Our three new exhibitions are now open

Not one, not two, but three exhibitions have now opened at Firstsite. Celebrated Chinese artist Zhang Enli’s exhibition ‘Gesture and Form’ includes the monumental ‘Space Painting’ he has been completing on our walls over the past weeks, whilst ‘Wunderkammer’ brings together weird and wonderful objects from collections across Essex in a cabinet of curiosities. Finally, our newest ‘pop up’ exhibition ‘#WorldsUpsideDown’,also opens, featuring riots, revolts and revolution.

Zhang Enli : Gesture and Form
This a major solo exhibition by the celebrated Chinese artist Zhang Enli.

The centerpiece of the presentation is a site-specific intervention that spans the entirety of the gallery’s 140-metre curving wall. This monumental ‘Space Painting’ depicts an imaginary forestscape, and has been created by the artist over a 10-day period before the show opens.

The work, which will remain at Firstsite for one year before being ‘unmade’, has transformed the gallery’s white walls with swathes of pulsating colour that have been washed, scrubbed and stroked into place with expressive brushstrokes. The sheer scale of this spatial environment draws the viewer deeper into the painting itself, inviting the beholder into the aesthetic world of the artist as they follow the movements that he took when creating the work.

11th March – 4th June 2017 10am – 5pm More Details

Wunderkammer A cabinet of curiosities from Colchester collections
In collaboration with Colchester and Ipswich Museums.

Firstsite is working with Colchester & Ipswich museums to create Essex’s very own Wunderkammer; a cabinet of curiosities that will grow over the coming years to surround the Berryfield Mosaic sited permanently below the gallery floor. A permanent display, in contrast to the transient nature of Firstite’s rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, it will develop over time to feature objects from collections across the region.

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BP Portrait Award 2016

Selected from 2,557 entries by artists from eighty countries around the world, the BP Portrait Award 2016, organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London, represents the very best in contemporary portrait painting.

From parents to poseurs, figurative nudes to famous faces and expressive sketches to piercing photo-realism, the variety and vitality in the exhibition continues to make it an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar.

Now in its thirty-seventh year and twenty-seventh year of sponsorship by BP, the first prize of £30,000 makes the Award the most prestigious international portrait painting competition of its kind and has launched the careers of many renowned artists. This is the first time the competition has travelled to Firstsite, and will be the last stop of its national tour.

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