The Royal Family

The Royal Family

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre

Alison Jackson, “William & Kate,” 2010.

March 12, 2011

The Royal Family
12 March–2 May 2011

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road


Looking ahead to the wedding of Prince William of Wales to Kate Middleton, ‘The Royal Family’ is an exhibition that focuses on contemporary artist’s representations of the House of Windsor. It features works in a range of media—including drawing, photography, film and ceramics—that examine the family’s individual members, and the signs and signifiers of 21st century monarchy. Often irreverent, the show explores class, celebrity, conspiracy theory, the meeting of the mythic and the mundane, and the visual language of State. On one level, the works in ‘The Royal Family’ can be seen as an alternative to both traditional commissioned portraits of Royalty and the presentation of this institution in the popular media.

Tony Oursler and Hans-Peter Feldmann employ the Queen’s image as it appears on UK currency as their starting point and Alan Kane’s Orphan Tea Set (Windsor) (2010) is a mismatched tea set made up of items purchased from charity shops in the shadow of Windsor Castle. Lars Laumann’s film montage Morrissey Foretelling The Death of Diana (2006) suggests through cryptic clues embedded in lyrics, images and videos, that the former lead singer of The Smiths foretold of The Princess of Wales’ demise, while Francis Upritchard’s drawings and sculptures depict The Prince of Wales as a possible anti-Christ. Adam Dant presents Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie as classical nymphs, and Alison Jackson’s photograph of Prince William and Kate Middleton lookalikes locked in an embrace prompts us to think of the very public stakes of Royalty’s private moments, and of a type of Royal ‘portraiture’ tailored towards the voyeuristic habits of today’s media consumer. Presiding over the show is Otto Muehl’s 1968 screen print Prince Charles – an image of a future King made in a year of mass revolt.

The exhibition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, and Tom Morton, Curator, Hayward Gallery.

The Royal Family
12 March – 2 May 2011
The Hayward Gallery Project Space
Admission FREE
10am–6pm every day, late night opening on Thursday and Friday until 8pm (only during main gallery exhibition timetable)

The Hayward Gallery Project Space, which opened in summer 2007, showcases emerging artists from the UK and the wider world, many of whom have not shown in a UK institution before. Recent exhibitions have included solo presentations of the work of Semâ Bekirovic, Victor Man, Matthew Darbyshire, Cyprien Gaillard, Jess Flood Paddock, Ron Terada and Salla Tykka and the group shows Deceitful Moon and Silberkuppe: Rooms Without Walls.

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and The Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. The Hayward Gallery manages Hayward Touring exhibitions; and the Arts Council Collection on behalf of Arts Council England.

*Image above:
Photograph: courtesy the artist.

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Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
March 12, 2011

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