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Modern Art Oxford Timeline


In October 1966, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA Oxford) was founded. MoMA on 30 Pembroke Street originally started life as part of the Hanley Brewery.


The New Generation marked the opening of MoMA Oxford at 30 Pembroke Street, featuring large sculptures by Francis Morland, Anthony Benjamin and Justin Knowles. Huge pieces showed off the scale of the former warehouse underlining its potential as a new and exciting art venue.

Newspaper article entitled 'Museum of Modern Art in new home' marking the move of Modern Art Oxford to Pembroke Street, Oxford

MoMA Oxford's first curated exhibition was entitled Space Place and opened to the public in November 1966. From the exhibition catalogue:

'This constructed space is our attempt to demonstrate an idea - the idea is a place for the people - a place where you can meet - to look - to feel - to listen - to move - to laugh - to cry - to love - to protest - a place for the people'.


In 1967 the gallery exhibited a selection of sculpture, painting, graphics and drawings by Anthony Benjamin.


In the Autumn of 1967, MoMA celebrated contemporary Cuban and contemporary Polish art in an exhibition entitled 'cuba! - poland - oxford!'


At the end of the year, a collective project called Light/Sound Workshop explored the potential of mechanical, optical and electronic media techniques, like those of film and television.

In a century of technological revolutions, this forward-thinking workshop set out to explore and expand the available spectrum of creative technological possibility.


An exhibition of 48 works by Patrick Heron spanning the period 1957-1968 opened at the gallery in the Summer of 1968.


In 1968, Stephen Willats presented his Visual Automatics and Visual Transmitters at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford; a project that impacted on viewers’ perceptual senses through kinetic abstract sculptures.


The final show of 1968 was a display of inflatable furniture, including Blow (pictured), the first mass-produced inflatable chair. Produced in 1967 by the Milan-based studio of De Pas, D'Urbino, and Lomazzi, it was manufactured through a new technique - electronic welding - by the Italian firm Zanotta. This icon of 1960s Pop furniture embodies the revolutionary spirit of its time. Made in PVC plastic, inflatable furniture was fun and far more affordable than other contemporary works of "high-style" design.


1969 began with an exhibition of production designer Franco Colavecchia's drawings and stage designs.


British abstract sculptor Tim Scott had an exhibition of New Sculpture at MoMA Oxford in 1969. During the installation of the show the concrete floors of the gallery were quickly covered with unvarnished sheets of plywood in an emergency effort to level the floor, as Scott's sculptures would not stand upright.


South African sculptor Roelof Louw exhibited his seminal installation Location in the Upper Gallery.

Location consisted of a large thick black rubber band surrounding all four walls of the space. Some visitors said that it was 'terrifying' and 'claustrophobic'.

In 2014 a retrospective of Louw was exhibited at the gallery, including Soul City (1967) which featured a pyramid of 6,000 oranges which gradually diminished as visitors helped themselves to the fruit.


In March 1970, MoMA presented the work of two young sculptors Jon Bird and David Shepherd in an exhibition entitled Somethings.


POPA at MoMA: Pioneers of Part-Art opened and closed in a single evening. Members of the Oxford University Art Club set out to present a new genre of art: Part-Art, short for Participation Art.

Touchable installations, large pneumatic structures, and wearable objects such as capes and masks designed to heighten awareness of the human body were meant to enable direct interplay between artist and observer, stimulating the viewers to respond and give back directly to the work.

However, visitors to the exhibition opening actively engaged with the works in ways not intended by their creators, and the artists withdrew their work. Sensational headlines such as ‘Art Preview Ends in Uproar’ and ‘Artists Call Spectators Philistines – And Quit’ appeared in local and national newspapers.


The Autumn of 1971 saw the display of a documentary exhibition entitled Travel Art at MoMA.


Renowned British sculptor Richard Long exhibited at the gallery in December of 1971. His sculptures and films are part of the Land Art movement, which seeks to marry landscape and art together.


In January 1972 MoMA presented an exhibition entitled Pattern in Islamic Art which combined photographs, textiles and analysis.


An exhibition of the work of the French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist Francis Picabia featured at MoMA Oxford in 1973.


In the Spring of 1973, the French conceptual artist Daniel Buren took over the gallery with hanging colourful fabrics. The exhibition, mistakenly titled Sanction of the Museum instead of Function of the Museum, featured six large pieces of colourful striped fabric hung from metal beams supporting the gallery's roof. Because of the high ceilings, visitors could freely circulate beneath these large squares of fabric.


