Current exhibitionsCurrent exhibitions

Howard Hodgkin: Arriving
23 May - 26 July 2015

The New Art Centre is delighted to announce that Howard Hodgkin will be showing a large, new painting in the Orangery at Roche Court, entitled 'Arriving' it is the second in the series of single-picture exhibitions which began last year with Bridget Riley's 'Sentito (Blue)'. 'Arriving' revisits Hodgkin's preoccupation with the theme of travel, particularly through India, and with a sweeping tide of colour and gesture he recreates a sense of place combined with more ineffable qualities such as mood and emotion. As Shanay Jhaveri has written in the catalogue accompanying Hodgkin's most recent exhibition in Mumbai (2015):

Over the years, Hodgkin has repeatedly journeyed through India. He has looked on its landscape, meditated upon it, luxuriated in its beauty, confronted its toughness, and permitted the sensations that it provoked to remain, linger, and on occasion overwhelm him. The emotional effects stimulated by these moments are distributed across his work, as for example, in 'Indian Views', a series of twelve prints from 1971, inspired by how Hodgkin's vision of the Indian countryside was framed by the rectangular windows of the railway carriages he travelled in across the country... Over forty years later, the oil painting 'Arriving', with its vast tracts of exposed wood and buoyant curves gliding left and right, carries forward those comparable sensations of fluid apprehension, of the passing world, of a traveller en route.

Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932. He attended Camberwell School of Art and the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. His first retrospective was curated by Nicholas Serota at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1976. Since then major museum exhibitions include Paintings 1975-1995, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1995, travelled to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Kunstverein Düsseldorf; and Hayward Gallery, London); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006, travelled to Tate Britain, London; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid); Paintings: 1992-2007, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2007, travelled to Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge); Time and Place, 2001-2010, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (2010, travelled to De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; and San Diego Museum of Art); and Howard Hodgkin, Fondation Bemberg, Toulouse, France (2013) and most recently Howard Hodgkin: Paintings 1984-2015 - A Tribute, Jehangir Nicholson Gallery, CSMVA, Mumbai, Indian Waves, Gagosian Gallery, London and Inspired by India: Paintings by Howard Hodgkin, Aga Khan Museum (2015).

Howard Hodgkin was knighted in 1992, awarded the Shakespeare Prize in Hamburg in 1997, and made a Companion of Honour in 2003.

Conrad Shawcross: Manifold
23 May - 26 July 2015

In the gallery this summer, we are showing a body of work by Conrad Shawcross including examples from some of his most important series of sculptures. This is Conrad Shawcross' first exhibition at the New Art Centre and we are delighted he has also made a cast of 'Manifold 2 (9:8)' for the sculpture park. Imbued with an appearance of scientific rationality, Shawcross often appropriates redundant theories and methodologies to create ambitious structures in diverse materials. His constructions are conceived as systems - sometimes modular, sometimes mechanical - which could theoretically be extended into infinity.

The 'Perimeter Studies Set 3', in the current exhibition, comprises four sculptures based on the dodecahedron - the fourth of the platonic solids. They are a result of Shawcross' experimentation with the solidity of planes and lines in different configurations, and emanate from his desire to portray the origins of the universe and the first millisecond of time. The sculptures from the 'Plosion Series' we are showing, likewise, are a product of his fascination with the Big Bang, and how we might envisage such phenomena through sculptural form. The 'Three Perpetual Chord Studies' draw upon his ongoing study of light and harmonics and are maquettes for the monumental public commission Shawcross has made to replace Hepworth's 'Two Forms (Divided Circle)', which was stolen from Dulwich Park in 2011. 'Manifold 2 (9:8)' is a large-scale bronze sculpture which references the second chord in the Harmonic Spectrum. Shawcross visualised the precise mathematical ratios given by this chord with a machine based on a Victorian Harmonograph, its two pendulums - one attached to a pen, the other a piece of paper - recording the oscillations of its sound waves. The complex algorithm yielded by this process has here been rendered as a three-dimensional form, the end result seeming to grow like a tree from the ground.

Conrad Shawcross studied at the Slade, the Ruskin School of Art and at Chelsea. He has exhibited throughout the world and our exhibition coincides with major new projects in London at Dulwich Park and the Royal Academy of Arts. Other recent solo presentations include: ARTMIA Foundation, Beijing (2014); the Roundhouse, London (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); Science Museum, London (2011-2012) and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2011). His work has also been exhibited at: Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania (2014); the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Hayward Gallery, London (2013); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2012); National Gallery, London (2012); Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (2012) and Palazzo Fortuny, Venice (2011).

Barbara Hepworth: Form and Theatre
23 May - 26 July 2015

The focus of this small display in the Artists House is Barbara Hepworth's great interest in theatre, music and dance. These art forms provided inspiration for the rhythm, movement and space which we often find in her sculpture. More directly, they also led to her involvement in a play and an opera during the 1950s and a connection with the campaign to rebuild the Globe Theatre on London's Southbank.

In 1951 Hepworth created designs for a new production of Sophocles' Electra at the Old Vic. Her contribution included a sculpture (BH 167) made from painted steel rods and which depicted the god Apollo in abstract form. In the original theatrical photographs, the sculpture looks at once three dimensional and linear; the rods define volume, yet have a graphic quality. Hepworth subsequently visited Greece for herself in 1954, which inspired a number of later sculptures. The trip also gave a confidence and authenticity to her designs for the first production of Michael Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage at the Royal Opera House in 1955. In her Pictorial Autobiography she describes how the opera 'asked, in both its allegorical meaning and its symbolism, for a new discipline; also for a new tradition, perhaps related to the formality of Greek theatre...' (1970).

Shortly after The Midsummer Marriage, Hepworth began experimenting with new shapes and materials; 'Forms in Movement (Pavan)' (BH 211), which was later cast in bronze in 1967, and 'Forms in Movement (Galliard)' (BH 212) date from this pivotal period in her career; in both works Hepworth merged the theme of dance with the idea of flight, and named them after two sixteenth-century dances. In comparison to 'Pavan' and 'Galliard', Hepworth's 'Sphere' (BH 561), 1973, has a distinctly sci-fi appearance, though it also contains an historical reference. It was developed from an earlier work for the Globe Theatre Trust following an invitation from Sam Wanamaker, who was leading the campaign for the modern reconstruction of the theatre. The first cast remains there still.

To accompany Barbara Hepworth: Form and Theatre, 'The Bronze Garden' by Leo Geyer will be performed at the exhibition opening on Saturday 23 May at 2pm. Geyer has adapted his original composition, inspired by Hepworth's 'Sphere with Inner Form' at St Ives, for five musicians and will also conduct. The performers will be: Alto Flute - Katy Ovens; Violin - Tim Rathbone; Viola - Emily Pond; Cello - Michael Newman and Harp - Olivia Jageurs.

For further information on Leo Geyer's 'The Bronze Garden' please click here.