With coal seams beneath it and water running through, Sheffield has a surfeit of energy. Historically this energy has produced stainless steel and electro pop. Love in a Cold Climate reflects the latent energies within the city – both industrial and social.
Works include post-Vorticist lithographs from 1919 by Edward Wadsworth depicting slag waste in the West Midlands and agit-prop designs by Jamie Reid produced during the 1973 Miner’s Strike and for the 1987 General Election. Reid’s posters were produced, respectively, to encourage people to support the miners by wasting rather than conserving electricity and on behalf of the Labour Party associated Red Wedge campaign.
Liam Gillick’s Discussion Island Preparation Zone is a residue left from mopping the gallery floor with a cocktail of vodka and glitter. The work might appear as a trace of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust concert tour that is documented with a wall drawing by Scott King. The tour took Bowie to 43 venues across Britain in the summer of 1973 including Sheffield’s City Hall.
The exhibition is illuminated with works by Anna Barham and Mandla Reuter that both methodically work through different lighting configurations in abstract exercises.
Hannah Rickards’, Some people say they think it sounds like aluminium foil but aluminium foil to me is not the sound, 2007, is an installation that follows a series of interviews with people who have perceived the Northern Lights as being accompanied by a sound.
The title of the exhibition Love in a Cold Climate is taken from George Orwell’s ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying’, 1936. The phrase was later adopted as the title of Nancy Mitford’s novel of 1949.
b. Sutton Coldfield, 1974. Barham studied Maths and Philosophy at Cambridge University before going on to study art at the Slade School of Art. Selected recent exhibitions include: Frame, with Arcade, Frieze Art Fair, London (2012); Revolver part II, Matt’s Gallery, London (2012); Switch, Baltic 39, Newcastle (2012); A Splintered Game, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2011); Anna Barham, International Project Space, Birmingham (2010); Prisoners of the Sun, Le Plateau, Paris (2010); 14th January – 18th December, MOT International, London (2010) and Stutter, Tate Modern, London (2009). In 2010, Barham published her first book, Return to Leptis Magna, written entirely from anagrams of the title.
b. 1964, Aylesbury, currently based in London and New York. Gillick studied at Goldsmiths College, graduating in 1987. Selected recent exhibitions include: Casey Kaplan, New York (2012); Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies, Tensta Konstall, Stockholm (2012); From 199A to 199B: Liam Gillick, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, New York (2012); Gesamtkunstwerk, 21er Haus, Belvedere, Vienna (2012); Modern British Sculpture, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2011); Art, curated by Michael Craig-Martin, Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin (2010; Everything Good Goes, Meyer Kainer, Vienna (2010); How will you behave: A kitchen cat speaks, German Pavillion, Venice Biennale (2009); Two Short Plays, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2009) and Three Perspectives and a Short Scenario, Kunstverein, Munich [touring] (2008). Gillick won the Paul Cassirer Kunstpreis, Berlin in 1998 and has also been nominated for both the Vincent Award, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2008 and the Turner Prize in 2002.
b. 1969, Goole, lives and works in London. King studied graphic design at Hull College of Art, graduating in 1992. Selected recent exhibitions include: Finish the work that you’ve started, Herald St, London (2012); T Rooms with Matthew Darbyshire, Tramway, Glasgow [touring] (2012); Marbled Reams, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2012); Thames Delta, Focal Point, Southend-on-Sea, Essex (2012); Scott King & Richard Serra, The Front Room, Contemporary Arts Museum, St Louis, USA (2011); Keep Floors and Passages Clear, White Columns, New York (2011); Savage Messiah, Rob Tufnell / Sutton Lane, London (2011); Graphic Design: Now In Production, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2011) and Marxist Disco (CANCELLED), Kunstverein Munich, Germany (2008). King’s work is represented across several major international collections including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London and Centre National des Arts Plastiques, France.
b. 1947, Croydon, currently lives and works in Liverpool. Reid studied at Wimbledon Art College (1962) before attending Croydon Art School, graduating in 1964. Selected recent exhibitions include: Out of the Dross, Paul Stolper Gallery, London (2012); Ragged Kingdom, Temple Works, Leeds (2012); Peace is Tough, Bear Pit London (2011); Rencontres d’Arles Festival, Arles, France (2010); Let it Grow, Aquarium Gallery, London (2010); With or Without God, Aquarium Gallery, London (2009); Rock My Religion, DA2 Salamanca (2008) and May Day, May Day, Aquarium Gallery, London (2007). Reid is perhaps best known for his Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols album cover from 1977 as well as God Save the Queen, of the same year; these works defined the image of punk rock in the UK.
b. 1975, Nqutu, South Africa, lives and works in Berlin. Reuter studied at Städelschule, Frankfurt and Parsons School of Design, New York. Recent exhibitions include: When I look at things I always see the space they occupy, Kunsthalle Basel (2013); Franscesca Minini, Milan (2013); Mandla Reuter Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt (2012); Mandla Reuter. Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna (2011); Köln Skulptur 6, Skulpturenpark Köln (2011); Stolen from my subconscious, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011); Here is a Picture:, Croy Nielsen, Berlin (2010); Slowly and Majestically The Sun Steals Gradually Over The Hilltops, Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna (2009); Souvenir, Schinkelpavillon, Berlin (2009) and Friends Of The Divided Mind, Royal College of Art, London (2009). In 2007, Reuter received the GASAG Art Award and has also been awarded grants from Cultural Foundation Dresden, Hesse Cultural Foundation and Kunstfonds Bonn.
b. London, 1979 and currently lives and works in London. Rickards studied at Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2002. Selected recent exhibitions include: Thunder, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney (2010); …a legend, it, it sounds like a legend…, Artspeak, Vancouver (2010); Chasing Napoleon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2009); The Quick and the Dead, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2009); Solo Show, The Showroom, London (2007); Don Quijote, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2006) and Secret Garden: Beating About the Bush, South London Gallery, London (2005). Rickards was the recipient of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in conjunction with the Whitechapel (2009).
b. 1889, Cleckheaton, d. 1949, London. Wadsworth studied at Fettes College in Edinburgh before moving to Munich to study engineering in 1906. After studying art in his spare time, Wadsworth moved back to the UK to study at Bradford School of Art before earning a scholarship at the Slade School of Art, London where he studied from 1909 – 12. Wadsworth worked with both the Cubists and Futurists before signing allegiance to the Vorticists in their manifesto of 1914. Following the outbreak of WWI only thirty three days later, Wadsworth signed up to the navy and throughout the final war years, he designed dazzle camouflage for allied ships, overseeing the camouflaging of over 2,000 warships. In 1919, Wadsworth had his first solo exhibition of drawings and woodcuts at the Adelphi Gallery. In 1920 he exhibited with group X, in 1932 became a member of Abstraction- Creation and in 1933 joined Unit One along with Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Ben Nicholson. He exhibited widely and his work is represented in public collections including the Tate Gallery.