UCL News


Strang exhibition reveals painting practices

16 November 2007


Idea to Object ucl.ac.uk/museums/uclart/collections" target="_self">UCL Art Collections
  • UCL History of Art
  • A new exhibition and series of gallery talks from UCL Art Collections demonstrate how clues in the finished product reveal the methods and materials used by artists through the ages.

    Investigating the materials and physical structure of paintings can lay bare the progression of the painter, not only from the moment when he or she began to paint, but well before it.

    The exhibition - curated by staff and students from UCL in collaboration with UCL Art Collections - tells of how analysis can reveal the artist's choice of canvas, how the idea was first placed on the surface and the medium used- for example, chalk, pencil or paint.

    Showcasing a selection of rarely-seen paintings from the UCL Art Collections and two privately owned works loaned to UCL for analysis, the show considers what these types of investigation contributes to our understanding of the artists and their work.

    Lunchtime gallery talks by the student curators will expand on this theme, looking at innovative experimentation in the 20th century, how materials fare with time and climate, a hands-on look at panel painting, and the French influence on late 19th century British Art.

    The History of Art and Material Studies programme combines a full programme in the history of art with a unique focus on works of art as physical objects. This gives the students comprehensive skills in art history, together with a thorough understanding of artists' techniques and the nature and behaviour of their materials, both at the time a work of art was made, and subsequently as it ages and deteriorates.

    'From Idea to Object: Painting Processes Revealed' runs from 11 October to 14 December 2007 at the Strang Print Room, South Cloisters. The talks take place from 1pm to 2pm on 21 November 2007, 5 December 2007 and 12 December in the Strang Print Room.

    To find out more, use the links at the top of this article.

    Image: X-ray of 'Lot and his Daughters'

    UCL Context
    UCL Art Collections holds over 10,000 fine art objects, including prizewinning student work from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, prints and drawings by Old Master artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt, Turner and Constable, and sculpture models by the Neo-Classical artist John Flaxman. The UCL Art Collections is part of a major fundraising effort to create a new building - The UCL Institute for Cultural Heritage. It will house four of UCL's most significant collections - UCL's collection of Egyptian Archaeology, the UCL Galton Collection, UCL Library Services Special Collections and the UCL Art Collections - and provide space for changing exhibitions drawing on its other collections.

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