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Grundy Art Gallery

Autumn 2019 at Grundy Art Gallery

Autumn 2019 at Grundy Art Gallery

The Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool shows a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events. Including solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities.

Above photo: IMAGE: Helen Maurer, Cave Painting (2003) Photograph: Angela Moore, Courtesy: the artist and Danielle Arnaud.

Autumn 2019 at Grundy Art Gallery


  • 28 SEPTEMBER – 14 DECEMBER –  From 10am-5pm each day plus late night opening until 6pm on Friday 18 and 25 October.
  • Preview on Saturday 28 December from 3-5pm. All welcome.

A Trick of the Light brings together a group of internationally recognised contemporary artists whose works cast shadows, conjures illusions and brings the inanimate to life.

Referencing pre-cinematic techniques and Victorian optical entertainments, such as Zoetropes and Shadow Play, these artworks use the transformative power of light to alter perceptions and trick the eye.

Explore work by Brass Art, Mat Collishaw, Rachel Goodyear, Helen Maurer, Tim Noble and Sue Webster. Plus items on loan from The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, at the University of Exeter.

A programme of talks and workshops will take place throughout the exhibition period. Please ring 01253 478170 for further information. Please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!


Twenty-six artworks acquired for UK collections, including Grundy Art Gallery

fig-futures, a collecting scheme supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund, and Outset Contemporary Art Fund, has acquired 26 new art works for collections across the UK.  Pictured below: Rebecca Birch, The Yellowing Part 1, 2018, Photograph by Jonathan Lynch, Grundy Art Gallery.

Rebecca Birch, The Yellowing Part 1, 2018, Photograph by Jonathan Lynch, Grundy Art Gallery
Rebecca Birch, The Yellowing Part 1, 2018, Photograph by Jonathan Lynch, Grundy Art Gallery

fig-futures has spent a year touring the UK, done 16 week long shows, in four galleries, and several community spaces with 18 artists. The major set of acquisitions will benefit several areas across the UK, from Blackpool to Cornwall, via East Anglia and the Midlands.

Artworks acquired range from performance works to films, large scale sculptures to photography. Plus paintings to durational dance pieces, diversifying the collections the artworks will go to. The total sum of the acquisitions is in the region of £80,000.00.

Recipients and collection highlights include:

  • Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, gains artworks that include two prints and a ceramic work by Allison Katz and an interactive library installation by Ruth Beale
  • Norwich Castle Museum acquires its first sound and performance art works: Passing through Metal (2018) by Oreet Ashery (created with a heavy metal band and knitters) and Singular (2011) a durational dance work by Joe Moran, respectively. They also acquire a new site-specific artwork by Broomberg and Chanarin and work by artist Eva Rothschild, who represents Ireland at the 58th International Art Exhibition in Venice this year
  • The Gallery at De Montfort University, Leicester, acquires a performance artwork by Swedish artist Annika Strom and a second by British artist Ben Judd
  • The Box, Plymouth, sees a painting by Eva Grubinger and by Suzanne Treister join their collection and a slide projector installation by Charlotte Moth about post-war Plymouth

Contemporary artworks into public collections

fig-futures was initiated by Art Fund and Outset Contemporary Art Fund to develop a new collecting scheme for the acquisition of contemporary artworks into public collections. Plus providing artist and curatorial development opportunities for galleries and practitioners outside the capital. It saw sixteen, week-long exhibitions across four venues who, in turn, acquired works by the artists included in their respective shows.

20,000 people have visited or engaged with the shows in the four locations. Institutions have also programmed talks and events to coincide with exhibitions to help audiences engage even further.

Paulette Brien, Grundy Art Gallery’s Curator, said: “We are delighted to be working towards acquiring work from Allison Katz, Amy Stephens, Ruth Beale and Rebecca Birch as a result of our fig-futures partnership.

Reflecting Blackpool as a place

“The works being collected variously address Blackpool as place and speak to our policy of collecting high quality contemporary art. These acquisitions provide an important legacy of our fig-futures partnership, but more importantly provide an exciting and relevant curatorial resource for our future exhibition and event programming.

“We want to thank all the fig-futures partners for making these acquisitions possible, but especially the artists for their insightful and engaging contributions.”

Artist Ruth Beale, said: “I am really pleased that the Grundy has chosen to acquire Library of Future Societies (Blackpool). It’s a living, changing work, made for and by Blackpool.

