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State of the Art: Ideas and Images in the 1980s

Group show at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Harris Museum and Art Gallery. 1987
Date: 8 May, 1987
Curator: Sandy Nairne
Organiser: ICA/Channel 4

Multi site touring exhibition television series and book. Exhibition tour began at the ICA, London - then toured to Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle; Harris Museum, Preston; Cartwright Hall, Bradford; Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

From a text reproduced on the front flyleaf of the publication produced to accompany the exhibition: “State of the Art is a timely and intreging investigation into the contempoary visual arts. Organised around the six themes of History, Value, Imagination, Sexuality, Politics and Identity, the book examines the visual arts today within the broader framework of intellectual debate and social change….How are commercial and aesthetic values determined? What place do artists have in our vision of the world? What makes art political? State of the Art considers these and other questions about the institutions of the art world and about art itself.”

From the book introduction by Sandy Nairne: “State of the Art was written to accompany a series of six television films for Channel 4, London and WDR in Cologne. It was planned as an important element in the project, incorporating more extensive interviews and commentary than the programmes themselves could include. The book has the same title as the series; the chapters follow the themes of the individual programmes; the layout, illustrations and use of quotation are designed in a manner parallel to the television format.”

From a review of the exhibition by Tony Godfrey in the Burlington Magazine, vol. 129, no. 1008 (March 1987) pp.197-198: ”State of the Art: Ideas and Images in the 1980’s, which is to tour to four more places in England, is accompanied by a book written by Sandy Nairne who selected the exhibition. Perhaps it would be more precise to say that the exhibition accompanies the book, which is itself subsequent on a series of six TV programmes. Individually these cover “history’, “value’, “imagination’, “sexuality’, “politics’, and “identity’. The rooms of the exhibition follow such a division but omit “value’ which is concerned with the operations of the art market.”

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People in this exhibition - view 5

»  Terry Atkinson

Born, 1939 in Thurnscoe, UK

»  Jean-Michel Basquiat

Born, 1960 in Brooklyn. Died, 1988

»  Joseph Beuys

Born, 1921 in Krefeld, Germany. Died, 1986

»  Sutapa Biswas

Born, 1962 in Bolpur, India

»  Jonathan Borofsky

Born, 1942 in Boston, USA

»  Sonia Boyce MBE OBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

»  Miriam Cahn

Born, 1949 in Basel, Switzerland

»  Peter Dunn

Born, 1946 in Liverpool, UK

»  Eric Fischl

Born, 1948 in New York, USA

»  Leon Golub

Born, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

»  Antony Gormley

Born, 1950 in London

»  Hans Haacke

Born, 1936 in Cologne, Germany

»  Susan Hiller

Born, 1942 in New York, USA

»  Lubaina Himid MBE, CBE

Born, 1954 in Zanzibar, Tanzania

»  (Sir) Howard Hodgkin

Born, 1932 in London, UK

»  Alexis Hunter

Born, 1948 in Auckland, New Zealand

»  Jörg Immendorff

Born, 1945 in Bleckdale, Germany. Died, 2007

»  Anselm Kiefer

Born, 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany

»  Barbara Kruger

Born, 1945 in Newark, USA

»  Loraine Leeson

Born, 1951 in London, UK

»  Carlo Maria Mariani

Born, 1931 in Rome

»  Mary Miss

Born, 1944 in New York, USA

»  Donald Rodney

Born, 1961 in Birmingham, England. Died, 1998

»  Cindy Sherman

Born, 1954 in New Jersey, USA

»  Imants Tillers

Born, 1950 in Sydney, Australia

»  Michael Nelson Tjakamarra

Born, 1949 in Vaughan Springs, Australia

Exhibition venues

»  Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Preston, United Kingdom

»  Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

London, United Kingdom

»  Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Norwich, United Kingdom