Fiona Gasper to Direct Manchester International Festival

Fiona Gasper has been appointed as executive director for the Manchester International Festival happening in March 2016. Gasper succeeds Jim Forrester, who oversaw the festival’s 2013 and 2015 editions. Gasper arrives at the Festival after five years as director at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre; prior to her work there, she was executive producer of Liverpool’s 2008 European Capital of Culture Program. In 2009 she was awarded a MBE for her service to the arts. Gasper said: “I am really thrilled to be joining John at MIF but have relished my time in helping to shape the Exchange into an organisation which is hugely relevant to theatre-making in all its forms in Manchester and nationally.” Conceived as a biennial event presenting original works that mixes artists from the performing and visual arts with artists from popular culture, the Festival launched in 2007 with Alex Poots and Peter Saville as co-directors. Its earliest commissions included the group show/event “Il Tempo del Postino,” organized by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe...

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Art Dealers Ivor Braka and Thomas Dane Donate to The Whitworth

London art dealers Ivor Braka and Thomas Dane have made a gift including major works to The Whitworth, in Manchester, United Kingdom with the intention to encourage more dealers and collectors to give outside London. The gift includes major works by Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George, Rebecca Warren, Michael Landy and Anya Gallaccio. The gift responds to strengths in the Whitworth’s existing historic and contemporary collections. A large-scale appliquéd blanket by Tracey Emin, for example, will complement the Whitworth’s world-class holdings of fine art and textiles, which includes tapestries by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. The donation will also strengthen the gallery’s representation of contemporary British female artists by adding Rebecca Warren’s 2006 Turner Prize nominated installation Sylvesternacht as well as a significant Anya Gallaccio sculpture that will sit alongside a major new commission by the artist, to be realised in Manchester in Spring 2016. Maria Balshaw commented: ‘We are thrilled by this important gift. Acquiring major works by contemporary artists is perhaps the biggest challenge facing UK public collections today and it is where collectors can offer the greatest help to...

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Uli Sigg collection at Whitworth gallery

Manchester’s Whitworth gallery has announced that it is to hold an exhibition featuring highlights from the collection of Uli Sigg, entitled “Four Decades of Chinese Art,” which will be the museum’s first since its recent renovation. The exhibition is set to open on July 1. The exhibition will include 80 works by some of China’s most esteemed contemporary artists, including the likes of Cao Fei, Zhang Peili, Zhang Huan, Weng Fen, and Ai Weiwei. Highlights of the exhibition will include Weiwei’s 1995-2000 installation Still Life, which consists of thousands of Stone Age axe heads. Key themes of the exhibition will include censorship and freedom of expression in China, exploring subversive and underground artistic movements and collectives such as the No Name Group. The Whitworth gallery, which is part of the University of Manchester reopened in February after an extensive £15 million renovation project. The museum has also been shortlisted for the nation’s most prestigious museum award, the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015, which includes a £100,000 cash...

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Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery announces reopening

The University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery has announced the date of their reopening scheduled for 14 February 2015. The 125-year-old gallery has been shut for just over a year as part of a £15 million redevelopment which has involved the construction of two new wings. The artist Cornelia Parker has been commissioned to create an artwork for the museum with Nobel Prize winning scientist, Kostya Novoselov, out of tiny fragments of graphite. The fragments will be turned into graphene (the thinnest material in the world), which will then be made into a humidity sensor. On the night of the opening, Novoselov is to breathe into the sensor and trigger a spectacular firework display. The gallery houses works by artists such as Francis Bacon, Blake, Turner, Bridget Riley, Richard Hamilton and William Morris as well as 2013 Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost. The newly-built landscape gallery will feature a 45-meter-long installation by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, based on gunpowder....

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“Akram Khan: One Side to the Other” at The Lowry, Manchester

Renowned choreographer and dancer Akram Khan is to curate “Akram Khan: One Side to the Other” at Manchester’s The Lowry, the exhibition will run from 15 November 2014 until 1 February 2015. The exhibition is second in The Lowry’s series of visual arts exhibitions, featuring works by artists Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. What makes the exhibition unique is that the visitors can choose to be lead around the museum by dancers in a series of intimate performances, which will truly combine the two mediums. It is to explore Khan’s fascination with the traditional and the contemporary, the spiritual and the grounded, doubt and certainty, light and dark, through a variety of mediums including sculpture, photography, painting and film....

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