Celebrating 20 years of new commissions

Celebrating 20 years of new commissions

Stanley Picker Gallery

Bridget Smith, The Landing (2012). Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery.
January 18, 2017
Celebrating 20 years of new commissions

Spring 2017

Stanley Picker Gallery 
Kingston University London
Knights Park Campus, Grange Road
Kingston upon Thames KT1 2QJ

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Building upon two decades of new commissions across the fields of art, design and architecture, the Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2017. One of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK, its activities are dedicated to the research, production and presentation of innovative new practice for general, academic and specialist audiences.

Stanley Picker: a modern arts patron
Born in New York in 1913, of Russian-Jewish heritage, Stanley Picker arrived in England after studying at Harvard University to take over his father’s cosmetics business. Picker was a gifted businessman and a discerning arts patron, whose collection included works by artists Milton Avery, Jack Butler Yeats, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Elisabeth Frink, Terry Frost, Barbara Hepworth, Ivon Hitchens, L.S. Lowry, Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin and Graham Sutherland.

The Picker House, designed in 1964 by British architect Kenneth Wood, is today enjoyed by visitors very much in the condition it was when Stanley resided there with his life-partner Paul Kavanagh. The interiors, designed by Conran Design Group and Conran Contracts, includes iconic furniture by Harry Bertoia, Marcel Breuer, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, and Gino Sarfatti amongst others.

In 1977 Picker founded the Stanley Picker Trust to support the education and developing careers of practitioners across the arts, and establishing what was to become the Stanley Picker Fellowships. Following his death in 1982, the Trust have continued his philanthropic activities, in 1997 supporting the construction of the Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University which provided Kingston University with its first purpose-built space for the creation and public presentation of contemporary practices.

Celebrating the professional achievements, cultural passion and philanthropic vision of Stanley Picker, the Gallery will be presenting three episodic mail-outs throughout 2017, designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio and including a set of postcards by Bridget Smith, to mark the Trust’s fortieth and the Gallery’s twentieth joint anniversaries in 2017. A new artist’s commission at The Picker House (to be announced) will explore our understanding of the particular social, historical and cultural values of the impressively intact property.

Spring 2017 programme
Commencing its twentieth anniversary programme, on Saturday, January 21 Stanley Picker Gallery presents Kairos, a new performance commission by Anat Ben-David with previous Stanley Picker Fellows Boudicca. Inspired by Sadie Plant’s seminal book Zeros and Ones (1994), Kairos brings together professional opera singers, classic and electronic instrumentalists with experimental musicians, extending the possibilities of the voice in music, sound and image. Written and directed by Ben-David, with contributions from Tom Milsom and Sean Ashton. Art Direction by Boudicca. Featuring: Angharad Davies (Violin); Hilary Jeffery (Trombone); Serge Vuille (Percussion); Tom Milson (Piano and Keyboard); Ivan Lapse (Electronics) and Anat Ben David, Bishi, Anna Dennis, Sharon Gal, Katie Morel-Orchard, Richard Scott (voices). Free event: booking essential.

Stanley Picker Fine Art Fellow Simon Martin presents a new five-channel sound piece for his solo exhibition at the Gallery, VERSIONS (Turenas Deconstruct), February 16 through April 8. Utilizing John Chowning’s composition Turenas (1972) as a departure point, VERSIONS is the first public manifestation of several years of Martin’s research into possibilities of arranging, processing and abstracting both invented and found sound. Through a simple act of reinstating the original Gallery entrance, exposing currently hidden windows and removing all gallery lighting, Martin reconfigures the building and its navigation, bringing it back to its essential architectural status. Continuing the artist’s long-time exploration of the affective qualities of the built environment through the medium of film, VERSIONS (Turenas Deconstruct) is a sound work in a state of permanent draft which looks at how sound affects, evokes and how it may, or may not, hold autonomy.

Stanley Picker Design Fellow 2015 Yemi Awosile will present her first solo exhibition Orishirishi fromMay 4 through July 8. Orishirishi is a Nigerian (Yoruba) word taken from Awosile’s family tribe’s vocabulary meaning “an assortment of different things”. As part of her working practice in textile design, Awosile repurposes everyday materials to explore changeability and adaptation. She uses textiles as a tool to convey connectivity and shared narratives, building an enquiry into the migratory movement of people and ideas. Orishirishi looks at unexpected parallels between different social groups, including sub-cultures rooted in urban spaces between Delhi (Khirkee extension) and London, casting a lens on the insatiable desire to maintain a sense of place and ownership over one’s identity through outward public personas.

Events & offsite
The ICA London is collaborating again with The Contemporary Art Research Centre at Kingston University to stage the Stanley Picker Public Lectures on Art, supported by the Stanley Picker Trust. First established in 2007 by Elizabeth Price, the new season of Lectures is taking place between April and June.

Previous Fine Art Fellow Oreet Ashery‘s acclaimed video work Revisiting Genesis, commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery in 2016, will be screened at UnionDocs (UNDO), New York on Thursday, May 25.

In 2015, the Stanley Picker Gallery’s contemporary programme was expanded to include new collaborative projects with Kingston University’s Dorich House Museum; the impressive 1930s studio home, designed by the Russian-born artist Dora Gordine, located along Kingston Vale beside Richmond Park. Dorich House Museum’s first ever Fellow Hilary Lloyd presents a new commission developed over the course of her fellowship, launching Wednesday, March 8.

The next call for applicants for the Stanley Picker Fellowships opens May 2017.


Stanley Picker Gallery sits on an island along the Hogsmill River, in South West London. Visit website for venue map and directions, programme details and opening times, and sign-up to receive updates and invitations.

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January 18, 2017

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