How a groundbreaking exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery is proving a launch pad for artistic talent

Director of New Contemporaries Kirsty Ogg at Leeds Art Gallery with work in the exhibition called New Contemporaries. PIC: Tony Johnson
Director of New Contemporaries Kirsty Ogg at Leeds Art Gallery with work in the exhibition called New Contemporaries. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A groundbreaking exhibition, which has been a launch pad for some of the UK's most exciting artistic talent opens at Leeds Art Gallery this month.

Celebrating New Contemporaries 70th anniversary this year, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019, selected by internationally renowned artists Rana Begum, Sonia Boyce and Ben Rivers, will showcase the work of the UK's up-and-coming artists from September 14.

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Leading figures in the fields of modern painting and sculpture that have shown as part of New Contemporaries exhibitions early in their careers include now renowned artists such as David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst and Paula Rego.

This year's exhibition will feature work by 45 artists and a programme which will explore some of the latest developments in visual arts, UK art education and the changing ideas about making art in the 21st century.

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One of the featured artists Alaena Turner, is currently studying at the University of Leeds.

Alaena said; "Studying in Leeds is a great way to gain an understanding of the contemporary art scene on a national scale. There's a strong sense of community and DIY culture here, supported by the ethos of the art schools, great organisations including artist-run initiatives and opportunities for new studio spaces."

Alongside the exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 will present a series of public programmes developed collaboratively with organisations across the city including The Tetley, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Beckett University and East Street Arts.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: "Leeds has a long and proud history of supporting excellence in the arts and has often been a proving ground for some of the country's most progressive and exciting talent.

"We're delighted to be welcoming this exhibition to the stunning surroundings of Leeds Art Gallery and to be showcasing the work of these dynamic and creative artists."

Kirsty Ogg, Director, New Contemporaries said, "With a dazzling range of names in post-war and contemporary art, collectively our alumni have helped define contemporary visual culture. The annual exhibition is an example of visual art's development, encapsulating UK art education at a given moment and embodying changing ideas about the social purpose of art.

While New Contemporaries has been shown in Yorkshire in the past, we are delighted to be launching for the first time in Leeds and to be working with so many of the city's illustrious organisations and institutions".

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 will launch at Leeds Art Gallery on September 14 until November 17 2019. The show will then travel to the South London Gallery from December 6 2019 to February 23, 2020.