Sol LeWitt's exhibition opened at the gallery in 1973, curated by Nicholas Serota. This exhibition featured LeWitt's now famous technique of drawing straight onto a gallery wall.

American artist Sol Le Witt is best known these drawings and later for his three dimensional structures that were mainly modular and open sided to show the inner working of his cuboid shapes. In 1993 the gallery featured a retrospective of his works which included many of these structures.


Paul Nash was one of the central figures in British surrealist and abstract painting in the 1920s and 1930s, when he was associated with Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. From 1930 until his death he also worked regularly with a camera.

The Photography of Paul Nash presented Nash's photographs and explored their role as complementary to his research as a painter. The exhibition included several watercolours for which photographs served as studies.


In April 1974, MoMA invited Joseph Beuys to Oxford for his exhibition, The secret block for a secret person in Ireland. Beuys is best known for the actions, performances and lectures with which he emerged in the 1960s as Europe's most controversial contemporary artist. The secret block was the first opportunity in the UK to see the drawings in which many of Beuys' seminal works were first formulated.


10 Black Paintings: 1965/1970, an exhibition of abstract paintings by Bob Law, was shown at the gallery in 1974.

One of the founding fathers of British Minimalism, Law was fascinated by the minimalist exploration of lines, shapes and forms. Inspired by the abstract paintings of Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman that he had discovered at the Tate in 1959, he went on to make a series of black paintings using different combinations of dark colours which he exhibited at MoMA Oxford.


Hanne Darboven's open line formations are formed of patterns of digits, dates or numbers, which put together into a visual system become perceptible forms.

This exhibition of her work featured 19 minimalist drawings which together formed one single work. On sheets of exercise book paper Darboven created a visual system of numbers, each represented by a U-shaped loop. As the numbers grow larger, a pattern emerges across the pages.


An Arts Council exhibition of drawings by the painter, sculptor and printmaker Jasper Johns featured at the gallery in October 1974.


John Hilliard 1969-74 was presented in the Upper Gallery.

Hilliard's work addresses photography as a medium: its reliability a representational device and its status within the visual arts, especially in relation to painting, cinema and commercial photography.


The catalogue that accompanied Marcel Broodthaers' exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford contained an essay in which he declared, ‘I do not believe it is legitimate to seriously define Art other than in the light of one constant factor – namely the transformation of Art into merchandise. In our time this process has accelerated to the point at which artistic and commercial values are superimposed.’

Excerpts from Lucy Bradnock ‘Marcel Broodthaers: Mademoiselle Riviere and Monsieur Bertin’ Catalogue Entry Tate.


The Scottish sculptor, performance artist and painter Bruce McLean had a solo exhibition at MoMA in the Summer of 1975. This featured a dance performance in the gallery by the alternative contemporary dance group, Strider (pictured).


Kim Lim was a Singaporean-British sculptor and printmaker of Chinese descent. A selection of her prints was displayed at a solo exhibition at the gallery.


Alan Charlton said of his work and practice in an interview in 2014: "Paintings are always made in the same way. The size is 4.5 cm, the canvas is always the same type of cotton and the color is always grey. With these elements, which always remain unchanged, I try to create different works."

In 1975 MoMA presented Alan Charlton: Paintings from a series begun in 1970.


Klaus Rinke was one of the founders of the School of Düsseldorf alongside Gerhard Richter and others. His work has crossed and interacted with great radical movements such as Body Art, Land Art and Conceptual Art, without ever being reducible to one movement alone.

Alongside his regular practice in drawing and painting, Rinke has become known as a sculptor in the broad sense of the term. Visually bringing together art and science, his aim is to make his audience aware of certain fundamentals of human experience: time, space, gravity. In 1978 MoMA hosted an exhibition and performance (pictured) of his work.


Howard Hodgkin: 45 Paintings 1949-75 was spread across the Upper, Middle and Small Galleries. The exhibition explored the distinctive manner and subjects of Hodgkin's painting and his unique language of stripes, spots, blocks and arcs of strong colour.

The exhibition notes read: 'In a single painting we may recognise a wide range of reference, including the art of his contemporaries. But ultimately identification of possible sources is irrelevant for Hodgkin's paintings are his own.'


A posthumous exhibition of Kurt Schwitters's collages or Merzbilder (Merz pictures) opened at the gallery in December 1976. Having worked in several genres and media, including Dadaism, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art, he remains most famous for his collages.


