August 4, 2008 - Bury Art Gallery - The Irony of Flatness
August 4, 2008

The Irony of Flatness

Two Birds by Rachel Goodyear

The Irony of Flatness
Curated by Tony Trehy

19 July – 8 November 2008

Bury Art Gallery,
Museum + Archives

Moss Street, Bury, BL9 0DR, UK
artgallery [​at​]

Artists: Marianne Eigenheer (Switzerland), Stefan Gec (UK), Rachel Goodyear (UK), Robert Grenier (USA), Kristian Gudmundson (Iceland), Alan Johnston (UK), Karin Sander (Germany), Hester Reeve (UK) and Ulrich Rückriem (Germany).

With a special world premiere performance of ’64′ by Robert Grenier

As a mark-making act, drawing can simply be represented as (and be representational of) transferring the three or more dimensions of reality down to two – flatness. The Irony of Flatness is a challenging exhibition of contemporary drawing, which examines the possibilities and power of drawing. Through it, working with shadow, line and gesture, the artists taking part investigate the experience of the act, the space of the act, the moment of the act, and the concept of the act. Continuing Bury Art Gallery’s commitment to innovative international programmes in the north of England, the show features renowned artists featured include Marianne Eigenheer (Switzerland), Stefan Gec (UK), Rachel Goodyear (UK), Robert Grenier (USA), Kristian Gudmundson (Iceland), Alan Johnston (UK), Karin Sander (Germany) and Ulrich Rückriem (Germany).

The drawings featured investigate the full range of media that artists are using today – from animation and film to pen on paper to pencil directly on to the gallery wall. All challenge the irony of the drawings’ spurious flatness with spatial metaphor, line and void toward new dimensions, the presence and role of touch and sight, observing the space between the lines and movement. The Exhibition is accompanied by a poetic/critical text by the curator Tony Trehy.

Since 1970 Robert Grenier has been one of the leading figures of experimental poetry in the USA. Most famously accredited with launching the LANGUAGE poetry movement with his seminal essay I HATE SPEECH. Grenier had determined that if he were to escape the formal limitations of “verse” in which line lengths were based on breath and page width, he would have to negotiate a new relationship to the page. Moving steadily away from a poetics of rhetoric he embarked on an investigation of the kinds of immediate, instantaneous effects he could achieve with just a few words at a time. World Premiere: at the preview on 18 July, one of the founders of the American LANGUAGE poetry movement, Robert Grenier, will read for the first time from his poem series “64″.

The exhibition is supported by two solo shows:

“the nature of Bury”

Kerry Morrison is an environmental artist who works within the public domain, engaging with people whose lives are touched by their natural environment. She creates artwork in response to local environments relating them to the wider global context. In this exhibition she investigates the relationships between humans and nature, developing a process which will evolve the installation of material found and created over 16 weeks study in Bury.

“On G. Delph. St”

Berlin-based Steve Miller constructs non-animated film sequences, storyboard formats and single images concerned with the absurdity of context and everyday paradoxes of language and dialogues. Strongly colourful and sharply graphic, Miller generates a vibrant 21st Century urban style straight from the heart of European cultural excitement.

For more information visit:

Bury Art Gallery is a dynamic, public gallery in the north of England which has over the last ten years been developing a new model of curatorial practice. Relating significant contemporary art and poetic debates in a localised context, distant from standard centres of production and value, it has pursued commissioning and collection of major international figures both in gallery based work and through international public art commissions. It is building a major collection of recent work by Ulrich Rückriem, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Grenier, Maurizio Nannucci.

Bury Art Gallery, Museum + Archives
Moss Street, Bury, BL9 0DR, UK
Tel: 0044161 253 5878

Admission Free / Opening hours: Tues – Fri 10am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 4.30pm, closed bank holidays
For more press information and images please contact
Catharine Braithwaite on 07974 644 110 or

Bury Art Gallery

Bury Art Gallery
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