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UAL Research Online

Ceri Richards: a curated exhibition

Gooding, Mel (2002) Ceri Richards: a curated exhibition. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Gooding, Mel

Gooding curated this exhibition comprising 60 major paintings and constructions presenting the work of Ceri Richards (1903-72) in five thematic sections corresponding to the recurrent themes of his work over nearly four decades. The exhibition was organised, in keeping with Richards’ preoccupations with music and poetry, in the manner of a musical composition, or a modernist poem in sequences, in which themes are stated, developed, countered and consolidated within and between successive ‘movements’. The overall presentation was chronological, but within some ‘movements’ there was representation of recapitulations, renewals and re-workings of a stated theme in subsequent decades.

Works in Section 1, ‘Prelude’, demonstrated Richards’ distinctive synthesis in the 1930s of the great modernisms (Cubism, Abstraction, Surrealism), and his announcement of his principle themes: the dialectics of nature/art, sacred/profane, female/male, interior/exterior. Section 2 showed the major paintings (c.1944-45) on the recurrent theme of ‘The Cycle of Nature’ and later works that recapitulated its expression. The paintings from the late 1940s and early 1950s in Section 3, ‘Music in a Room’, provided a counter to the previous section, being domestic and musical in theme. These were followed in Section 4 by the spectacular paintings and constructions based on the Debussy prelude ‘La Cathédral Engloutie’ that diversities of expression and style can exist within the terms of an underlying coherent intellectual and artistic framework., works that constitute a synthesis of Richards’ themes. The final section consisted of late paintings, abstractions on further themes from Debussy.

The exhibition was constructed to reveal thematic oppositions that consistently animated Richards’ creative production, and drew on the extensive research undertaken by Gooding, simultaneously published in the monograph. It aimed to create an experience in which the audience might be enabled to arrive at an appreciation of individual works.

Your affiliations with UAL: Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 27 July 2002
Related Publications: Ceri Richards, Themes and Variations: a select retrospective ISBN: 0-7200-0523-X, Monograph: Ceri Richards (ISBN: 0-906506-20-4)
Event Location: National Museum of Wales; Leeds City Art Gallery; Glynn Vivian Museum and Art Gallery, Swansea
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2009 13:35
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2010 13:59
Item ID: 1826
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1826

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