Leeds Art Gallery milestone is rooted in Yorkshire

An abstract art piece by Francis Butterfield.
An abstract art piece by Francis Butterfield.
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Leeds Art Gallery will celebrate its 130th anniversary this month with two new displays.

A thought-provoking collection of work by Bradford-born Francis Butterfield will go on display for the very first time at the end of the month.

The exhibition will include Figure Derivation, which was the gallery’s first abstract work to enter the Leeds collection in 1937.

Francis Butterfield was working as a wool stapler in a local mill when he was encouraged to follow his passion for painting by Leeds Arts Club president Sir Michael Sadler. He went on to join the avant garde ‘Seven and Five’ Society, whose members included fellow Yorkshire artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

Sarah Brown, Principal Keeper at Leeds Art Gallery, said: “Butterfield was an artist with very strong Yorkshire roots whose work often incorporated materials reflecting his early career in local industry including sand, brick dust and the lens of a flash-lamp.

“But he also used his art to further explore and redefine our perception of beauty.”

Shown for the first time in almost a decade, 2007’s Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger’s Threshold to the Kingdom will also be on display.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We are extremely privileged to have work by artists of this calibre and variety on display.

“It is testament to both the breadth of our collection and the magnificent surroundings of Leeds Art Gallery that we are able to welcome visitors to see these unique pieces.”

Both exhibitions will be on display at Leeds Art Gallery from September 28 to January 13, 2019.