Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War

IWM North

12 Oct 2013 – 23 Feb 2014

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The first major exhibition of IWM’s collection of contemporary art produced since the First Gulf War.

From an installation bearing photographs of British service personnel killed in Iraq to Tony Blair taking a 'selfie' in front of an explosion, this exhibition charts the many different ways artists have responded to warfare over the past two decades.

Including works by Willie Doherty, Ori Gersht and Edmund Clark, the display veers from the moving, to the humorous, to the philosophical and even the outraged. 

There is particular emphasis on the role of the media, looking at how it has shaped the public's understanding of current events, as well as the way history is 'written'. 

On display are more than 70 works of photography, film, sculpture, oil paintings and prints, while accompanying media allows the artists to discuss their motivations for creating work that centres on conflict.

Don't miss

The exhibition presents some of IWM's official commissions, including the ArtFunded Queen and Country – Steve McQueen's response to the war in Iraq – as well as photographs of Afghanistan by Paul Seawright and Langland and Bell's interactive installation, The House of Osama Bin Laden.

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am 5pm (last admission 4.30pm)

Closed 24, 25, and 26 Dec 

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)