Notes to editors:

The Francis Butterfield exhibition and Mark Wallinger’s Threshold to the Kingdom will be on display at Leeds Art Gallery from 28 September 2018 until 13 January 2019.

Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA. Free entry. Mondays closed. Tues – Sat, 10am – 5pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm. Closed on bank holidays. 0113 247 8256 / art.gallery@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds Art Gallery opening 1888:

Following the opening of the new Town Hall in 1858, a strategy emerged in Leeds to create an Art Gallery. It was said that Colonel T. W. Harding stood for election to the Council in order to facilitate this. After the opening of the Municipal Buildings in 1884 incorporating the new Central Library, the decision was taken to add an Art Gallery, designed by W. H. Thorp, onto the building to be entered through a magnificent sculpture court. Funds from the Queen’s Golden Jubilee launched the appeal and within a year the building was ready. It opened on 3 October 1888.

About Leeds Art Gallery:

Founded in 1888 Leeds Art Gallery has Designated Collections of 19th and 20th century British painting and sculpture, widely considered to be one of the best outside national collections.

With close to half a million visitors every year, the gallery is one of the city’s most visited attractions and all the exhibitions are free.

Alongside the extensive painting and sculpture collection, the gallery presents a dynamic temporary exhibition programme that has showcased works of celebrated artists such as Damien Hirst and Gary Hume, as well as continuing to acquire artworks for the permanent collection; recent acquisitions include works by Simon

Fujiwara, Becky Beasley, Fiona Rae and Bob & Roberta Smith.

The gallery has always been committed to the development of living artists. Early gifts included Lady Butler’s Scotland For Ever! (1881) and paintings by the popular Leeds-based artist, Atkinson Grimshaw. The 20th century is represented by artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Paul Nash and Jacob Epstein, as well as artists of our time such as Frank Auerbach, Bridget Riley, Tony Cragg and Mark Wallinger. The extensive sculpture collection, the most comprehensive of any regional collection, includes a vast and unique archive; both are managed in partnership with the Henry Moore Institute.

Leeds ,
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September
2018
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Europe/London

Leeds Art Gallery turns 130 years old

Leeds Art Gallery will celebrate its 130th anniversary this month with two fascinating new displays.

A thought-provoking collection of work by Bradford-born Francis Butterfield will go on display for the very first time from 28 September – 13 January 2019.

The exhibition will include Figure Derivation, which was the gallery’s first abstract work to enter the Leeds collection in 1937.

Francis Butterfield was working as a wool stapler in a local mill when he was encouraged to follow his passion for painting by Leeds Arts Club president Sir Michael Sadler. Developing his own distinctive, abstract style, Butterfield became something of a rising star, joining avant garde ‘Seven and Five’ Society, whose members included fellow Yorkshire artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

Sarah Brown, Principal Keeper at Leeds Art Gallery, said:

“Butterfield was an artist with very strong Yorkshire roots whose work often incorporated materials reflecting his early career in local industry including sand, brick dust and the lens of a flash-lamp.

“But he also used his art to further explore and redefine our perception of beauty, using natural forms as a starting point to create something new, unfamiliar and challenging. We are excited to display this collection of his work for the first time as we honour 50 years since his death.”

Shown for the first time in almost a decade, 2007’s Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger’s Threshold to the Kingdom will also be on display.

This highly important work was one of the first films to enter the Leeds collection from the Lottery funded Contemporary Art Society ‘Special Collections Scheme’. Shot in slow-motion, it captures passengers arriving at London City Airport accompanied by the haunting soundtrack of Georgio Allegri’s Miserere.

Furthermore, upstairs the South Gallery will display acquisitions from the last ten years and will have two new significant pieces on display. A huge abstract painting by Albert Irvin, as well as sculpture acquisition Temporary Construction to Hidden Obligations (2001) from Roger Hiorns.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“We are extremely privileged to have work by artists of this calibre and variety on display and it is testament to both the breadth of our collection and the magnificent surroundings of Leeds Art Gallery that we are able to welcome visitors to see these unique pieces.”

Francis Butterfield’s work and Mark Wallinger’s Threshold to the Kingdom will be on display at Leeds Art Gallery from 28 September 2018 until January 13 2019.

For more information, visit: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/leedsartgallery

ENDS