Continuities: 2000 Years of Abstract Art

1 August - 24 October 2021
“All Art was Once Contemporary”

The essence of the exhibition “Continuities”, as presented at The Old Chapel, Maiden Bradley Duke of Somerset Estates, in association with Paul Hughes Fine Arts, originated from living artists within our constellation who share a passion for that mystical otherworldliness in art and to enter into a dialogue with our museum quality collection of ancient Andean Pre-Columbian archaeological textiles.

“Continuities” is intended to illustrate how works from different periods and cultures are visually interwoven despite their diverse chronological and geographical background, whether it is an affinity in aesthetics or intentionality imbued within the living artist’s creations.

The exhibition showcases Pre-Columbian artworks from the Paul Hughes Collection, alongside works of Anni and Josef Albers, Augusto Ballardo, Lawrence Calver, Fiona Curran, Maria Simonds-Gooding, Ben Hughes, Ptolemy Mann, and Katharine Swailes.

Continuities will enable us to compare artworks, providing us new and fresh perspectives, allowing us a new way of looking at events, situations, and peoples. By analysing artworks from the past and looking at their details, we can rewind time and experience what a time period different from our own was like and how artists today are inspired by the past.

The living artists and we the curators believe, that such a project presents ancient art more intimately. Art history becomes more accessible, less of a place where you are told a truth that you have to learn and more of an immersive experience that you grow with, updating the visual language of the historical in alignment with contemporary practice, providing new interpretations and parallels.

What is fascinating about the arts is that by changing the context we redefine the objects and allow new meanings across time within a visual span of confluences spanning 2000 years.

Ancient Andean textiles played a pivotal role in the development of the works of Josef and Anni Albers at The Bauhaus, and influencing their teaching practice at both the Black Mountain College and Yale School of Art, “Continuities” will highlight that early 20th century confluence up to the present day as presented by the works of the participating living artists. The Albers’ felt a complete emotional camaraderie with anonymous Andean weavers whose names they would never know, some of whom lived many centuries ago. As we believe, a shared interest in line and colour and artistic technique, and a mutual feeling for the joy and emotional well-being covered by these visual interactions and experiences are what connects arts across time.