Metropolis: Reflections on the Modern City
23 March – 23 June 2013
Works bought through the Art Fund International scheme that offer visions of modern cities and urban life.
This exhibition, developed in partnership with the New Art Gallery, Walsall and Ikon Gallery, contains 35 pieces, many of which take Birmingham itself as a subject. A familiar voice will be that of Swiss artist Beat Streuli, who has worked closely with Ikon Gallery for more than a decade, essaying the city’s population through a series of shows in various media. His video installation Pallasades shows the crowds walking up and down the ramp to the shopping centre of the same name on one day in 2001.
In Ladywood, a diptych of video and woodcut over five metres in length, German artist Christiane Baumgartner responds to the reflections of a railway bridge on one of the city’s canals – the scenic legacy of the city’s industrial past. Works from further afield include Chinese photographer Miao Xiaochun’s monumental Orbit, showing the dizzying strata of pedestrians, cars and coaches on the streets of Beijing, and Indian photographer Dayanita Singh’s Dream Villa series, which portrays dream-like nocturnal scenes from across the subcontinent.