Walls Are Talking The University of Manchester

6 February – 3 May 2010

The first major UK exhibition of artists’ wallpapers with work by over 30 artists including Andy Warhol, Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst. Kitsch ideas of home decoration are turned upside down as artists subvert the stereotypes of wallpaper to hit home messages about warfare, racism, cultural conflicts and gender.The exhibition is grouped around themes: subversion, commodification, imprisonment and sexuality. In Sonia Boyce’s work Clapping, a feeling of claustrophobia and menace is strengthened by the repeated design of the black and white hand print. Zineb Sedira uses wallpaper patterns to illustrate social inequalities and gender difference from her French-Algerian Islamic perspective. Thomas Demand, one of the foremost conceptual artists working today, covers the entire South Gallery in his Ivy wallpaper – intricate pieces of paper cut out and photographed make up a lifelike work of imprisoning beauty. In stark contrast to this are popular commercial papers that reinforce cultural and gender stereotypes; from Barbie or the Spice Girls to the use of male symbols such as beer cans, football teams or idealised female bodies.

via Walls Are Talking The University of Manchester.

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