The Grundy Art Gallery was founded in 1911 by the brothers John and Cuthbert Grundy, and has been at the centre of cultural and artistic life in the town for over 100 years.
It began with the ambition to show the best art of the day to the people of Blackpool, and this sentiment remains at the heart of what they do today as a leading contemporary art gallery in the North West.
The Grundy aims to inspire audiences through an ambitious and varied year-round exhibitions programme that draws on the unique and invigorating context and heritage of Blackpool, for instance exploring the space between contemporary art, entertainment and popular culture. Recent exhibitions have featured works by celebrated and critically acclaimed artists including Emma Hart & Jonathan Baldock, Mark Leckey, Martin Creed, Brian Griffiths, David Hockney, Pierre Huyghe, Heather Phillipson, Susan Philipsz and Matt Stokes.
Current Opening Hours
Admission is Free: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm (last admission 3.40pm. Closed Sunday & Monday). These are temporarily amended opening hours until further notice.
The Grundy Art Gallery has now signed up to and obtained the new VisitEngland ’We’re Good To Go’ Covid safe industry standard. To obtain the standard, businesses and attractions must show that they have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and are adhering to all of the latest government guidelines and making necessary changes around social distancing, staff training and health and safety.
NOT WITHOUT MY GHOSTS: The Artist as Medium
15 October – 11 December
Grundy Art Gallery and Hayward Gallery Touring presents Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist As Medium, a major exhibition of 30+ international artists from 19th century to the present day, whose works are variously inspired by mediumship and its deep cultural history. Featuring works inspired by spirit experiences during séances and trances, to practices of automatism, surrealist experiments, and communications with higher powers and other realities, Not Without My Ghosts addresses 200 years of medium art by exploring how artists have been inspired or directly influenced by forces beyond those accepted by the modern world.
The exhibition takes as its starting point the visionary work of William Blake and the largely forgotten Victorian spirit artists Georgiana Houghton and Barbara Honywood, whose work based on experiences and communication with the world of the spirits was strikingly at odds with prevailing traditions of artistic expression. The exhibition moves through the 20th Century where work by artists Austin Osman Spare, Ithell Colquhoun and Cameron draws on techniques of automatism combined with an interest in ritualised forms of occultism.
Concluding with works from artists such as Emma Talbot, Suzanne Treister, Lea Porsager and Louise Despont, Not Without My Ghosts demonstrates how contemporary artists are using the power of the unseen and the ghostly to explore the radical ambiguities of the world around them.
The exhibition opened at Drawing Room, London in Autumn 2020, where the focus was on drawing and its potential to reveal what lies beyond the confines of the visible. The exhibition has expanded to include painting, film and installation. The exhibition tours to Blackpool, Swansea and Sheffield - all of which have a connection to the rich legacy of Spiritualism: The strength of the spiritualist church in Lancashire and the seaside clairvoyance of Blackpool; the renowned political activist and Spiritualist Winifred Coombe Tennant, one of the most significant early patrons and official buyer for the collection of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea; and finally the legacy of the Victorian art critic and social reformer John Ruskin in Sheffield.
Participating artists are: Noviadi Angkasapura; William Blake; Cameron; Ann Churchill; Ithell Colquhoun; Louise Despont; Casimiro Domingo; Emma Talbot; Madame Fondrillon; Chiara Fumai; Vidya Gastaldon; Madge Gill, Susan Hiller; Barbara Honywood; Georgiana Houghton; Augustin Lesage; Pia Lindman; Ann Lislegaard; Grace Pailthorpe; František Jaroslav Pecka; Olivia Plender; Sigmar Polke; Lea Porsager; Austin Osman Spare; and Suzanne Treister with The Museum of Blackhole Spacetime Collective.
BLACKPOOL LIGHT OF MY LIFE :Chila Kumari Singh Burman
From 19 October
Exterior of Grundy Art Gallery building
Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool Illuminations and Lightpool Festival are excited to announce details of a new light art installation by the internationally recognised artist, Chila Kumari Singh Burman. After high profile projects for Tate Britain and Covent Garden in London, the artist has now turned her sights to Blackpool and the town’s Grade II listed Grundy Art Gallery.
