Unearthing: Memory, Land, Materiality exhibition by The Courtauld’s MA Curating students to open at The Courtauld Gallery

Student-curated exhibition featuring British contemporary artists from ArtsCouncil Collection to open at The Courtauld in June 2023.


Unearthing: Memory, Land, Materiality
15 June–3 September 2023

High-resolution images available to download here

An exhibition of works drawn from the Arts Council Collection and The Courtauld’s collection, curated by The Courtauld’s MA Curating the Art Museum students, will go on display this summer at The Courtauld Gallery.

In this exhibition, ten modern and contemporary artists engage in processes of unearthing to explore complex histories, geographies, and memories. To unearth is to reveal what has been buried. It evokes the tangible and the organic; the forgotten and the remembered. Unearthing surfaces the past to shed new light on the present.

Featuring eleven works in diverse media ranging from photography to ceramics, the exhibition is an opportunity to see exceptional works in The Courtauld’s post-1945 collection in dialogue with works by some of the most innovative contemporary practitioners in the country.

The artists exhibited are Prunella Clough, Phoebe Collings-James, Katie Cuddon, Jasleen Kaur, Richard Long, Liv Preston, Abigail Reynolds, Richard Serra, Libita Sibungu, and Theo Simpson.

The artists on display open a conversation with The Courtauld’s celebrated landscapes by the Impressionists in the LVMH Great Room. They form part of a longer tradition of using new media and innovative techniques to delve into our complex relationship with the environment.

The exhibition will take place in the Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries (Gallery 1) from 15 June – 3 September 2023. There will be a scheduled programme of events including weekly tours bythe exhibition curators and speaker panels.

Included with Gallery Entry.

Find out more: courtauld.ac.uk/whats-on/unearthing-memory-land-materiality/

Friends, Students and 18 & under go free.


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In collaboration with Arts Council Collection

The Arts Council Collection was founded in 1946 and is the most widely circulated national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art, spanning paintings, sculpture, prints,drawings, performance and moving images.It supports and promotes artists by acquiring art at an early stage in their careers and includes a diverse range of work from artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Lubaina Himid and Grayson Perry. With more than 8,000 works and over 1,000 loans made to venues a year, the Arts Council Collection is seen by millions of people in public spaces from galleries andmuseums to hospitals, libraries and universities.Arts Council Collection is managed by the Southbank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England.

About The Courtauld

The Courtauld works to advance how we see and understand the visual arts, as an internationally-renowned centre for the teaching and research of art history and a major public gallery. Founded by collectors and philanthropists in 1932, the organisation has been at the forefront of the study of art ever since. through advanced research and conservation practice,innovative teaching, the renowned collection and inspiring exhibitions of its gallery, and engaging and accessible activities, education and events.

The Courtauld cares for one of the greatest art collections in the UK, presenting these works to the public at The Courtauld Gallery in central London, as well as through loans and partnerships. The Gallery is most famous for its iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces–such as Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. It showcases these alongside an internationally renowned collection of works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance through to the present day.

Academically, The Courtauld faculty is the largest community of art historians and conservatorsin the UK, teaching and carrying out research on subjects from creativity in late Antiquity to contemporary digital artforms with an increasingly global focus. An independent college of the University of London, The Courtauld offers a range of degree programmes from BA to PhD in the History of Art, curating and the conservation of easel and wall paintings. Its alumni are leaders and innovators in the arts, culture and business worlds, helping to shape the global agenda for the arts and creative industries.

Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with art, The Courtauld works to increase understanding of the role played by art throughout history, in all societies and across all geographies–as well as being a champion for the importance of art in the present day. This could be through exhibitions offering a chance to look closely at world-famous works; events bringing art history research to new audiences; accessible and expert short courses; digital engagement, innovative school, family and community programmes; or taking a formal qualification.

The Courtauld’s ambition is to transform access to art history education by extending the horizons of what this is and ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from the tools to better understand the visual world around us.

The Courtauld is an exempt charity and relies on generous philanthropic support to achieve its mission of advancing the understanding of the visual arts of the past and present across the world through advanced research, innovative teaching, inspiring exhibitions, programmes and collections.

The collection cared for by The Courtauld Gallery is owned by the Samuel Courtauld Trust.

About the MA Curating the Art Museum programme

This 12-month programme puts the physical object at the heart of curatorial training whilst placing specialist knowledge firmly within the context of the contemporary museum. The course offers a wide range of learning environments and exercises, from taught seminars to group projects and hands-on work experience, and encourages a wide range of expression,written and oral, from academic writing to public debates and gallery talks.This broad-based programme, which has run since 2007, attracts students with a range of interests, across all periods and media, with a strong focus on contemporary and innovative approaches to curating in public museums and galleries. The programme’s teaching draws widely on the expertise of the art history faculty, the conservation department and the staff of The Courtauld Gallery, and benefits from close relations and excellent connections with museums and galleries across London and the UK, and internationally. Curators and other professionals in museums are actively involved in the programme, leading practical exercises

such as the Virtual Display. Individual placements are arranged for each student with museums and galleries in London: students work closely with mentorsi n a range of national museums,public galleries and other organisations in London, one/two days a week over a six-month period. The programme culminates in a collaborative exhibition project, and the mounting of a public exhibition and related public events.The programme aims to address a wide range of interests and equip students with the expertise, research and professional skills for an equally wide range of career paths.