Art in Manchester – New Contemporary Art Exhibitions

Art in Manchester this week has more new exhibitions for a very busy October. They include the Manchester Art School  MA Fine Arts Show at HOME,  The Lowry has IGOR + Moreno, plus a really interesting option for a day out with American artist Christina Quarles first solo exhibition at a European museum at The Hepworth, Wakefield Plus Europia Art Collective and she kreativ have a talk and open discussion at Manchester Central Library and last, but not least the latest in their Future Cities series, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art presents exhibitions from Cheng Ran and Cui Jie 

There are also a number of Art in Manchester exhibitions still running and worth a look. More HERE


Europia Art Collective & she kreativ – Manchester Central Library

5.30pm 24th October

she kreativ – Europia Art Collective – Manchester Central Library

Europia Art Collective and she kreativ have invited four European expat women who run a creative businesses in Manchester to share their experience of building something of their own as a woman, an immigrant, and a leader in creative industries. The speakers will present a range of art disciplines as well as stages in career. Baiba Auria, artist and owner of Egoiste Gallery in Afflecks, and Art Across founder Sara Riccardi who both are already well known within Manchester’s art scene. They are joined by contemporary dancer and director Ina Colizza and MargePowerhouse music label founder Marge Girdzijauskaite.

The event on at Manchester Central Library, will start with short presentations about their creative projects followed by a panel discussion with audience questions.

The event is FREE, but registration via Eventbrite is essential



Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY – The Whitworth Art Gallery

25 October 2019 – 1 March 2020

Art in Manchester

This autumn, the Whitworth presents the most extensive exhibition of the work of Elizabeth Price to date. Bringing together many new and acclaimed works – including video, sculpture and prints – this exhibition engages with Price’s pre-occupations of technology, history, politics and pop music. A new trilogy of video works, SLOW DANS, will be premiered and her Turner Prize winning THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979, remembering that fatal fire in Manchester, will be shown in the city for the first time.

In an architectural setting designed by Elizabeth Price, the exhibition will debut new prints, pinhole photographs and the new video trilogy SLOW DANS, consisting of KOHL, FELT TIP and THE TEACHERS; the latter newly commissioned by Artangel and the Whitworth. SLOW DANS coalesces in a single, large-scale projection-installation presenting a fictional past, an imagined future and a parallel present. Each work touches upon recent social and political histories ranging from the systematic abandonment of coal mines, through technological and demographic revolutions of the office, to the corporatisation of education


KOHL (2018) When coal-mines are abandoned, one invisible result is that groundwater swiftly floods the underground tunnel systems. This is the premise for KOHL, which imagines the subterranean architectures of coal mining unified as a single network by the liquid that now courses through them. The work is set in a fictional past, which in many ways resembles our own. In this, the dark water that runs through abandoned mines acts as a supernatural medium of transmission and draws on connections between the ancient histories of coal, ink, make-up and alcohol. The work features photographs by Albert Walker which show mine-head architectures during the main period of mine abandonment in the UK between the late 70s and the late 80s. Walker’s archive of photographs, on loan from the National Coal Mining Museum for England, will be shown as part of the exhibition.

FELT TIP (2018), a two-screen video, features a collection of men’s neckties c.1975-1991, which bear imagery that calls to mind electronic systems of data transmission and storage. The ties are used as a repository of knowledge from which demographic and technological revolutions of office work can be extrapolated. This process is undertaken from an imagined future in which the wearing of these ties has been recently revived as a form of feminist drag in which they are known as ‘FELT TIPS’, or ‘longue-tongues’ in which they become repositories for other sexual histories of the office.

Art in Manchester

THE TEACHERS (2019) is a satirical tale, set in the parallel present of a culture similar to our own. It concerns a contagion of elective muteness that has spread rapidly through certain professional classes. As a proxy for speech those affected make and wear elaborate costumes and perform absurd and profane rituals. The story is delivered by a group of four academic authors, who dispute the origins and meaning of this silence, using the arcane and haughty linguistic mannerisms of academic research.

THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979 (2012) is a film installation which comprises three distinct sections: the first examines the choral architecture of churches, the second concentrates on coordinated dance routines performed by pop groups and backing singers while the third focuses on archive footage from a fire at the Woolworths department store in Manchester in 1979. Physical gestures recur throughout the film, and parallels are drawn between the movements of hands waving to fire services for help and those of the dancers and singers, twisting and moving their arms for musical emphasis. When combined with the recurring sounds, music and graphics, the effect is that of a dissonant chorus, which floats somewhere between social history and fantasy.

Other video works to be shown include K (2015) and At the House of Mr X (2007).

Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman, Manchester Plan and Cui Jie

Both Exhibitions run: Friday 25 October 2019 – Sunday 19 January 2020
Exhibition Preview: Thursday 24 October, 6-8pm

Cheng Ran, still from Diary of a Madman Manchester Plan, New Bees (2019)

The latest exhibition in the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art’s Future Cities season explores imagined and re-imagined urban spaces, presenting works that investigate the intersection between art and architecture. Both upcoming exhibitions investigate this theme and offer the opportunity to encounter newly commissioned work by celebrated artists.

Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman, Manchester Plan

Cheng Ran is a video artist working and living in Hangzhou, China. His latest work Diary of a Madman, Manchester Plan, is a multi-channel installation filmed entirely in Greater Manchester and is the outcome of a short residency with CFCCA earlier this year. Interested in the idea of ‘otherness’, Cheng uses cinematic techniques to look at the ways we experience new cities and their unfamiliar geographies and living spaces. His first solo exhibition in the UK explores the city of Manchester from the perspective of a visitor and a stranger, drawing attention to the myths and fabrications that inform our understanding of place.

Art in Manchester
Cheng Ran – still from Diary of a Madman, New York (2016)

“Cheng’s Diary of a Madman series, is an ongoing project that was initially developed during a residency at the New Museum in New York in 2016 followed by two further chapters in Tel Aviv and Hong Kong. We are delighted to have collaborated with Cheng Ran on this exciting new chapter that links with the city and people of Manchester,” said CFCCA’s Senior Curator Marianna Tsionki.


Cui Jie

Described as one of ‘China’s Rising Art Stars’ by the Wall Street Journal, Cui Jie is best known for her paintings that depict the transformation of the modern Chinese urban landscape. Her canvases are constructed like a building, with image applied over image, meticulously dissected and re-assembled, until a captivating, dazzling cityscape arises. Cui’s latest series of paintings examines the viewing pavilions on the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Victoria Peak not only provides the most iconic view of the Hong Kong skyline, serving as one of the main tourist attractions in Hong Kong, it is also closely linked to various nationalist and capitalist interests which she explores. Cui is also interested in the study of ancient Chinese pavilions and the significance of their spiritual and cultural use, as well as their parallel space satellites.

Cui Jie – The second generation of Peak Tower 2 (2019)

CFCCA’s curator Tiffany Leung added: “We are very excited to be presenting works from Cui Jie’s new project ‘Peak Tower’ which examines one of the most iconic buildings in Hong Kong through its historical and cultural significance. Cui also delves into the use of Chinese pavilions and draws interesting correlations with space satellites in their perplexing relationship with the landscape.’


Manchester School of Art MA Show – HOME

Sat 12 Oct 2019 – Sun 27 Oct 2019

Art in Manchester
Fruit Cocktail – Matthew Bamber – MA Fine Arts Show – HOME

An exhibition of work by MA and MFA Fine Art graduates that celebrates the outcomes of their studies and work as practitioners. The school provides a practice driven environment and relies on experimentation and critical reflection supported by individualised mentoring, lectures, seminars and group critiques. It emphasises the articulation of ideas, development of working methods and the realisation of independent work.

