we are privileged to be able to share their breadth of knowledge and creative vision with our partner galleries across the UK."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Art Gallery

The Headrow


West Yorkshire


0113 247 8256



Described as ‘Probably the best collection of twentieth century British art outside London’ (John Russell Taylor, The Times) Leeds Art Gallery is a lively gallery in the heart of Leeds on The Headrow in Leeds' Cultural Quarter. Offering displays of Leeds' stunning collections as well as a dynamic programme of changing exhibitions, the Gallery is an innovative and exciting place to visit. At Leeds Art Gallery you can see a rich variety of art on display from Leeds’ impressive collections, to nationally acclaimed prints, watercolours, paintings, sculptures, photography, and contemporary art.

Free admission

Opening Times

Monday & Tuesday 10am – 5pm

Wednesday 12pm – 5pm

Thursday to Saturday 10am – 5pm

Sunday 1pm – 5pm

Closed on Bank Holidays

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

British Art Show is a Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England. Hayward Touring produces exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly-funded venues throughout Britain. Hayward Touring collaborate with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions to develop and tour imaginative exhibitions that are seen by approximately half a million people in over 100 cities and towns each year.

Lydia Yee is Curator at Barbican Art Gallery. Her recent exhibitions include Bauhaus: Art as Life (2013, co-curated with Catherine Ince), Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene (2011) and Ron Arad: Restless (2010). She has overseen commissions by Cory Arcangel, John Bock, Ayşe Erkmen, Geoffrey Farmer, and Robert Kuśmirowski, among many others for the Barbican’s Curve gallery. Prior to joining Barbican Art Gallery, Yee was Senior Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, where she was responsible for the exhibition programme and collection. She was the recipient of the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award in 2006 for Street Art, Street Life. In 2003, she was the Cassullo Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She has also contributed essays to exhibition catalogues and publications on artists including Susan Hiller, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Martin Wong.

Anna Colin is a curator and writer based in London. She is a co-founder and co-director of Open School East, a non-fee paying study programme and communal space which launched in 2013 in East London. She is also associate curator at Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Colin has curated exhibitions and projects in spaces including the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool; Le Quartier, contemporary art centre of Quimper; La Synagogue de Delme, Delme; la Maison populaire, Montreuil; Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin; CIC Cairo; and The Women’s Library, London. She was co-director of Bétonsalon, Paris in 2011-12, and curator at Gasworks, London, in 2007-10, where she curated group and solo exhibitions with artists including Matthew Darbyshire, Olivia Plender, The Otolith Group, Gail Pickering and Martin Beck.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

For specific enquiries about Leeds Art Gallery and British Art Show contact:

Sarah Brown, Leeds Art Gallery office (0113) 24 78277

Email: sarah.brown2@leeds.gov.uk

For enquiries about Hayward Touring contact:

Nicola Jeffs on nicola.jeffs@southbankcentre.co.uk or 0207 929 0676

Filipa Mendes on filipa.mendes@southbankcentre.co.uk or 020 7921 0672

Southbank Centre Press Office 020 7921 088