Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar

The past 70 years of Fine Art at the University of Leeds, through artworks, artefacts and multimedia.

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - Room shot 2Original source: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - University of Leeds

This exhibition was jointly presented in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery and the Project Space in the Fine Art Building at the University of Leeds. Calling on a range of voices and media, co-curators Sam Belinfante and Griselda Pollock proposed the exhibition as a type of grand seminar, allowing trans-historical lessons across the University as it stands now.

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar - The Project Space Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -- The Project Space - Room shot 5Leeds University Library Galleries

Fine Art at Leeds was proposed by the trio of influential British war poet and modernist art historian Herbert Read, Bonamy Dobrée (then Professor of English at the University), and painter Valentine Dobrée. 

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - Room shot 1Original source: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - University of Leeds

The fledgling Department of Fine Art was first led by painter, art historian and pioneering theorist of modern art education, Maurice de Sausmarez — assisted by the distinguished refugee art historians Arnold Hauser and Arnold Noach. Quentin Bell, Lawrence Gowing, T. J. Clark, Adrian Rifkin, Vanalyne Green and Roger Palmer followed him as Chairs of Fine Art.

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - Room shot 3Original source: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - University of Leeds

Read and the Dobrées believed that having Fine Art at the University of Leeds could challenge what they feared was the unfair privileging of science and technology over the arts and humanities. Today, again, the arts and humanities are under threat at universities and art, drama and music are disappearing from our schools. They are considered less economically valuable or useful subjects in higher education. Telling the story of Fine Art at Leeds through this exhibition aims to challenge this troubling trend.

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar - The Project Space Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -- The Project Space - Room shot 4Leeds University Library Galleries

What is now a School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies has become internationally-renowned for its critical projects in social, feminist and post-colonial questioning of art and culture and radical approaches to interdisciplinarity. It also has a longstanding programme in gallery and museum studies, working closely with local and regional museums, galleries and artist-led projects. Former students have gone on to be artists, musicians, screenwriters, film directors, teachers, curators, editors, and novelists. Several of them are highlighted in this exhibition.

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - Room shot 4Original source: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - University of Leeds

Co-curator Griselda Pollock said: “Reviewing our seventy years, we are rediscovering the many ways our students have used their fine art, art history and cultural and museum studies to go into the world as thinkers, artists, musicians, screenwriters, film directors, teachers, curators, editors, and novelists. These include New York Museum of Modern Art’s former chief curator John Elderfield and the creator of The Queen and The Crown Peter Morgan, to artists Jacky Fleming, Sutapa Biswas, Steve Bell and Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price. Alumni also include musicians such as Gang of Four and Little Boots. Visiting artists - from the Gregory Fellows of the 1950s-80s to contemporary figures such as Mary Kelly and Lubaina Himid - have also been a rich part of our history.”

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar - The Project Space Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -- The Project Space - Room shot 3Leeds University Library Galleries

The exhibition includes artworks from Turner Prize winner and celebrated alumna Elizabeth Price, who was one of the first PhD students in Fine Art in 1996. Also on display are works from the first South Asian artist to study at Leeds, Sutapa Biswas, in which she explores her first return visit to India since leaving as a child. 

Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery Lessons In the Studio: Studio in the Seminar -The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - Room shot 7Original source: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery - University of Leeds

The display also features the story of The Leeds 13, who are one of the most famous collective art projects to emerge from the University. The Leeds 13 saw an entire year of fine artists work together to challenge concepts of individual creation and the definition of art. With their conceptual art project 'Going Places', the group caused a media storm in 1998 with a staged holiday to Malaga.

Credits: Story

If you would like to read more about the artworks on display in the exhibition download the guides from this webpage: https://library.leeds.ac.uk/events/event/280/lessons_in_the_studio_studio_in_the_seminar

This exhibition was originally on show at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds, from 04 December 2019.

https://library.leeds.ac.uk/galleries

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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