About Vision: New British Painting in the 1990s
12.04.97 – 31.05.97
This exhibition brought together the work of eighteen artists under the age of forty working in Britain in the 1990s. It considered the diverse nature of painting in the last decade of the twentieth century, proposing the absence of a dominant style or voice, as a way of giving space to a new wide range of possibilities for young painters. According to the exhibition guide, ‘About Vision celebrated the diversity and experimental energy of new painting in the 90s, and the eternal ability of paint to reinvent itself.’ [Fruitmarket Gallery exhibition guide, 1997]
As a Museum of Modern Art Oxford touring exhibition, About Vision was curated by its then director David Elliot and Astrid Bowron (then Exhibitions Manager). In order to make the selection of paintings, they talked to over 100 artists and visited their studios, galleries, and degree shows throughout the UK. Afterwards, they identified three main areas of common interest around which the exhibition was structured: the painting as an object, representation and reality, and the parallel media of photography, film, and video.
The exhibition space was divided between the lower and upper galleries of the Fruitmarket Gallery and it included the works of David Austen, Glenn Brown, Simon Callery, Clem Crosby, Ian Davenport, Peter Doig, Mark Francis, Jane Harris, Marcus Harvey, Gary Hume, Callum Innes, Jason Martin, Alain Miller, Lisa Milroy, Chris Ofili, Richard Paterson, Fiona Rae, and Richard Wright.
As part of the programme, a group of artists was involved in a regular ‘Meet the Artist’ slot. Additionally, the Fruitmarket Gallery hosted a talk by art critic and writer, Simon Morley on the subject of ‘The State of British Painting’.
Marieta Guzman – Fruitmarket Archive Intern, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2022