Robert Jennison, Starting Point II. © Robert Jennison
‘Made in the 70s’ is the first exhibition in the new ‘I love the 70s’ season of exhibitions at Touchstones Rochdale.
The exhibition, which runs until Sunday September 7 2008 explores work from the permanent collection made by artists during the decade in a variety of media, from painting and printmaking to drawing and sculpture.
The works fall into many different styles from the large-scale abstract painting of Gillian Ayres and the photo realist style of Guy Beggs to the continuation of the Pop Art tradition in Joe Tilson’s work.
Bright, vibrant use of colour characterises a lot of the works in the exhibition. Another theme is a concern with the natural environment and use of natural materials.
Rochdale is privileged to have works in the collection by artists who were important in the British art scene during the 1970s and who remain highly regarded today such as Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Gillian Ayres and Adrian Berg.
Gillian Ayres, Mons Graupius. © Gillian Ayres, 2007
New research has been undertaken by the Gallery for the exhibition and many of the works have not been on display for some time. A number of works have been newly restored or framed especially for the show.
This includes ‘Mons Graupius’ by Gillian Ayres, a riot of colour and heavily applied paint, which measures over two and a half metres by nearly three metres.
Due to its large size the canvas had been stored rolled up for a number of years but the painting has now been re-stretched in the gallery space (it doesn’t fit in the building otherwise!) and restored to its former glory with new plans for its future storage put in place.
The exhibition has a number of fun hands-on activities to help our younger visitors engage with the artworks on display. In addition, the new season of events in January includes creative activities for families linked to the exhibition where kids can make their own original prints or get to explore the Gillian Ayres painting in closer detail and recreate it on the same scale.