York Art Gallery

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Date: 5 October 2023

A British Museum touring exhibition ‘Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue’ to
open at York Art Gallery this October as part of a new Season of Drawing.

Visitors will be able to discover some of the most compelling up-and-coming names in the
field of contemporary drawing, displayed alongside works by celebrated artists within the
British Museum collection of prints and drawings.

27 October 2023 – 28 January 2024

These new acquisitions include works by some of the youngest living artists ever collected by the British Museum, presented alongside works by celebrated artists from Mary Delanyand Édouard Manet to Barbara Hepworth, Andy Warhol and Yinka Shonibare.

In this surprising and thought-provoking selection, emerging artists take the medium of drawing in new directions and use innovative approaches. A wide range of techniques and practices are represented, including drawings using make-up on face wipes by Sin Wai Kin and a drawing made with chalk collected from the White Cliffs of Dover by Josephine Baker.

Artists show how drawing, often considered a quiet or private medium, can be used to challenge social norms, explore identity and protest injustice. Catherine Anyango Grünewald has described the time and labour invested in her monumental drawings as a ‘direct homage’ to their subjects, often the victims of institutional crimes. The painstaking detail of Irish artist Miriam de Búrca’s drawings of clods of earth from cilliní – the unmarked graves of those deemed unfit for Christian burial – forces us to confront an uncomfortable history.

Isabel Seligman, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawing at the British Museum said: “We are excited to share our dynamic and growing collection of contemporary drawings with York Art Gallery, alongside treasures of our historic collection. This touring exhibition
enables us to highlight over twenty new acquisitions by some of the freshest and most compelling new voices in the field, exploring questions of identity, memory and materiality, and using innovative materials and processes.”

‘Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue’ is part of a broader ‘Season of Drawing’ which runs at York Art Gallery until 21 April 2024. This exciting season of events and exhibitions will also include a new commission created by Ugonna Hosten titled ‘chi; Altarpieces, Liturgy & Devotion’, an exhibition of works created by participants in the York
Art Gallery’s Teenage Art School, and a drawing studio space for visitors to make their own drawings. The annual Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition will run between 15 February and 21 April 2024.

Hosten’s commission chronicles a heroine’s enchanted journey to initiate a relationship with her chi, a personal guiding spirit which is central to Igbo speaking people of Southeast Nigeria. Hosten uses the process of drawing to investigate and reimagine alternate precolonial histories. Paintings from the York Art Gallery collection connect Hosten’s current research to her Christian upbringing, whilst ceramics expand on relationships between the use of water vessels in sacred rituals and ceremonies.

Ugonna Hosten also developed and led York Art Gallery’s annual Teenage Art School programme. Participants created work guided by their own experiences and interests, using a broad interpretation of ‘drawing’ that aligns with Hosten’s own practice, and which
explored the relationship between printmaking and drawing. The installation of their works alongside Hosten’s commission offers visitors another opportunity to think about the vast creative and interpretive potential of drawing.

A range of drop-in sessions and bookable events will run in the specially created Drawing Studio, where visitors will be able to get creative and have a go at different types of drawing.

Becky Gee, Curator of Fine Art at York Art Gallery, said: “The Season of Drawing is a dynamic series of exhibitions and events that we hope will inspire visitors to think deeply about different aspects of drawing, and be inspired to try it for themselves. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to bring together so many different artists, from the
famous and contemporary names of the British Museum to our own Teenage Art School participants.”

A British Museum Touring Exhibition ‘Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue’, opens on 27 October 2023. Adults £7, Concessions available.

To find out more about the exhibition, the ‘Season of Drawing’ events programme and how to book tickets please visit York Art Gallery

‘Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue’ is supported by the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe.
The ‘Season of Drawing’ at York Art Gallery is supported by The Little Greene Paint Company.