If it didn’t exist you’d have to invent it: a partial Showroom history

If it didn’t exist you’d have to invent it: a partial Showroom history, brought together work by over eighty artists who have exhibited at the gallery between 1990 and 2006.

Researching back through the archives to a period before electronic communication and computer files, the curatorial team tracked down as many artists as possible whose careers started at The Showroom.

If it didn’t exist you’d have to invent it: a partial Showroom history included works by internationally recognised artists such as Simon Starling, Jim Lambie, Mona Hatoum, Eugenio Dittborn, Francis Cape, Sam Taylor-Wood, Douglas Gordon, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Nathan Coley, Graham Gussin, Ceal Floyer, Keith Coventry, Rebecca Warren, desperate optimists, Anya Gallaccio, Fortuyn/O’Brien, SMITH/STEWART, Forced Entertainment, Alan Michael, Cathy Wilkes, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Chris Evans, Claire Barclay, Eva Rothschild, Zinny & Maidagan, Des Hughes, Richard Hughes, Daria Martin, Subodh Gupta, Kathrin Böhm, Aaron Williamson and juneau/projects/. Thus demonstrating the important role that The Showroom has played in supporting artists at an early career stage, and in shaping emerging tendencies.

If it didn’t exist… provided a uniquely eclectic overview of the sixteen years of contemporary art practice prior to 2007 and reflected the programming of the three directors: David Thorp, Kim Sweet and Kirsty Ogg. The show also provided an exciting opportunity to snap up a piece of cutting edge contemporary art, as works were for sale through the gallery.

The exhibition also marked an important moment in The Showroom’s history: it is the last exhibition to take place on the Bonner Road site before the gallery’e relocation to Penfold Street. The newly improved space was designed by the innovative architectural practice Harty + Harty, who have worked on a number of high profile buildings including Jay Jopling’s Fig. 1, The Institute of Visual Culture at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the new St John Bread and Wine on Commercial Street, London.


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