Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
City Library and Arts Centre
Fawcett Street
Tyne and Wear



Alistair Robinson, Programme Director

Kathryn Brame, Marketing Officer


0191 561 1235


0191 561 5950

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Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art presents changing exhibitions of new work by emerging and established artists from the UK and abroad, bringing key new works of art of our time to new audiences. The gallery runs a programme of talks, tours, education activities, workshops and artists residencies, providing a range of different opportunities for people to engage with the visual arts in an imaginative and inspiring way.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday / Tuesday / Thursday / Friday 9.30 - 5.00
Wednesday late opening 9.30 - 7.00
Saturday 10.00 - 4.00

Closed: Sundays

Admission charges


Collection details

Architecture, Design, Fine Art, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Decorator and The Thief (...)

  • 30 January — 16 May 2015 *on now

The Decorator and the Thief (...) convenes work from the Arts Council Collection alongside newly commissioned works that explore the intersection between art, design and craft. Design agency CommonRoom have been invited to accent the gallery with artist designed wallpaper and work by Yelena Popova will provide a critical lens for thinking through issues of visibility, labour and value.

In the essay It's Hard to find a Good Lamp (1993) the artist Donald Judd responded to the challenges of designing furniture with the refrain that design is a form of "visible reasonableness". By extension, can we see art as unreasonable? Do we value beauty over function, ideas over intuition? Can good design be dysfunctional? A newly commissioned text will accompany the exhibition. Ultimately, The Decorator and the Thief (...) asks us to consider the importance of collecting and how issues of taste, questions of judgement and ideas around beauty are ideologically bound.

As part of the group exhibition The Decorator and The Thief (...), the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and National Glass Centre present an off-site show at the Priestman Gallery at Sunderland University. The show extends the thematic concerns of the NGCA exhibition with a series of newly commissioned works. Including artist-designed wallpaper, sculpture, fabric, writing and film, the artists have been invited to explore the promiscuity between art, design and craft.

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