Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Cooper gallery

Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now at Cooper Gallery, Barnsley 2 October 2021 — 5 February 2022 Entrance is free — Visit now

Picking up a tool and making marks with our hands is something humans have been doing for millenia. Although the practice has remained rooted in simple movements of a mark-maker on paper, the results have evolved and illustrated political and social change within human history. The British Museum and regional collaborators have curated a snapshot of how drawing has developed in more recent history with Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now. Explore how drawing has been used throughout the past 50 years, as the exhibition visits the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley.

The only venue where you’ll be able to see Pushing Paper in Yorkshire

The exhibition features previously unseen work from established artists including David Hockney, Rachel Whiteread, Sol LeWitt, Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry. You can be sure to expect a wide contrast in stylistic choices as well as differences in drawing materials, colour, mark-making and subject matter, however, every artwork shares the commonality of being created on humble paper.

The exhibition has been curated in collaboration between the British Museum and partner organisations. Expertise from all the institutions involved has gone into the choices of pieces and themes that make up this view into why and how artists have been drawing. Cooper Gallery is one of just four partners that will be hosting the exhibition and the only venue where you’ll be able to see Pushing Paper in Yorkshire, so be sure to catch the drawings while they’re there.

In addition to the physical exhibition, there is also a wealth of online content, which you can access through the Cooper Gallery website. Included is an activity pack, interviews with notable artists whose work is featured, a zine and a 360° virtual tour of the exhibition. Get inspired to give drawing a go with their collection of relaxing drawing activities, after digitally exploring the artworks and artists.

Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now at Cooper Gallery, Barnsley 2 October 2021 — 5 February 2022 Entrance is free Visit now

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