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Friday 05 November 2021

First Exhibition Of Duncan Grants Recently Discovered Erotic Drawings Are Highlight Of Charleston’s 2022 Exhibition Programme

Two new artist commissions – including the first ever time that a newly commissioned piece of art will be on display in the house – contemporary responses to Charleston and the Bloomsbury group, and the first exhibition of Duncan Grant's recently discovered erotic drawings are among the highlights of Charleston's 2022 exhibition programme.

 2 April – 29 August 2022

New Langlands & Bell commission: Near Heaven 

A new work by artists Langlands & Bell will be installed in Vanessa Bell's attic studio at Charleston, a space overlooking the garden which is rarely seen. 

This is a landmark moment for Charleston, and it also marks the first ever time a contemporary artwork has been installed in the house. 

The title is drawn from a quote by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant's daughter Angelica Garnett talking about the importance of this attic space to her mother. 

The free-to-visit installation will explore traces of the absent artist and consider the studio as a place of contemplation, creation, and retreat.

New Nathan Coley commission

Internationally renowned and Turner Prize-shortlisted artist Nathan Coley will unveil a major illuminated text work in the grounds of Charleston. Coley creates his monumental sculptures using existing phrases. 

In the past these public proclamations have come from George Bernard Shaw, a sign found in rural Denmark and a radio interview with a woman reflecting on 10 years after 9/11. 

The Charleston commission will encourage audiences to reflect on the meaning of this modernist home, and the conversations which happened within it a century ago.

Langlands & Bell: Ideas of Utopia (Wolfson Gallery)

A solo exhibition spotlighting over 40 years of work by BAFTA award-winning and Turner Prize-shortlisted artist duo, Langlands & Bell will open at Charleston in April 2022. 

Artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell"s creative partnership began in 1978 while they were still at art school in London. Central to the artists" work is an interrogation of the role of architecture in imagining and shaping our lives. 

The exhibition will present artworks from throughout Langlands & Bell's career examining attempts – knowing and unknowing – to create utopias whether domestic, religious, social, or commercial.

Absent Artists (South Gallery)

Curated by Langlands & Bell, Absent Artists explores artists' studios devoid of the physical form of the artist themselves. 

The exhibition includes works by Phyllida Barlow, Annie Leibovitz, David Hockney, Michael Craig-Martin, William Hogarth and James Ensor through a range of different mediums including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture and print.

17 September 2022 – 12 March 2023

Very Private?

Exploring themes of sex, intimacy, gender, and identity a selection of Duncan Grant's recently uncovered erotic drawings will be shown for the first time alongside new contemporary responses by artists including Tim Walker, Somaya Critchlow, Ajamu X and Linder Sterling. 

Drawn during the 1940s and 50s when sex between men was still illegal in England, the drawings by Grant were previously feared lost or destroyed. 

Instead, they had been passed from lover to lover, friend to friend in secret, before being donated to Grant's former home Charleston in 2020. 

The exhibition also marks the start of a period of research into the collection of drawings and hidden queer histories.

Check-out for up-to-date details.

by: Mike Cobley

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