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Art Circuit is presenting ‘Wish You Were Here?’, an exhibition of artists’ postcards from 1960s to today selected from Jeremy Cooper’s remarkable collection. This touring exhibition is a unique opportunity to see works from the collection, some for the first time, before its donation to the British Museum Prints and Drawings Department in 2018.
Drawn form the collection which now consists over 2000 works, ‘Wish You Were Here?’ features over 200 artists, including some of today’s most celebrated artists such as Yoko Ono, Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Hamilton, Fluxus, On Kawara, Gilbert & George, Gavin Turk, Tacita Dean and Mark Wallinger amongst many others. Each has been produced with the idea and the function of the postcard in mind.
The familiar postcard phrase ‘Wish You Were Here’, appropriated by many artists in the exhibition can be traced back to the late 19th century tourist postcard. It may be less straightforward than it appears, gathering to itself a host of complex longings, dreams and regrets. People spend many years longing to be somewhere else, feeling that things would somehow be better if only they lived elsewhere or were someone else, as expressed in some of the postcards with titles including: Wish You Were Her, I Wish I Were You, Wish I was There and I'm Neither Here Nor There….
The exhibition goes beyond the cliché of its title and looks at the remarkable diversity of ways in which artists have considered the postcard as a medium in its own right, through which we can trace important moments in the history of modern and contemporary art from the 1960s to the present day.
The exhibition has been curated thematically to include examples of Mail Art and Fluxus from the 1960s and 70s, Concrete Poetry, Graphic Postcards; Political & Polemical Postcards and Recent Artists’ Postcards , looking at how a younger generation of artists such as Ruth Claxton, Sara Mc Killop, Alexsandra Mir continue to work with postcards today.
Wish You were Here? looks at how artists have considered the postcard as a medium in its own right. Manipulated, collaged or originally produced, postcards are used in a variety of ways creating fictions, social comments, visual humour or simply exquisite small works of art.
Curated by Jeremy Cooper in collaboration with Cynthia Morrison-Bell
‘Wish You Were Here?’ is a touring exhibition organized and produced by Art Circuit Touring Exhibitions. It is currently showing at the MAC Birmingham until 28 June 2015.
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