This exhibition focuses on steps and stairs as a subject for art, exploring it through contemporary painting and drawing. It marks the 35th anniversary of Michael Richardson’s Art Space Gallery (est. 1986) and the subject takes its bearings from the gallery itself, which is well-known for its spiral staircase.
Steps and stairs are structures that intimate human presence and highlight our direct spatial relationship with architecture. They direct corporeal movement and taking bodies from one level to another, as is also the case with all those other forms of ascent and descent, such as ladders, slides, ramps and podiums. As this exhibition reminds us, such forms capture artists’ imaginations and have been often used to articulate narratives about the rhythms of human life – from stories about its stages and transitional moments, its ups and downs, its helter-skelter rides, its games and its journeys, to articulations of a vast range of metaphorical ideas that relate to this age-old stepped form.
Some of the works in this exhibition take the indoor spaces of the house and home for their subject, while others deploy the outdoor setting and larger architectural structures. Some are fantastical, whilst others focus on the more quotidian lives that steps lead.
The exhibition includes works by: Ivor Abrahams, Nick Andrews, Garry Barker, Basil Beattie, John Davies, Arturo di Stefano, Howard Eaglestone, Anthony Eyton, Peter Freeth, Anthony Green, Janis Hardiman, Charles Hewlings, Phill Hopkins, Derek Hyatt, Leon Kossoff, Nick Miller, Deanna Petherbridge, Carl Plackman and Peter Suchin.
The exhibition has been co-curated with Dr Jon Wood.