Turner Contemporary
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary
    Photo Manu Palomeque 
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary
     
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Manu Palomeque 
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Manu Palomeque 
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Manu Palomeque 
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Manu Palomeque 
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo Manu Palomeque 
  • Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, installation view at Turner Contemporary Photo David Grandorge 
  • Cabinet-on-stand with ebony veneer and internal fruitwood and ivory marquetry, made in Paris and bought by Mary Evelyn in 1652 for her husband John Evelyn, Geffrye Museum, London
  • Pablo Bronstein, Museum Section, 2013, courtesy Herald St, London
    Photo: Andy Keate © the artist 
    Limited edition print of this work is available from our shop 
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Studies of emblems, geometrical diagrams, and notes. Verso studies of emblems, geometrical diagrams, and notes, c.1508-10
    Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 
  • Albrecht Dürer, A rhinoceros, 1515
    Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
  • Nina Katchadourian, Seat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style
    Courtesy of the artist
  • Corinne May Botz, Kitchen (Room from afar)
    © Corinne May Botz
  • JMW Turner, Peacock, from The Farnley Book of Birds, c.1816
    Leeds Museums and Galleries / The Bridgeman Art Library
  • Jeremy Millar, Masked Self-Portrait (2008), framed colour photograph in custom-made archival mount
    Courtesy of the artist
  • Laurent Grasso, Specola, 2012 
    © Laurent Grasso
24 May 2013 - 15 September 2013

Enter a world of wonder, fascination and inquiry. Experience the spectacular and the bizarre, the startling and mysterious, contemporary art alongside historical artefacts, as the gallery becomes a cabinet of curiosities.

‘Like the cabinet of curiosities of the 17th century, which mixed science and art, ancient
and modern, reality and fiction, this exhibition refuses to choose between knowledge
and pleasure. It juxtaposes historical periods and categories of objects to produce an eccentric map of curiosity in its many senses’ says Curator Brian Dillon.

See the absurdly over stuffed Horniman Museum walrus, which has travelled to the seaside having left its current home for the first time since the 1890s, sit proudly in our North gallery. Works by contemporary artists including Katie Paterson, Pablo Bronstein, Tacita Dean, Gerard Byrne and Nina Katchadourian expose past and present fascinations such as astronomy, animals, maps, portraiture and humankind’s obsession with collecting, blurring the boundaries of art, science and fantasy. 

Historical artefacts abound with intricate pen and ink studies by Leonardo da Vinci;  Albrecht Dürer’s celebrated Rhinoceros woodcut (1515); beautiful bird studies by the gallery’s namesake JMW Turner; late 19th century models of aquatic creatures by German glassmakers Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka; the mineral collection of Roger Caillois from the Natural History Museum in Paris, the diarist and botanist John Evelyn’s cabinet, ivory anatomical models from the 17th and 18th centuries, Robert Hooke’s Micrographia with its startingly detailed illustration of a flea, and a penguin collected from one of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions from our neighbour the Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington-on-Sea.


A Hayward Touring exhibition, in collaboration with Turner Contemporary and curated by Brian Dillon. Also in association with New York art and culture magazine Cabinet.

Turner Contemporary architect David Chipperfield conceived the design for the exhibition in Margate, and Curiosity is set to tour to the Norwich Castel Museum and Art Gallery followed by de Appel Museum in Amsterdam. 

Catalogue
A playful, informative book with essays by Brian Dillon and Marina Warner will accompany the exhibition, available from our shop.

Limited edition Pablo Bronstein print
For the exhibition Curiosity, we commissioned artist Pablo Bronstein to create a new work, Museum Section. It encapsulates the many spectacular and bizarre objects within the exhibition, in an imaginary building. We've produced 200 limited edition prints of Bronstein's work, available to buy from our shop from 24 May. The print is at a special price of £70 unframed (RRP £90 unframed). A framing service is available on request. 

Tweet the walrus @HornimanWalrus
Follow and tweet us @TCMargate #CuriousMargate


Brian Dillon is a writer and critic, and UK editor of Cabinet magazine. His books include Sanctuary (Sternberg Press, 2011), Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives (Penguin, 2009), which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, and In the Dark Room (Penguin, 2005), which won the Irish Book Award for non-fiction. He writes regularly for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, frieze and Artforum. He lives in Canterbury and teaches critical writing at the Royal College of Art. 

List of artists

Agency, Salvatore Arancio, Anna Atkins, Sir Joseph Banks, Leopold Blaschka and Rudolph Blaschka, Corinne May Botz, Pablo Bronsteinm, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Gerard Byrne, Nina Canell, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Roger Caillois, Tacita Dean, John Dee, Albrecht Dürer, Jimmie Durham, Gunda Förster, Aurélien Froment, Galileo Galilei, Philip Henry Gosse, Laurent Grasso, Thomas Grünfeld, Susan Hiller, Robert Hooke, Ferrante Imperato, Toril Johannessen, Nina Katchadourian, Elad Lassry, Leonardo da Vinci, Nicolaes Maes, Jeremy Millar, Matt Mullican, Jean Painlevé, Katie Paterson, b Picart after Charles Le Brun, Francis Place, Aura Satz, Miroslav Tichý, JMW Turner, Richard Wentworth

Supporter:

Partners:

Leave a comment

* Denotes required fields

Left by Hayward Slater on Jun 12, 2013 03:18PM

A fleeting first visit to you June 11th, I of course had to be elsewhere, but Turner Contemporary was to near to resist.
I felt the gallery possessed a refreshing new take on it's displays and a good atmosphere.

'I shall return'

Many Thanks,

Hayward