Grazia Toderi, Orbite Rosse, 2009, installation at The New Art Gallery Walsall. Presented by the Art Fund under Art Fund International for joint ownership by The New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Museums Trust, 2010. Photo: Jonathan Shaw.

In February The New Art Gallery Walsall celebrates its 20th birthday with a series of exhibitions and celebratory events. Since opening on 20 February 2000 (and officially opened by The Queen on 5 May 2000), the Gallery has welcomed over 3.5 million visitors. 

To mark this special occasion, the Gallery will bring together works of contemporary art collected over the last 20 years, from artists who have featured in their exhibitions and Studio programmes. 20:20 – Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art will reflect overlapping themes such as the changing urban landscape, the Black Country, the impact of globalisation and people and places, and will feature work from a selection of international artists as well as those closer to home. Artists include Mohamed Bourouissa, Romuald Hazoumè, Juneau Projects, Hew Locke, Yinka Shonibare, Dayanita Singh, Bob and Roberta Smith, Soheila Sokhanvari and many others across Floor 3 and throughout the building.

The exhibition will acknowledge significant gifts and schemes such as the Contemporary Art Society’s Special Collection Scheme and Art Fund International as well as the Clive Beardsmore Gift, a collection of 200 modern and contemporary works generously donated to the Gallery in 2014.

Soheila Sokhanvari, Two Serious Ladies, 2015, egg tempera on vellum. The New Art Gallery Walsall Permanent Collection.

Gallery Director Stephen Snoddy has selected a series of works for a special exhibition in the ground floor Community Gallery, representing each individual year of the Gallery’s 20 year history. 20 for 2020 will include works by Gavin Turk, Christopher Le Brun, Soheila Sokhanvari and Jane and Louise Wilson.

The much-loved Garman Ryan Collection will be displayed (almost) in its entirety, complemented by a series of works focusing on the women behind the Collection, Kathleen Garman (widow of Sir Jacob Epstein) and Sally Ryan, created during a residency at the Gallery in 2014 by Birmingham artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood.

20:20 – Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art opens on Thursday 20 February from 6-9pm as part of a special celebratory event with a guest DJ set from Bob and Roberta Smith. This will be followed on Saturday 22 February with Arty Party for all the family featuring music, free workshops, games and of course, birthday cake. Both events are free with no booking required.

20:20 – Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art runs from 21 February – 14 June 2020.

20 for 2020 runs from 25 January – 5 July 2020.



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