16 May - 8 September 2024

Conrad Shawcross: Expansion Fields

As part of its 90-year anniversary celebrations, Glyndebourne has partnered with one of Britain’s leading artists, Conrad Shawcross RA, to produce an ambitious presentation across our site.

Expansion Fields presents new and existing bodies of work that have originated from Shawcross’ research into ideas around the creation of the universe and its fundamental principles. Shawcross looks to its expansion and the existence of black holes in relation to mathematics, which he believes to be intrinsic to music, and begins to incorporate new elements to his practice such as colour.

Shawcross’ work presented at Glyndebourne encapsulates his over 20-year practice. Central to the presentation are nine large-scale outdoor sculptures titled Paradigms, presented for the first time together in a site responsive array in front of the Ha-Ha. They will offer Festival goers the opportunity to walk and picnic between them. Presented in the Archive Gallery are the artists Harmonic Carvings, a new body of work on paper – some of which are responses to our 2024 summer Festival repertoire – produced using a harmonograph; a mechanical device that has been fed with a musical chord to scratch away layers of paint resulting in a vivid, energetic amalgamation of colour and sound. Additionally presented, and available to view on appointment in our historic Old Green Room, are 13 small bronze sculptures from the artist’s Manifolds series mounted on coloured steel brackets. The works are premiering at Glyndebourne because of their distinct relationship to music and sound. Based on prior harmonograph drawings, they continue his interest in the depiction of musical chords within an octave, merging specific tonal progressions with a corresponding colour. 

All outdoor sculptures will remain onsite until autumn 2025.

Conrad Shawcross RA (b. London, UK 1977) is represented by Victoria Miro (London/Venice) and was made a Royal Academician in 2014. He has studied at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, UK; Slade School of Art, University College, London, UK and Chelsea School of Art, London, UK. He has exhibited at leading institutions in the UK, including The Royal Academy of Arts, London; Saatchi Gallery, London; Barbican, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Grundy, Blackpool; Hayward, London; Turner Contemporary, Margate. He has exhibited internationally at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, IT; Kunsthal Rotterdam, NL; ArtScience Museum, Singapore; Auckland Art Gallery, NZ;  Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, IE; Sharjah Art Foundation; UAE; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, AU.

Glyndebourne are grateful to Victoria Miro (London/Venice), for their generous support of this exhibition.

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