To begin preparing to write the first draft of my essay i must first think of ideas and possible exhibitions to utilize for the essay. I will quickly review the exhibitions i have been to over the past 6 months and see whether there are any suitable directions to pursue further. I will also consider what types of research i could use in this essay.

Types of research to consider: Secondary

  • journals
  • exhibition guides and catalogues
  • articles about the exhibition in newspapers and online publications
  • reviews of the exhibition and its artworks
  • books relating to the theoretical themes of the exhibition e.g. feminist books will relate to the Kara Walker exhibition and books on class/pop art will relate to the Peter Dreher exhibition
  • other artists to contrast the ideas of the one i choose to look at
  • books on curating exhibitions, how they are curated etc
  • interviews with chosen artist / exhibitors on websites
  • interviews with curators on websites

Primary Research:

  • visiting the exhibition and interacting with it
  • speaking to those working at the exhibition
  • working the exhibition (only applicable for the Peter Dreher exhibition at MK Gallery, but certainly a valuable experience to aid the essay if it is chosen)
  • discussing the exhibition the the curator (again only applicable at the moment with the Dreher exhibtion)
  • drawing from the exhibition


Exhibitions attended in the last 6 months:

Schwitters in Britain: spring 2013

This exhibition was at the Tate Britain and was a solo exhibition of the work of Kurt Schwitters, i found this exhibition interesting in terms of the work because i enjoy collage pieces, yet i found the curating to be very run of the mill, just all of the work lined up next to eachother with the only thing connecting them that they were all collage pieces. Schwitters was one of the great artists in European Modernism which would make this a good choice for theoretical study, but i found i was not blown away by the exhibition itself, which would make it less interesting to write about as i feel i need to find something i am passionate about.

A small group exhibition of art work from the China Academy of Fine Arts : Beijing Campus in the financial district above the China World Mall

This exhibition i saw whilst on a cultural exchange with the University of Bedfordshire, it was unexpected because we were approached by chinese students whilst shopping who wanted to practice their english and they informed us that they studied in the university in the futuristic sky scraper above the mall. They then invited us to see their art exhibition which we were very honoured to accept, i could not write much about this exhibition because we weren’t allowed to photograph in it but it is work noting that the work inside was far more visually stunning than most of the exhibitions i had seen in london. this exhibition was traditional and contemporary work based on their own culture, so there was a combination of beautifully painted cherry blossoms and geishas, followed by some stunning contemporary paintings using abstract forms to represent traditional chinese buildings. All in all it was my favorite exhibition of the year so far, but due to the lack of publication it would not be a suitable choice for my essay.

Peter Dreher- Milton Keynes Gallery

This is the exhibition i have the strongest connection with that i have attended recently, because i was volunteering as a gallery invigilator at MK Gallery at the time and worked on the opening night of the exhibition. I got to speak in depth with volunteers, the public and most importantly the curator of the exhibition which gave me real insight into the work and the artist. This also allowed me to improve my artistic language and to gain a range of perspectives on the work. This work i have found i can personally connect to the ideas of class in the art world, and using found objects much like Andy Warhol did to create repetitive masterpieces. What i found amazing with this exhibition (especially the collection of painted water glasses) was that Dreher used repetition and popular culture like most pop artists do, but he stuck by his traditional medium of realist painting to do so and was not swayed by the examples of mass produced quick printed works springing up around the world at the time. His work represents a regular object over a very long period of his life, he addresses political ideas about what defines a piece of art work but without giving up on his traditional artistic medium. I think i could find plenty of reference material for this exhibition and i have good primary research already from my discussion with the public, volunteers and the curators there.


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