Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Last Grand Tour

The Grand Tour was the traditional travel of Europe undertaken by mainly European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational and cultural rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some American and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.

The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years.

Rather than dwelling on the Romantic's attraction to ancient Greece or indeed focusing on the significance of the ancient culture, this exhibition brings together work by many of the internationally renowned artists who have lived and worked in Greece during the twentieth century. Looking at Greece as a site of inspiration over the past sixty years, works to be included reflect the various ways in which the country, its long cultural history and geographic characteristics have continued to be a source for artistic innovation. Concentrating only on those artists who have invested a lengthy stay in Greece or in some cases established second homes there, The Last Grand Tour brings to light both well-known visitors as well as those who have quietly been present over the last decades.

Artists: Etel Adnan | Lynda Benglis | Leonard Cohen | John Craxton | Barbara Hepworth | Martin Kippenberger | Jannis Kounellis | Markus Lüpertz | Brice Marden | Helmut Middendorf | Ben Nicholson | Manfred Pernice | Lucas Samaras | Daniel Spoerri | Juergen Teller | Cy Twombly | Iannis Xenakis

Curator: Jessica Morgan

Exhibition duration | 15 April – 10 October 2011

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