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Andrew Patrizio

Andrew Patrizio of National Touring Exhibitions, together with Richard Hylton, of Oldham Art Gallery organised Imagined Communities, which featured the work of Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Denzil Forrester, Komar and Melamid, Giuseppe Penone, Tim Rollins + K.O.S., Yinka Shonibare, Gary Simmons and Gillian Wearing. The exhibition opened at Oldham Art Gallery, 27 January - 24 March 1996. It then  toured to John Hansard Gallery, at the University of Southampton; Firstsite at the Minories, Colchester; Walsall Museum and Art Gallery; Royal Festival Hall, London, and Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, between April 1996 and February 1997.

Imagined Communities was described in its catalogue as bringing “together nine artists who work in painting, photography, sculpture, video and mixed media. With wit, irony and sensitivity, the artists adopt a variety of strategies - taking them from the studio, onto the street, to market stall, into the factory, into the nightclub, and down the digital highway - to investigate the private and public space of our existence.”

The sentiment was noted, elsewhere in the same publication, that “An increasing number of artists have made sorties into the rich territory of community, and at their best they have respected both the integrity of their own working practices and the complexity of the communities with which they collaborate. Often they succeed in  being rebellious and funny too. Part of the fascination with the topic may be seen as a response to the lingering legacy from Romanticism, which generated the idea of the artist as isolated and visionary individual, at the opposite pole from community’s sense of inclusion and participation.”

The exhibition brought together a fascinating range of artists, from London, Paris, Turin, and New York, though simultaneously, a number of the artists laid claim to links, through parentage and birth, to other geographical locations such as Nigeria and Russia. The artists themselves came from different artistic communities - Shonibare and Wearing were perhaps identified with the yBa grouping of practitioners, who were at the time beginning to take hold (and a certain control) of the British art world. Other artists, such as Denzil Forrester, were longtime practitioners for whom the process of painting was hugely important. Other artists in the exhibition came from other important international centres of art, such as Paris and New York.

Together with Henry Meyric Hughes, Director of Exhibitions, Hayward Gallery and Louise Karlsen, Principal Galleries and Museums Officer, Oldham, Andrew Patrizio, Exhibition Organiser, National Touring Exhibitions co-wrote the Preface to the catalogue for Imagined Communities.

Related items

click to show details of Imagined Communities

»  Imagined Communities

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1996

Related exhibitions

»  Imagined Communities

Group show at Oldham Art Gallery. 1996

Related venues

»  Oldham Art Gallery

Oldham, United Kingdom