Liverpool’s Bluecoat Celebrates 300th Anniversary With Major Show of Exhibited Artists

Yoko Ono, John Akomfrah, Mark Leckey, and Jeremy Deller are all featured.

The Bluecoat in Liverpool is celebrating its 300th anniversary with an exhibition showcasing some of the most famous artists that have exhibited there, including Mark Leckey, John Latham, Yoko Ono, John Akomfrah, and Jeremy Deller.

“As the UK’s oldest arts centre, Bluecoat has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life for many years,” Mary Cloake, Bluecoat chief executive said in a statement.

“We have always strived to be at the forefront of developments in contemporary art in the UK, whether that is through showcasing the work of under-represented artists, exhibiting the work of major artists in Liverpool for the first time, or through our ground-breaking participation programs which aim to bring art to the widest possible audience.“

The exhibition, titled “Public View,” includes a new series of photographs by 2017’s Artes Mundi prizewinner John Akomfrah, a video and photographs from performances by Ono and Mark Boyle from 1967, and work by Keith Piper and Imran Qureshi.

Yoko Ono performing at the Bluecoar in 1967. Courtesy Sheridon Davies

Yoko Ono performing at The Bluecoat in 1967. Courtesy Sheridon Davies.

“’Public View’ brings together works by many artists who have exhibited at Bluecoat, mostly drawn from the last 50 years since the gallery space was improved and an exhibition program formalized,” said curator and Bluecoat artistic director Bryan Biggs.

“Even with 100 artists, this is but a small, though significant, sample of the thousands of artists who have shown here. It aims to reflect something of Bluecoat’s curatorial interests and distinctive exhibition programming over this period.”

The Bluecoat’s relationship with the arts goes back a long way. One of its early exhibitions was the first Post-Impressionist show in 1911, which toured from London and included works by artists including Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Henri Matisse.

Today, the Bluecoat contains four exhibition spaces and workspace for artists and businesses, as well as working with the community in the Liverpool area. The center, homed in an 18th-century building listed as UNESCO world heritage, had a $16 million makeover in 2008 by Dutch firm Biq Architecten.

Public View” is on view at Bluecoat, Liverpool, from February 4 – April 23, 2017.

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