GoMA to show newly acquired Stephen Sutcliffe works together for the first time
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GoMA to show newly acquired Stephen Sutcliffe works together for the first time

19/09/2017
Stephen Sutcliffe: Work from the Collection
22 September 2017 – 21 January 2018


Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) presents Stephen Sutcliffe: Work from the Collection, a exhibition by the Glasgow-based artist Stephen Sutcliffe (Harrogate 1968).  This is the first time five new acquisitions of the artist’s work, purchased by Glasgow Museums in 2013, will go on show together. Two further works, loaned by Stephen Sutcliffe, will also be on display.

Stephen Sutcliffe: Work from the Collection presents three videos, three wall drawings and two photographs.  It opens to the public on Friday 22 September 2017 in Gallery 3.  

Sutcliffe creates film collages from an extensive personal archive of broadcast, sound, images and spoken word recordings he has collected since childhood. The appropriation and reimaging of this original material is present throughout his films, drawings and photographs. The exhibition reflects on aspects of culture and identity, expanding upon recurring themes in Sutcliffe’s work: self-doubt, anxiety and class. 

Stephen Sutcliffe said: “As an adopted Glaswegian I feel very privileged that the city has purchased my work. I hate to think of things hidden away in permanent storage so to have them on display in this exhibition is a relief ”.

Videos Plum (2012), Despair (2009) and Come to the Edge (2003) show Sutcliffe’s emphasis on the principal role of collage within his creative thought. By interweaving recordings from television, cinema and radio he creates poetic, often satirical new works that focus on complicated, fragmented relationships. His careful editing of sound and image creates an awkwardness or interruption, which is often humorous at first glance, but can be read as quite dark and sardonic. 

In his wall drawings and photographs he has reworked cartoons by Saul Steinberg, whose work often featured in The New Yorker magazine. Sutcliffe’s attributes his interest in cartoons largely to their tendency to be concise representations of ideas and situations, which he then reworks to communicate his fascination with awkwardness and self-doubt. The show will exhibit Untitled Wall Drawing (Selected Errors), 2011 purchased using the Contemporary Art Fund with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions (NFA) and the Art Fund, together with a second loaned work Untitled Wall Drawing (after Weber), 2009. Alongside these will be two framed giclée printed photographs No (after Steinberg), 2011 also purchased using the Contemporary Art Fund with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions (NFA) and the Art Fund and Self-Portrait, with boxes (after Steinberg), 2011, lent by the artist.

Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor David McDonald, said: “We are delighted to present Stephen’s work at GoMA. His work is incredibly rich with cultural references and encourages us to think more deeply about our film, television, radio and publishing heritage in the context of social and political change.  

“This is the first time these new works, acquired thanks to the continued support of the National Fund for Acquisitions and the Art Fund, have been shown together. Their addition underlines our ambition to continually build a world-class collection of contemporary visual art through the acquisition of important national and international works of art.

“We hope many people will come and engage with this exhibition and that Stephen’s success as a Glasgow-based artist working on a global stage will inspire our visitors and young people across the city to strive to achieve all they dream off.”

Stephen Sutcliffe: Work from the Collection follows on from two other major commissions for the artist this year: No End to Enderby at the Whitworth Gallery, part of the Manchester Art Festival and Sex Symbols in Sandwich Signs at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh until 30 September. 

Stephen Sutcliffe: Work from the Collection opens Gallery 3, GoMA on Friday 22 September 2017. For more information visit www.glasgowmuseums.com

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