One of Britain’s leading public galleries of contemporary art, John Hansard Gallery, was located on Highfield Campus for almost four decades until joining Nuffield Southampton Theatres and City Eye at Studio 144 – Southampton’s new arts complex – back in May. Festivities marked the completion of the city’s Cultural Quarter, while the Gallery celebrated its opening with a major exhibition from German artist Gerhard Richter.
Curated work from his ARTIST ROOMS collection was on show until August across the expanded and purpose-built Gallery; however, it was Richter’s 48 Portraits that received the most attention. The work comprises 48 photographic facsimiles of his black-and-white paintings: all of famous white men, somewhat controversially, from 19th- and 20th-century Europe and North America. On this matter, Richter commented:
I was attached to the idea of making them as natural as possible while at the same time making the series as homogenous as possible: the same size, tone, colour, etc.
Partly as a response to this lack of diversity, John Hansard Gallery invited 12 participants from the international student community to talk about 48 Portraits in their first languages. Below you can watch the results of this project, 12/48 Countries.
12/48 Countries was made possible by the generous support of the University of Southampton’s International Office. Find out more about John Hansard Gallery and its exhibitions here.