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Parallel of Life and Art at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2013. Photo by Roger Emery.
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Parallel Of Life And Art

16 Nov 2013 - 19 Apr 2015

This collection display continued The Hepworth Wakefield’s exploration into developments in twentieth century British art and takes as its conceptual starting point Parallel of Life and Art, staged by the Independent Group in 1953 at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), London.

Conceived through collaborations between artists (Eduardo Paolozzi, Nigel Henderson), architects and critics (Peter and Alison Smithson, Reyner Banham) this ground-breaking and innovative exhibition juxtaposed a series of seemingly disparate images and emphasised the importance of photography, mass-produced imagery, architecture and design to avant-garde art.

The exhibition focused on this shift in influence, highlighting the multiple sources selected for Parallel of Life and Art that point to a wider artistic field of vision and art-historical precedent. Art could now integrate the visual imagery of everyday life; the photograph, x-ray, microscopic image and the natural world. Alongside this was an acknowledgement of ‘other’ non-Western sources: the inclusion of ‘primitive’ objects, and reproductions of works by European and American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, Paul Klee and Alberto Giacometti, whose work will also be included in this display.

This exhibition also explored the significance of Parallel of Life and Art and its impact on the ideas and values that become intrinsic to the British Pop movement. The display at The Hepworth Wakefield included sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and video by artists such as Magda Cordell, Richard Hamilton, Nigel Henderson, John McHale, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull.