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National Museum of Wales opens Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966–1979

National Museum of Wales presents Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966–1979 an exhibition on view 28 September 2013–5 January 2014. A touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.

In the late 1960s, artists on both sides of the Atlantic turned away from the enclosed space of the gallery and went out into the landscape to forge new forms of art. This art encompassed a wide range of practices, including sculpture, performance and photography.

Uncommon Ground takes a fresh look at British art from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, exploring the unique characteristics of the British landscape, and examines how landscape and nature came to be key concerns of Conceptual art in Britain. The exhibition reveals the distinct forms that Land art took here in Britain: predominantly conceptual and ephemeral, handmade and organic. The key strategies developed in the UK included the photographic documentation of actions and the positioning of walking and travelling as creative acts, combined with an exploration of locality and a keen awareness of rural traditions and contexts. At the same time, the term ‘landscape’ was also being questioned and transformed by artists, provoking a renewed interest in older forms of landscape art, and in historic landscapes. From being seen as something old-fashioned and redundant, landscape became the ground of radical artistic experiment.

Curated by Nicholas Alfrey, (University of Nottingham) Joy Sleeman, (Slade School of Art, University of London) and Ben Tufnell, (curator and writer) Uncommon Ground will examine the meaning Land art might have in a British context, where landscape has long been a recognised characteristic of national art and identity.

Drawn primarily from the Arts Council Collection and supplemented by loans from other major UK collections, as well as the artists themselves, this exhibition features artists who have made some of the greatest contributions to art in Britain in the past forty years or more, including Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley, Hamish Fulton, Richard Long, Anthony McCall and David Nash.

National Museum of Wales
Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP