Ben Cain: Companions

Artist and The Cass lecturer commissioned to create new work for solo exhibition responding to permanent collection at Grundy Gallery in Blackpool.

Contemporary artist Ben Cain, who teaches on the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at The Cass was commissioned by Grundy Art Gallery to make a substantial new body of work for a solo exhibition which responds to permanent works housed in our collection.

Selecting sixteen paintings and drawings from the collection, Cain has worked with locally-based artists and craftspeople to have objects from within those artworks fabricated and introduced into the gallery as new sculptures alongside the original images. In this way, a vase in a painting is rendered into three-dimensional porcelain by a potter, or an amber necklace worn by a sitter in the original work is fashioned into being by a professional bead maker.

Companions continues Cain’s long-running investigations into the themes of material, labour, and artistic production. The exhibition is inspired by the Grundy collection itself, which is made up of an eclectic mix of items from paintings to jewellery to ornaments and furniture accumulated over the years, frequently with little known provenance. The commission responds to the character of a museum collection as a group of objects housed in one place over the course of time, offering a way to move between the image’s content, the context within which they were made and the present and future moments of their viewing.

Companions opens a year of programming at the Grundy exploring its collection, and follows recent shows involving contemporary artists responding or exhibiting alongside it, including Leo Fitzmaurice: Horizon Line (2011), and the group exhibition Haunted House (2014) including Olivier Castel, Martin Creed, Susan Philipsz and Susan Hiller amongst others. 

Assortment of objects from Ben Cain Show

News details

Date 28 November - 30 January
Venue Grundy Gallery, Blackpool

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