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Launch of summer exhibition at Grundy Art Gallery

Images – Derek Jarman, BLUE, 1993 Copyright and Courtesy Basilisk Communications Garth Gratrix, Mummy’s Boy, 2024 commission copyright the artist

A riot of colour and queer expression is unleashed this summer as ‘Flamboyant Flamingos’ gather at Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery.

The exhibition of newly commissioned work by Blackpool-based artist Garth Gratrix will be launched on Saturday (July 6) between 1pm and 4pm and run from July 9 until September 7.

Also on show at the gallery on Queen Street will be work by world-renowned artists Derek Jarman and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Paulette Brien, curator of Grundy Art Gallery, said, “We are delighted that Garth, who has a growing national and international profile, will sit centre stage in the Grundy’s programme this summer alongside the work of pioneering artists Derek Jarman and Felix Gonzalez- Torres.

“Flamboyant Flamingos promises to be a must-see exhibition. It is a celebration of the vibrancy of Garth’s creative practice, recognition of the pulling power of Grundy as a beacon for world-class contemporary art
and an affirmation of Blackpool’s position as a thriving hub of LGBTQ+ culture.”

Here is what the Grundy says about Garth Gratrix – 

Gratrix is a key figure in contemporary art’s exploration of nuanced queer expression. As a queer artist, Gratrix uses a playful and investigative approach to colour, language and materials weaving personal narratives into vibrant playful forms. In this new body of work, Gratrix continues his exploration of how codes can communicate hidden as well as universally understood messages and how the site of the exhibition can offer a space for contemplation and kinship.

In a further act of playfulness, ‘Flamboyant Flamingos’ also sees the artist interacting with the space of the gallery itself, generating an immersive ‘resort-like’ atmosphere using neon and glowing coastal hues.

Derek Jarman 

The presentation creates a conversation across time. Chosen for their pioneering approaches to art-making, and the deep influence that their work
has had, these artists are also recognised for their important contribution to the history of art made by artists with queer lived experience.

Released four months prior to Jarman’s death from AIDS-related complications, Blue (1993), is the artist’s final feature film. Set against a static blue background, the work takes the form of an audio-visual poem where spoken words, music and sounds combine to create an uncompromising and
deeply moving meditation on the artist’s life, loves and impending death.

Blue is generously on loan from Basilisk Communications Ltd. Grundy’s presentation of the work represents the first time it has been exhibited in Lancashire. Intended for Audiences Aged 15+

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

The work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres is celebrated for its minimalist visual vocabulary and its evocative use of everyday objects to explore profound themes of love, loss, temporality, and perpetual renewal.

“Untitled” (Last Light),1993, is part of the artist’s series of ‘light-string’ works which are made using commonplace electrical components, including the humble lightbulb. Wilfully simple in appearance, this work, offers the viewer a puzzle to solve and a story to complete.

This work is on loan from a Private Collection, c/o The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation and is the first time that it has been shown in Lancashire. Thanks to David Zwirner, London and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.

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