The New Art Gallery Walsall
The New Art Gallery Walsall
West Midlands County
The New Art Gallery Walsall opened in February 2000 in the heart of Walsall town centre. A unique civic building for Walsall, the gallery is also a rare example of a brand-new building for the millennial arts. The £21 million world class gallery was made possible by £15.75 million Arts Lottery funding (the 1000th lottery grant awarded since the lottery began in 1994) and commissioned by Walsall Metropolitan
Borough Council, which wanted nothing but the best for this vibrant West Midlands town.
Tues-Sat 1000-1700 and Sunday 12noon-1600
Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays
On permanent display is The Garman Ryan Collection which was donated to the people of Walsall by Lady Kathleen Garman, widow of sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein, in 1973. This
unique collection is displayed in a two storey house consisting of a series of initimate, interconnecting rooms, each with a window, making a house for the collection over
the first and second floors of the gallery.
Key artists and exhibits
- Two remarkable women created The Garman Ryan Collection, Kathleen Garman, lover and later wife of artist
- Jacob Epstein, and her life-long friend Sally Ryan, a talented sculptor. Together, they formed an art collection that is
- initimate, adventurous and eclectic, reflecting their wide-ranging tastes. Works by well-known European artists, including Monet, Rembrandt, Constable, Van Gogh and Picasso, are displayed alongside beautiful artefacts from many different cultures across the world. The galleries chart the long, productive and often controversial career of Jacob Epstein, and serve as a memorial to the Epstein's extraordinary circle of family and friends - Augustus John,
- Modigliani, Gaudier-Brzeska and Epstein's one-time son-in-law Lucian Freud.
Martin Parr, Black Country Stories
- 3 October 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now
Over the last 4 years, Magnum photographer, Martin Parr, has created a photographic portrait and archive of life in the Black Country through photography, film and histories.
Martin has made many visits to Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley, meeting a wide range of local people. He has visited shops and markets, places of worship, football grounds, factories, pubs and clubs, dances and parties, cafés and restaurants, dog training classes, summer fêtes and street parties celebrating the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee.
Four specially commissioned films offer a fascinating insight into Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory in Dudley; the world of Black Country pigeon fancying; Stourbridge's Tudor Crystal; and the coach holiday company JR Holyhead, based in Willenhall.
The Clive Beardsmore Gift: Interventions in the Garman Ryan Galleries
- 4 December 2014 — 15 March 2015 *on now
The 2015 interventions into the Garman Ryan Collection focuses on a selection from a new substantial gift of artworks donated to The New Art Gallery Walsall by a private collector, Clive Beardsmore. Clive has a longstanding association with the Gallery, having early in his career served as an assistant to the then curator Michael Mosesson in the 1970s, at the time Walsall received Kathleen Garman's gift.
Throughout a career which has encompassed working as a town planner, lecturer, assistant curator, occasional artist's model, and continues as a professional historical researcher, Clive has been a long-term supporter of the Gallery, and now his personal collection finds a permanent home here.
Twenty of the 200 works received will be presented as interventions throughout the first and second floor galleries in 2015, in the themed Garman Ryan rooms, featuring works on paper by leading Modern British Artists such as Edward Bawden, John Bratby, Laura Knight, Graham Sutherland and Keith Vaughan, all artists previoulsy not represented in our collections. The Gift has enabled us to fill gaps and expand our holding of Modern British works in particular.
Darren Banks: The Raven
- 4 December 2014 — 26 April 2015 *on now
Churton Fairman (1924 - 1997) - better known by his alias Mike Raven - had an extraordinary life. Starting out as an aspiring ballet dancer and photographer, he then became a pirate radio dj, pioneer of blues music and one of the first presenters on Radio One. He was also a horror movie actor, starring alongside the like of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
In the 1970s he gave up his celebrity lifestyle and moved to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall to become a sheep farmer and wood carver. Fairman's sculpture, which explored religious themes, was exhibited alongside work by Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein, and was well received and collected during his lifetime, but since then has been all but forgotten.
Artist Darren Banks, who discovered he had a family connection to Churton Fairman and was intrigued by his life story, has recently created a body of work inspired by Fairman's legacy. Banks' practice examines the relationship between objects and film, so he was drawn to Fairman's work as both a sculptor and horror movie actor.
Lee Bul: After Bruno Taut (Devotion to Drift)
- 4 December 2014 — 17 January 2015 *on now
The New Art Gallery is delighted to present this new work by South Korean artist Lee Bul which was commissioned jointly by The New Art Gallery, Birmingham Museums Trust and Ikon Gallery with support from the Art Fund as part of Art Fund International.
This compelling sculptural work is suspended like a chandelier from the gallery ceiling, where its crystal, glass and acrylic beads play with the natural light to activate the space. The work is one of a series created by the artist that reflect on the failings of utopian optimism, as characterised by the architect Bruno Taut (1880-1938).