As part of this year’s Lightpool Festival, visitors will be able to delight in a riotous display of multi-coloured new light works; specially commissioned for the exterior of the building.
Brought together under the title, “Blackpool Light of My Life”, the exhibition is the artist’s love letter to the town; which she hopes will help people to feel joy at a time when such emotions may be hard to find.
Bright pink flamingos stand strong; their beaks touching to form a heart; a pair of glowing lips encourage us to pass on a smile; a dazzling toy windmill signifies the winds of change and a multi-coloured tree of life reminds us of our connectedness to the here and now, and to one another. In addition, and as a centrepiece to the display, the artist has provided Blackpool with a powerful symbol of renewal in the form of a mermaid. To complete the display, the artist has wrapped the four stone columns, which sit either side of Grundy’s entrance, in brightly coloured, densely collaged prints topped off with ropes of light.
Alongside her work for the exterior of Grundy Art Gallery, audiences will also be able to view other artwork by the artist in Blackpool this autumn. White Tiger, is a stunning interpretation of the car that played a starring role in the film, The White Tiger. Created to celebrate the Netflix launch of the critically acclaimed film based on the New York Times bestseller and the 2008 Man Booker-Prize winning novel of the same name; the car is emblazoned with the artist’s signature neon and collage designs, the work will be on display in the former Disney Store in Hounds Hill Shopping Centre until 30 October.
Born in Bootle, to Punjabi-Hindu parents, Chila Kumari Singh Burman is celebrated for her radical feminist practice which examines representation, gender and cultural identity. She works across a wide range of mediums including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film.
Blackpool Light of My Life is co-commissioned by Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool Illuminations and Lightpool Festival and has been made possible with funding from an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant. The appearance of the White Tiger Car in Blackpool is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and utilises an award from the main Welcome Back Fund.
GRUNDY ART GALLERY 110 YEARS YOUNG
26 October – 11 December
Grundy Art Gallery Foyer
26 October 2021 marks 110 years of Grundy Art Gallery opening its doors to the people of Blackpool and beyond.
To celebrate this event, Grundy Art Gallery’s foyer will provide the setting for a display of archival materials that will look back into the history of the gallery. Looking forward, the display will also highlight some of the exciting future activity that is planned. In addition to this, Grundy’s 110 anniversary is being marked in a number of different ways including; newly designed shop products, the unveiling of a Blue Plaque and the establishing of a Grundy Art Gallery Anniversary Collection, which will see the acquisition of new works into Grundy’s permanent collection. Made throughout the year, these new works are being selected to provide future audiences with a record of the extraordinary times that we are living through and for the fact that they each speak very clearly of the time in which they have been made.
GRUNDY ART GALLERY FORECOURT COMMISSION
Brendan Bunting: BLACKpool
From 19 October – 11 December
The Grundy Art Gallery Forecourt Commission is an ongoing programme of new works that are commissioned specifically for presentation on the exterior glass panels of Grundy’s forecourt. This high profile, highly visible programme is part of Grundy’s ambition to extend its activity outside of the four walls of the gallery.
The next Grundy Art Gallery Forecourt Commission will present the work of Blackpool based artist, and Youth Worker Brendan Bunting. Exploring identity, community and history, this new work captures what life was like growing up, mixed raced in Blackpool. Created for Black History Month, this work will be the starting point for a series of workshops with young people in the town that will explore race and identity. The workshops will be delivered through a partnership between Grundy Art Gallery, the Resilience Revolution and Brendan Bunting.
110th Anniversary Logo
Marrying the past and present, Grundy Art Gallery’s 110th anniversary logo takes its inspiration from an ink stamp that was historically used to identify items brought into Grundy’s permanent collection. It also echoes the design of Blackpool’s world famous sticks of rock. The logo will take on different colour schemes throughout the year to mark calendar dates of celebration and commemoration, such as LGBT+ History Month and the International Day of People with Disabilities.