1977 began with a group exhibition of works by British artists in the early twentieth century called A Terrific Thing: British Art 1910-1916.


Frank Stella: Aluminium Reliefs 1976-77 was an exhibition of the aluminium works Stella had produced since 1960. These were his first shaped canvases. Stella said of his need to build his canvases: "I can't paint on just any surface, some neutral surface. I need something that I feel is worth painting on, so I have to make it myself..."

During the exhibition local schoolchildren took part in painting workshops in the gallery.


The British artist Martin Taylor's work is distinguished by his innovative use of mixed media. In it he combines painting, sculpture, found objects, photography and installation.

In the same year as his solo show of sculptures and drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Naylor represented Britain at the São Paolo Biennial in Brazil.


The Inner Eye was an exhibition of work made in psychiatric hospitals as part of art therapy. The exhibition celebrated the potential of art practice as therapeutic, educational and liberating, at a time when a still very small number of hospitals had art therapy departments.


Susan Hiller's work Fragments was first shown at MoMA Oxford in 1978. The work consisted of 186 gouache drawings, 210 potsherds (fragments of broken pottery), and a selection of monochrome charts and diagrams, handwritten and typed texts in polythene bags, and monochrome photographs. The show was installed across the walls and floor of the gallery in 11 sections.


Hans Haacke's new solo exhibition at the gallery included A Breed Apart, which made a contrast between an advertising campaign for Jaguar (made by British Leyland) and their practices in exporting vehicles for police and military use to apartheid South Africa.

'By the end of the 1970s, Haacke’s work had become more aggressively political – albeit in a more allegorical way – and throughout the 1980s the artist required ever-larger spaces to accommodate his "factographic" installations'
- Frieze Magazine, Issue 106 - April 2007


The Falling Leaf: Aerial Dropped Propaganda 1914-1968 was an exhibition of the propaganda leaflets, flyers, and artefacts scattered as a form of psychological warfare between 1914 and 1968.


A retrospective of prolific Russian artist Alexsander Rodchenko took place in 1979. One of the founders of Russian design and the constructivism aesthetic, his work takes in painting, sculpture, graphic design and photography and has been extremely influential on later artists and designers.


Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) is best known for his fresco murals depicting scenes from the Mexican revolution. Photographs of the murals together with 300 examples of easel work, graphics and drawings were displayed on the museum’s three levels.


In 1981, the Museum of Modern Art Oxford hosted an exhibition of Leon Kossoff's work entitled Paintings from a decade: 1970 - 1980

Discussing the exhibition Director of The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, David Elliot said: 'In this exhibition, we have tried to show the relationship between Leon Kossoff’s drawing and painting and in the catalogue we have been able to include some photographs of the motifs themselves. Kossoff is concerned to make it clear that he has never drawn or painted from photographs - indeed the monocular vanishing point perspective of the camera lens is entirely alien to the complex spaces of Kossoff’s paintings and drawings. Nevertheless their inclusion below does in a strange and uncategorical way indicate better than words how Kossoff transcribes and transmutes his subjects.'

A catalogue of this exhibition is available in our shop.

Painting's by Leon Kossoff

An exhibition organised by Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1930 was reconstructed by the State Museum of Literature, Moscow and the Ministry of Culture USSR. It was organised in Great Britain by the Museum of Modern Art Oxford with the financial assistance of the Visiting Arts Unit and the Arts Council of Great Britain.

A Soviet exhibition of Vladimir Mayakovksky's work

Reconstructions: Avant Garde in Japan, 1945-1965, opened at MoMA Oxford in December. It was a survey exhibition exploring contemporary practice in a post-war era.

A catalogue of this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


In February 1988 MoMA Oxford held an exhibition of K.G Subramanyan's new series inspired by his stay as a Christensen fellow in Oxford. Fairytales of Oxford featured paintings of fantastical creatures, tropical vegetation and child-like wonder all set against the backdrop of suburban Oxford.

The effect was to create witty, moral tableaus that were a mixture of Indian folklore and Oxfordshire landscapes.


Yayoi Kusama is considered Japan's greatest living artist. Her various forms of expression all share an obsession with repetition, pattern, and accumulation. Her work shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content.

'My art originates from hallucinations only I can see. I translate the hallucinations and obsessional images that plague me into sculptures and paintings. All my works are the products of obsessional neurosis and are therefore inextricably connected to my disease.'
- Excerpts from Sotheby’s auction catalogue


'Jac Leirner's multifaceted work is formulated through a process of collecting and ordering; tapping into what the artist has described as the 'infinity of materials.'
- Excerpts from White Cube Gallery.

