HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY, IKON

HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY, IKON

You don't look a day over 59

Established as an artists-led alternative space in the Bullring in 1964, Ikon celebrates its 60th birthday, this year, and what a schedule it has lined up. The gallery remains free to all and committed to showcasing the very best of British and international art.

START THE PRESS!
9 FEBRUARY – 21 APRIL

The centrepiece of Start the Press! is a vintage, flatbed printing press from Wolverhampton School of Art, taking its position in the gallery as a form of occupation in the tradition of the student art-school sit-ins of the 1960s, and in response to the current challenging economic landscape. A cohort of West Midlands printmakers will operate the press, producing original prints and filling the gallery walls as work is made in real time. More

EXODUS CROOKS, EPIPHANY (TEMPORAIRE)
9 FEBRUARY – 21 APRIL

Ikon hosts Midlands-based artist Exodus Crooks’ exhibition Epiphany (Temporaire), commissioned by Ort Gallery and International Curators Forum (ICF), originally presented at Block 336 in Summer 2023. Curated by Orphée Kashala, the exhibition includes sculpture, film and text.

Following their Ikon exhibition, Crooks presents new work commissioned by Ikon and University of Birmingham at The Exchange, the University’s city centre venue. This new work, supported by Vivid Projects, responds to the University’s 2024 public programme theme of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and coincides with the launch of The Stuart Hall Archive Project, a new research project that will expand public understanding and engagement with the work of celebrated Jamaican-British academic and cultural theorist, Professor Stuart Hall. More

NATIONAL TREASURES : ARTEMISIA IN BIRMINGHAM JESSE JONES
10 MAY – 8 SEPTEMBER 2

Ikon is a partner in National Treasures, a key strand of the programme celebrating the National Gallery’s Bicentenary. Twelve partner venues, one in each region of the UK, receive a masterpiece from the Gallery’s collection and curate around it, with all displays opening simultaneously on 10 May 2024, the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery opening in London. Ikon presents Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1615 - 17) by Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1654 or later).

Simultaneously, Ikon shows a solo exhibition by Dublin-based contemporary artist Jesse Jones whose practice crosses film, performance and installation. Informed by her research into the iconography of Gentileschi’s self-portrait, Jones’ installation presents Gentileschi, Hypatia of Alexandria and Saint Catherine the Martyr as interconnected archetypes of feminist resistance. This new commission includes sound elements and moving images to create a cinematic space, while Jones also collaborates with Dublin-based dance company Junk Ensemble on performance tableaux that mirror Gentileschi’s compositions. More

DION KITSON, RUE BRITANNIA
10 MAY – 8 SEPTEMBER

Ikon presents the first major solo exhibition and an ambitious off-site commission by British artist Dion Kitson in partnership with English Heritage. Incisive, enterprising, and laced with sharp wit, Kitson’s artistic practice dissects class and identity from the depths of the British psyche, reshaping its visual hallmarks and traditions across a range of media: sculpture, painting, film and found objects.

Kitson’s work is both playful and pertinent, providing a candid account of the everyday. Among the new works presented at Ikon Gallery is Council House of Kitson, a new installation by the artist complete with a pebble-dashed façade, containing footage collated over 15 years that documents the eccentricities of his father. More

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