“Each time the work is displayed, it will be remade with books held in Blackpool Libraries. I think that libraries – and galleries – can be litmus papers to what is valued in society. It’s a reflection of the library service, the readers, and the books that are in circulation.”

Shop at Grundy Art Gallery

The Grundy shop specialises in artist made jewellery and organises small spotlight exhibitions of emerging and established designer/makers.  It also stocks arts journals, exhibition publications, creative toys, and greetings cards.

Opening Times at Grundy Art Gallery

10-5pm Tues-Sat. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Closed Bank Holidays.
PLEASE NOTE: last admission to the gallery is 4.40pm.

FREE admission

Old Grundy Art Gallery Exhibition Catalogues

We’ve been having a stock inventory and now we’re having a sale on old exhibition catalogues: some a low as £5! The gallery shop is open 10am – 5pm, Tues – Sat alongside our exhibitions!

Have you been and looked in the Grundy shop? It specialises in artist made jewellery and organises small spotlight exhibitions of emerging and established designer/makers.  It also stocks arts journals, exhibition publications, creative toys, and greetings cards.

Curator of Grundy Art Gallery

In November 2017 the Grundy Art Gallery named Paulette Terry Brien as the gallery’s curator.

Paulette Terry Brien, Grundy Art Gallery Curator

Paulette has more than 25 years of experience working within contemporary visual art and is well known for raising the profile of the North West region on a national and international level.

As co-founder and co-director of The International 3, a contemporary art gallery based in Salford, Paulette delivered a year round programme of exhibitions and events and has been instrumental in developing projects such as Manchester’s annual contemporary art fair, The Manchester Contemporary.

Paulette comes to the Grundy with a strong track record of identifying and nurturing emerging talent, commissioning and curating high quality contemporary art exhibitions for both gallery and non-gallery settings. Over the years, she’s utilised her wealth of experience to support hundreds of emerging artists, many of whom have gone on to achieve regional, national and international recognition.

As well as providing peer support, Paulette has also been successful on many occasions in brokering the acquisition of work by regional artists into major public and private collections, such as the Arts Council Collection and Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection.

Paulette said she was thrilled to have been selected as the new curator of the Grundy and is keen to continue to champion regional artists from the North West.

Light Programme at the Grundy thanks to a Prestigious Award

Blackpool Council’s Grundy Art Gallery was awarded £80,000 in 2016 by the Art Fund to buy new artworks around the theme of light.

Grundy Art Gallery Blackpool

The Award is part of the Art Fund’s £400,000 ‘New Collecting Awards’ programme which this year saw six awards given to museums around the British Isles.

The £80,000 award to Grundy Curator Richard Parry was the joint highest sum, with the same amount going to curators at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The idea of the awards is to invest in the development of promising curators at early points in their careers across the UK. Through the scheme, museum professionals are each given a budget to pursue a completely new avenue of collecting in their institutions.

Exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery

Five out of six of the awards were presented to support contemporary art collecting. The scheme not only benefits the museums’ collections, but helps the curators to learn at first-hand about the process of making great acquisitions, and contribute significantly to their professional development.

The award follows in the wake of the success of ‘Sensory Systems’, the widely praised exhibition which saw international artists display spectacular works exploring the connection between light and sensory perception this autumn, to coincide with the Illuminations.

The award is a significant boost for the gallery, which has seen a doubling of audiences through the light strand of its programming and follows a further award from the John Ellerman Foundation, supporting new work with the collection, which has enabled important behind-the-scenes improvements including the employment of a new Collections Manager.

Curator Richard Parry said: “For 2016 we are having a year-round focus on our collections, starting with our current Ben Cain exhibition which is inspired by paintings from the collection, and going right through into at least 2017. This award couldn’t come at a better time and means that for the first time since before the War the gallery has a substantial amount to buy new artworks, allowing us to develop our new strand of work around light.”

“Blackpool is in many ways the ‘home’ of light in the UK because of the Illuminations, and this is a huge endorsement of the cultural significance of light in the town. Nowhere in the country currently focusses on light in this way and we’ve seen a fantastic response to the exhibition Sensory Systems which has shown there is an appetite for international artwork of this kind here.

“Although light is only one part of the gallery’s work, there is an ambition to make the Grundy nationally recognised for it, and that’s starting to happen already through this award.”

Key Emin artwork forms part of Grundy’s permanent collection

A key exhibit in one of Blackpool’s most successful art exhibitions in recent years has been acquired as part of the Grundy Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

I Know I Know by Tracey Emin

‘I Know I Know I Know’ by Tracey Emin was displayed as part of the recent NEON: The Charged Line exhibition which ran from September last year until January.

