Imagining a University – Fifty years of the University of Warwick Art Collection

Simon Patterson
In the scope of its fiftieth anniversary, the University of Warwick celebrates not just the history of the educational institution but also the anniversary of its broad art collection.

Imagining a University examines the development of the collection over the past fifty years, featuring artists such as Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Terry Frost and many more. Venue for the exhibition is the universities’ own Mead Gallery. The collection is organised chronologically, starting with the modernist utopia in the early 1970’s, when abstract colourfield paintings were used as flags, representing the new egalitarian generation of students.

With the opening of the Mead Gallery in the 1980’s, the University of Warwick enhanced the meaning of public art in the context of a University. The opening of the Gallery provided a facility for cataloguing and curating the universities’ collection and an impetus for acquisition.

In the 1990’s, the university approached a more conceptual movement, which was managed by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the Art Council England Lottery. They expanded their collection by a large amount of new artworks such as the painting Everything by Ian Davenport, which references the meaning of the aforementioned colourfield paintings.

The art collection emphasises the great meaning of art for the university of Warwick. It fulfils the purpose of learning and researching, creates a campus identity and initiates a platform for creativity and discussion.

Imagining a University
Fifty years of the University of Warwick Art Collection
Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
Until 20 June

Wokds: Marie Krispin

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