London gets a major new contemporary art gallery this autumn with the launch of the long-awaited Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art on 8 September. The exhibition programme, overseen by the gallery director Sarah McCrory, includes shows dedicated to Mika Rottenberg, the late feminist artist Alexis Hunter and the overlooked post-war Chicago Imagists.
Assemble, the London-based architects who won the Turner Prize in 2015, were selected in 2014 to convert former public baths and Victorian water tanks on the south London campus into the new 1,000 sq. m centre housing eight gallery spaces.
Argentinean -born Rottenberg will respond to the building, showing purpose-built installations alongside sculptural objects (8 September-4 November). “It will be a mini-survey,” McCrory says. Two new films, entitled Untitled (Ceiling Projection) and Study#4, will “examine the human body’s physical and psychological potential and limitations”, says a press statement. The new films are co-commissioned with Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.
Exhibitions dedicated to the Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu—known for her sculptural installations incorporating materials such as wool, leather and animal pelts—and Alexis Hunter will follow (23 November-3 February 2019). “Hunter’s works have always fascinated me. Her tough and bold photography is fresh and relevant, and her photographic story boards feel newly relevant when looking at how we consume images today through social media,” McCrory tells The Art Newspaper. Pivotal works from the 1970s, such as The Model’s Revenge I (1974), will be included.
The show of works by the Chicago Imagists—co-curated with Rosie Cooper of the De La Warr Pavilion and organised by Hayward Gallery’s touring exhibition arm—is due to launch next March. The exhibition will include works by 15 key practitioners behind the loose 1960s movement, including Christina Ramberg, Barbara Rossi, and Jim Nutt. The Imagists, who looked to comics, popular culture, Surrealism and Art Brut, mostly emerged from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Oak Foundation Project Space, situated in the centre of the new gallery building, will host a “diverse faster-paced programme”, exhibitions, performances and collaborative projects linked to the main exhibitions programme and the university. “This will be a double-height project space for talks and events, and exhibitions with a shorter run. There will always be something happening here on a regular basis,” McCrory says.
She adds: “We’re hoping to find a new path as London already has so many amazing institutions; there is enormous potential for collaborating with different university departments. There are 9,000 students and some of the world’s best academics here.” Goldsmiths, part of the University of London, is home to one of the UK’s leading art schools, with Michael Craig-Martin, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, and Antony Gormley among its alumni.