The 50th anniversary of the University of Warwick also marks the 50th anniversary of its Art Collection. The exhibition examines how the forces that shaped the University also influenced the development of the collection.
Imagining a University opens with the modernist utopia of the early University where the great colourfield paintings were hung like flags for the new, egalitarian age. It looks at how prints were bought to respond to ideas of a community in the 1970s, humanising the campus.
In the 1980s, both the University and the collection were rewired by a new phase of development that included the creation of the Mead Gallery, while at the millennium, commissions sought to redefine public art in the context of a university.
In the 21st century, the University Art Collection has many roles: delivering teaching, learning and research; introducing thousands of children and their families to the University; providing work experience for students and opportunities for artists; and developing a sense of place and identity for the campus.
The exhibition and catalogue features the work of over 100 artists including Hurvin Anderson, Claire Barclay, Terry Frost, Tess Jaray, Patrick Heron, Richard Long, Yoko Ono, Eduardo Paolozzi, Fiona Rae, and Andy Warhol.
Published for the exhibition Imagining a University: Fifty Years of the University of Warwick Art Collection at Mead Gallery, Warwick, 29 April – 20 June 2015.