Keeping it Real: An Exhibition in 4 Acts: Act 2: Subversive Abstraction

  • Keeping it Real: Act 2 Subversive Abstraction

17 September - 5 December 2010
Gallery 7

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Abstract art in the twentieth century often had ideals of purity and transcendence, but the artists here make abstract work from everyday experiences and materials.

The second in a series of four displays drawn from the D. Daskalopoulos Collection, Greece, includes Dieter Roth’s cheese paintings which decompose in front of your eyes, alongside a rare early collage by Damien Hirst using materials such as books and pencils. Lynda Benglis’ knotted painting is one woman’s wry comment on the masculine heroism of American Abstract Expressionist painting, while David Hammons’ Flight Fantasy, 1995, with gold ornament, crystals and cropped dreadlocks brings black culture to western art. Mike Kelley’s floor sculpture of rugs and toys plays with romantic ideas of childhood innocence, while Daniel Subkoff’s shredded canvas questions whether a painting is always a flat object. Other artists on show include Robert  Gober, Nikos Kessanlis, Julie Mehretu, Kori Newkirk and Rosemarie Trockel.

Keeping it Real is part of the Gallery’s ongoing programme opening up important public and private art collections to wider audiences.

Admission free

Supported by:



This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book. Edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume. £17.95, click here to buy. 

Teachers Resource, Conversations and Actions:

Keeping it Real: An Exhibition in Four Acts:
Act 1: The Corporeal /

Act 2: Subversive Abstraction:

The D. Daskalopoulos Collection

List of Artists:

Act 1: The Corporeal (10 June–5 September 2010) Marina Abramovic, John Bock, Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Duchamp, Jimmie Durham, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Jim Hodges, Despina Isaia, Sherrie Levine, Sarah Lucas, Kiki Smith, Paul Thek, Sue Williams.

Act 2: Subversive Abstraction (17 September–5 December 2010) Lynda Benglis, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Nikos Kessanlis, Julie Mehretu, Kori Newkirk, Dieter Roth, Daniel Subkoff, Rosemarie Trockel.

Act 3: Current Disturbance (17 December 2010–6 March 2011) Mona Hatoum

Act 4: Material Intelligence (18 March–22 May 2011) Paul Chan, Sam Durant, Arturo Herrera, Martin Kippenberger, Gabriel Kuri, Rivane Neuenschwander, Cady Noland, Gabriel Orozco, Ester Partegas, Seth Price, Kelley Walker.