Aberdeen Art Gallery is to be the first of four venues selected to host the British Art Show in 2021. The show is a touring exhibition of British contemporary art, taking place every five years in four cities across the UK, enjoying a reputation for showing the most important contemporary British art, and unrivalled in its ambition, scope and geographical reach, and introduces to the public a new generation of artists practising in Britain, providing an overview of some of the most exciting art produced over the last five years. This year’s Show is the ninth, and has been curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar, opening in Aberdeen before touring to Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth. Aberdeen Art Gallery re-opened on 26th April.
The show has been developed at an unprecedented and complex time in Britain’s history: politics, narratives and questions of identity and agency are at the centre of the public’s consciousness, and the artists contributing to the exhibition respond in critical ways to this context, exploring three themes: healing, care and reparative history, tactics for togetherness, and imagining new futures, and although the frameworks were devised before the pandemic, and the global recognition of racial injustice sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests, all three themes have taken on a heightened relevance to the present day.