Based in the heart of Manchester, The Manchester School of Art celebrated their 180th anniversary in 2018. Former graduates include Sarah Burton OBE, L.S. Lowry, Julie Walters, Ryan Gander, Steve Coogan, Liam Spencer, Thomas Heatherwick, Peter Saville, Martin Parr, Brian Cosgrove, Mark Hall, Professor Malcolm Garrett and many more.

Igor + Moreno – The Lowry

Andante – Fri 18 October – £12
Edit. 05 Limited Celestial Space – Sat 12 – Sun 27 Oct – FREE

Art in Manchester
‘Andante’ performed at The Place, London. Igor & Moreno.

Contemporary dance company Igor + Moreno bring the premiere of their brand-new dance show BEAT, their first ever gallery installation as The Lowry’s EDIT.05 Limited Celestial Space, and three of their internationally renowned earlier works Andante to The Lowry, Salford.

London-based artists, performers and contemporary dance company Igor + Moreno will premiere their brand-new work BEAT at The Lowry. Created in collaboration with Italian dancer Margherita Elliott and celebrated London DJ Martha, BEAT is a solo, psychedelic show made for theatre and non-theatre spaces.

Celebrating their return to Salford, the duo will also present their first art-gallery installation commissioned by The Lowry, Limited Celestial Space, inspired by their earlier work Andante, which will also be performed at the venue.

Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas said: “We are excited to be returning to The Lowry and The Place with two brand new artworks, and to be celebrating some of our earlier shows in venues where we have received so much nurturing and support throughout our careers. It’s a special thing to be invited to create our first gallery installation this year at The Lowry, and to be collaborating with so many talented artists, designers, performers, musicians and DJs across our works during this very exciting time for our company.

Continuing their long-standing relationship with The Lowry, who commissioned and are re-staging their previous work Andante, Igor + Moreno have been invited to develop a piece for EDIT, their series of Gallery residencies, installations and interruptions. Limited Celestial Space takes Andante as a starting point, adapting and developing it for a gallery space. Andante features four dancers, and is a contemplative piece, inviting the audience to pause and connect with their senses in a room filled with smoke and scent.

Similarly, the installation engages with ideas of disorientation and our connection to our senses. This is a place for contemplation where movements and stillness are framed, shaped and formed by light, sound, smoke and smells, specially created by perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri and activated by the public as they walk through the gallery.


Christina Quarles – Hepworth Wakefield 19th Oct

19 October 2019 – 19 January 2020

Art in Manchester
Christina Quarles Let Us In Too (Tha Light), 2018 Acrylic on canvas 182.9 x 152.4 cm 72 x 60 in Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London – The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield are presenting the first solo exhibition in a European museum by American artist Christina Quarles (b. 1985). On display will be new and recent works including paintings and drawings displayed in an installation that plays with the specific architecture of The Hepworth Wakefield’s galleries.

In her vibrantly coloured and textured paintings Quarles depicts bodies that seem barely contained by the frame of the canvas. Body parts intermingle and intersect with domestic objects and the architectural spaces that enclose them, momentarily legible before slipping quickly into abstraction. Quarles mines and collides the full gamut of painterly gestures in her restless compositions, often using them pointedly to allude to the hetero-normative, male and predominantly white history of painting.

The figures in Quarles’ paintings are an embodiment of her own perspective on the world and she has described them as conveying ‘the experience of living in a body rather than looking at a body.’ The ways in which her painted bodies elude definition reflects her own experience of being misread or mis-represented, as a queer cis woman, born to a black father and white mother. In her paintings, facial features are often obscured and skin is rendered in a spectrum of shifting colour. For Quarles a resistance to legibility becomes a gesture of political resistance.

In her drawings, fragments of text, often taken from songs or poems, intersect with bodies. They reveal some of the literary, musical and autobiographical references that underpin her work. Her use of literary and popular cultural touchstones will resonate with a similar approach found in the early works of David Hockney and Alan Davie, which will be on display in adjacent galleries in a concurrent exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield.