Whitworth Opening Programme

Reopening its doors on 14th February 2015


How we’ve missed The Whitworth Gallery during it’s extensive refurbishment. And we are beyond excited about its opening weekend (14th -15th February).


The Whitworth


The Whitworth will reopen as an extended gallery in a park, with new exhibition spaces and greatly enhanced visitor facilities that redefine its role for the 21st century.

The extended display areas reach into the landscape, with new and recently acquired sculpture on display in the gallery grounds and in a new art garden and orchard designed by painterly garden designer Sarah Price.


The Whitworth


The Whitworth


What’s on ……


Cornelia Parker

14 February – 31 May 2015
The Whitworth programme will open with a major solo exhibition from one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Cornelia Parker whose work invites viewers to witness the transformation of ordinary objects into compelling and extraordinary art.

This extensive presentation will feature a wide range of work made during Parker’s career, including her signature piece Cold Dark Matter; An Exploded View, (1991) alongside an important new commission and recent additions to her ongoing series of Bullet, Poison and Antidote, and Explosion Drawings.


Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View



Cai Guo-Qiang

14 February – 21 June 2015

Cai Guo-Qiang is a leading Chinese-born contemporary artist, known for his remarkable projects using gunpowder, including the firework displays for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

His installation Unmanned Nature (2008), a forty-five metre long, four metre high gunpowder drawing, will be the first artwork shown in the Whitworth’s new Landscape Gallery. This will also be the first showing of the installation anywhere in the world outside the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Unmanned Nature was commissioned by the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008, and it was shown in an exhibition marking his designation as the recipient of the Seventh Hiroshima Art Prize. The prize is awarded every three years to an artist who has made the greatest contribution to peace in the field of art.


Cai Guo-Qiang unmanned nature


New Acquisitions

14 February – 16 August 2015
This exhibition will celebrate the recent major gift by The Karpidas Foundation of 90 contemporary works of art to the Whitworth.

The exhibition will include pieces by Richard Patterson, Paul Noble, Dorothy Cross, Anna Barriball, Laure Prouvost and Richard Forster.

In addition, photography will feature strongly in the exhibition, with works by Gillian Wearing, Wolfgang Tillmans, Liz Deschenes, Luke Fowler, Lisa Oppenheim and Josh Brand.

A further group of paintings presented by The Karpidas Foundation will be displayed overlooking Whitworth Park. These will include works by major British artists Michael Craig-Martin, Dexter Dalwood, Keith Coventry and Gary Hume alongside recent paintings by young New York-based artists Matt Connors and Richard Aldrich.


dexter dalwood neverland


Several sculptures that form part of the gift will be permanently installed in the Whitworth grounds and park, with works by Nathan Coley, Christine Borland, Simon Periton, Emily Young, Nate Lowman and Nico Vascellari.




14 February – 22 November 2015

A show about the lives and the relationships between the artists, collectors and curators who made the Whitworth.

Collections are created by people: the people who acquired and then presented collections to the institution; the curators and others who select and assemble works for public viewing; and, not the least, the people who feature in the works themselves.

This exhibition space will be animated by some of these people and explore the relationships between them, from Francis Bacon’s portrait of his friend Lucian Freud to a self- portrait of Adolf Wölfli made in a mental asylum near Berne, and Sir Stanley Spencer’s drawing of Margaret Pilkington, honorary director of the Whitworth for over 20 years and the first female director of a major UK gallery.



lucien freud


Other works include recent acquisitions by contemporary artists Mary Kelly and Cecily Brown, as well as key works from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Collection, held at the Whitworth.


Johnnie Shand Kydd

14 February – 21 February 2016
As an emerging photographer, Shand Kydd became known for capturing the incipient community of YBAs (Young British Artists) during the 1990s. He created hundreds of now iconic black and white images of his artist friends and has continued to track the progress of figures such as Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin, Gilbert and George and Damien Hirst.

This selection of works from Shand Kydd’s extensive and varied portfolio focuses on his yearly trips to the Greek island of Hydra at the invitation of the art collector and Whitworth patron, Pauline Karpidas.



14 February – 31 May 2015

The Whitworth is home to an internationally renowned collection of British watercolours. The greatest benefactor to this collection was John Edward Taylor, who was the owner of the Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian), and his gifts to the Whitworth epitomize how money from industrial and commercial ventures was transformed into cultural wealth, a vital force in both the history of the Whitworth and the city of Manchester.

Highlights from Taylor’s collection will be on display, including works by three of the best exponents of watercolour: 22 works by J. M. W. Turner, seven by William Blake and four by John Robert Cozens.


turner watercolour


For more information about The Whitworth and forthcoming exhibitions visit whitworth.manchester.ac.uk



Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)



Photographs: The Whitworth




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