The acquisition is the first made by the gallery using funding from the Art Fund’s New Collecting Award, their scheme that enables curators to pursue new avenues of collecting for their museums.  They granted curator Richard Parry £80,000 to purchase key artworks relating to light.

The work was recently displayed at the gallery in NEON: The Charged Line, a major success with both audiences and critics which traced how artists have worked with neon since the 1960s. The exhibition saw Emin alongside other stars including Joseph Kosuth, Fiona Banner, François Morellet and Keith Sonnier and coincided with Blackpool’s famous Illuminations’ LightPool project.

Emin, who is well known for her work with fabric, embroidery and installations including the notorious ‘My Bed’ which was displayed as part of the Turner Prize in 1999, has also established a reputation for her evocative and emotionally charged work in neon. The artwork the Grundy has purchased, titled ‘I Know I Know I Know’, is from 2002 and is one of the earliest works in neon undertaken by the celebrated artist of the so-called “young British artist” generation.

The acquisition marks the first purchase made possible through a New Collecting Award from Art Fund, and also sees additional support from the John Ellerman Foundation.

Over the past decade the Grundy has established a reputation as one of the North’s leading centres for contemporary visual art, undertaking ambitious exhibitions which explore the relationship between art and popular culture.

Through the light programme and the expansion of the light collection, the Grundy is looking to become a national centre for artists working in the medium, alongside its wider programme.

Emin’s work will be shown alongside other recently acquired artworks as part of the Blackpool Art Fayre.

The exhibition also includes works by internationally renowned artist Yinka Shonibare MBE and 2017 Fourth Plinth Nominee Heather Phillipson, as well as emerging and more established artists from across the North West and the wider UK.

All the works have been purchased with the assistance of external grants, awards and support.

More about Grundy Art Gallery

Grundy Art Gallery is Blackpool’s art gallery and offers a year round programme of contemporary and visual art exhibitions and events including solo and group exhibitions together with talks, workshops and educational activities.

The gallery is housed in a Grade II listed Carnegie building and has a collection that was founded in 1908. Today the collection includes works by established artists such as Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Laura Ford, Gilbert and George, Brian Griffiths, Augustus John, Haroon Mirza and Eric Ravilious. It also has works by regionally based emerging talent such as Joe Fletcher Orr and Louise Giovanelli.

The Grundy Art Gallery was founded in 1908 by the brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy, and has been at the centre of cultural and artistic life in the town for over 100 years. It began with the ambition to show the best art of the day to the people of Blackpool, and this sentiment remains at the heart of what we do today as a leading contemporary art gallery in the North West.

The Grundy aims to inspire audiences through an ambitious and varied year-round exhibitions programme that draws on the unique and invigorating context and heritage of Blackpool, for instance exploring the space between contemporary art, entertainment and popular culture.

Recent exhibitions at Grundy Art Gallery

Recent exhibitions have featured works by celebrated and critically acclaimed artists including Martin Creed, Brian Griffiths, David Hockney, Pierre Huyghe, Heather Phillipson, Susan Philipsz and Matt Stokes. The gallery has a growing national and international profile and has recently worked with key partners such as LeftCoast in Blackpool, and other institutions such as BALTIC, the British Council and the Hayward Gallery.

The Grundy provides a key space for residents and visitors in which new ideas and ways of imagining the world can be tested and explored, and where resonant encounters can occur between art and audiences. We undertake special programmes tailored for individuals and groups including schoolchildren, young people, families and senior citizens, enabling people of all ages the chance to engage with and discover for themselves the art on display and the imaginations behind them.

The Grundy Collection

Our exhibitions and displays frequently incorporate pieces from our collection, which was started with a bequest by the founding brothers and contains an eclectic range of art and other items from furniture to ceramics, to netsuke ornaments to Victorian oil paintings. Artists include Craigie Aitchison, Ruth Claxton, Martin Creed, Laura Ford, Augustus John, Eric Ravilious and Gilbert and George amongst others.

Grundy is part of Blackpool Council’s Arts Service, which develops and delivers arts projects which engage Blackpool’s residents, communities and visitors in the arts, supports the town’s arts community, placing the arts the core of Blackpool’s unique and important cultural environment.

The gallery is an Accredited Museum and also receives funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and from the John Ellerman Foundation.

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