Speech Acts | Manchester Art Gallery

Posted by on Apr 3, 2019 in news 2019

Speech Acts
Group Exhibition curated by Hammad Nasar with Kate Jesson

Manchester Art Gallery | Friday 25 May 2018–Monday 22 April 2019


What do public museums collect and why? Which works become highlights, and which lie forgotten in storage?

What stories emerge to frame the visitor’s encounters with the art that they see, and cloak the art that they don’t? How do these stories change over time?

Through the work of more than 40 artists, Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination- Repetition considers how public museums reflect and shape our collective imagination, and examines how exhibitions can affect these shared narratives. This exhibition shows how artworks can nurture new stories if they are shown in ways beyond the limited frames of biography and identity.

Comprising more than 70 works and archival documents ranging from the 18th to the 21st century, Speech Acts is drawn primarily from four public collections: Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, John Rylands Library (The University of Manchester), Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth. It has been developed as part of, and in conversation with Black Artists and Modernism: a three-year research project led by University of the Arts London in collaboration with Middlesex University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Said Adrus | Getulio Alvani | Rasheed Araeen | Frank Auerbach | Francis Bacon I Sutapa Biswas | Barbara Brown | Edward Burne-Jones | Lubna Chowdhary | Conroy/Sanderson | William Crozier | Alan Davie | Delia Derbyshire | Yara El-Sherbini | Lucian Freud | Samuel Fyzee-Rahamin | Mauro Kunst | Gilbert & George | Mona Hatoum I Barbara Hepworth | Lubaina Himid | David Hockney | dom sylvester houedard | Shirazeh Houshiary | RB Kitaj | Andrzej Lachowicz | Wyndham Lewis | Li Yuan-chia | Kim Lim | Henry Moore | Pushpamala N. | Winifred Nicholson | James Northcote | Chris Ofili | Eduardo Paolozzi | Ahmed Parvez | Hetain Patel | Helen Petts | Keith Piper | Steven Pippin | Abigail Reynolds | Keith Richardson-Jones | Bridget Riley | William Rothenstein | Anwar Jalal Shemza | Yinka Shonibare | Stansfield/Hooykaas | Do Ho Suh| William Turnbull | Shelagh Wakely | Aubrey Williams | Bryan Wynter | Fahr El Nissa Zeid