Since the mid-1980s, Leirner has amassed the ephemeral and incidental products of consumer culture, and reappropriated them into visually compelling sculptures and installations that demand to be both seen and read.


In June and again in September the gallery held an exhibition of specially commissioned pieces from up and coming Chinese artists.

New Art from China, Part 1: Silent Energy and New Art from China Part 2, The Chinese Avant-Garde showed a side of Chinese art which was dissident, controversial and visually arresting.


The Raw and the Cooked - new work in clay in Britain featured works by brilliant artists working in ceramics. It was one of the first exhibitions that moved ceramics out of their traditional crafts gallery environment into a contemporary art gallery setting.


In April the Museum of Modern Art Oxford held an exhibition of Marina Abramović's sculptures and videos, titled Objects, Performance, Video, Sound.

Abramović is one of the best known performance artists, her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.


100 years of cinema has shaped our culture and contemporary artists are among those who consider this powerful force in their work. Many directors have been influential, but it is Alfred Hitchcock whose shadow looms largest over contemporary artists, filmmakers, and the public alike.

The exhibition Notorious: Alfred Hitchcock and Contemporary Art brought together a number of works dealing both directly and indirectly with the master of suspense, including pieces by John Baldessari, Christian Marclay and Cindy Sherman.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.

An exhibition of artists inspired by Alfred Hitchcock and cinema

Enclosed and Enchanted presented key works by contemporary artists such as Cristina Iglesias, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Antony Gormley and Takahiko Iimura.

The works invited various readings of the garden, both real and imagined – as architecture, as the manifestation of psychological and physical desires and fears, or as a means to frame a conceptual view of the world. Enclosed and Enchanted pursued these issues through contemporary work linked with historical examples.

A catalogue of this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.

An exhibition of works based on readings of the garden

An exhibition was held in 2001 of American artist and photographer Ed Ruscha, the first of its kind to bring together paintings, drawings and books from his 40-year career.

'One has to remind oneself just how audacious Ruscha’s first deadpan canvases, with their bold words and photorealist renderings of small commonplace objects must have seemed when he launched them on the art public of early 1960s America.'
- The Eye Magazine, 2002

An exhibition of work by American artist and photographer Ed Ruscha

In 2002, the gallery changed its name to Modern Art Oxford, a change that better reflected the gallery’s status as a ‘kunsthalle’, a home for a vibrant, changing programme of international art, rather than a museum.


This new showing (the first British exhibition for Tracey Emin since 1997) marked Modern Art Oxford's name change (previously MOMA, Oxford) and reopening after refurbishment.

It was a mixture of neon wall hangings, drawings, etchings, film and a large sculpture installation titled Knowing my Enemy featuring a large pier made out of reclaimed timber with a wooden shack on top.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


Authenticity and the creative act are central themes of this controversial exhibition of work by Jake and Dinos Chapman at Modern Art Oxford.

This 2003 exhibition included 80 of Goya’s Disasters of War etchings, the originals drawn on by the brothers and re-named 'Insult to Injury' and an installation called The Rape of Creativity, featuring an old camper van as its centrepiece.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


Mike Nelson is known for his large-scale installations made up of sequences of meticulously constructed, interconnecting rooms that suggest real or imagined spaces.

To encounter Nelson’s work is to take an active part in a narrative that merges real and fictional experiences. It is a narrative of jump cuts and double takes in which truth and reality are fractured into a multiplicity of perspectives. References to the literary constructions of William Burroughs, Jorg Luis Borges, the Strugatsky Brothers and Stanislav Lem abound in Nelson’s structures, set among more generic tales of piracy, survival, desertion and the covert groupings of the stateless and the subversive.

Installations based on literary constructions by Mike Nelson

This 2005 solo exhibition was the first comprehensive presentation of Angela Bulloch’s work in the UK. Born in Ontario, Canada in 1966, Bulloch studied at Goldsmith’s College, obtaining a BA in Fine Art in 1998. Her work includes all forms of multiple media -including video, installation, sculpture and painting.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.

Multiple media work by Angela Bulloch

A comprehensive exhibition of work by artists from Beirut. Out of Beirut introduced new and recent work by artists such as Lamia Jorege, Walid Sadek, Walid Raad, Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige, Zaid Abillama, Bernard Khoury and Tony Chakar.

The exhibition featured work especially made for the Oxford show from Jalal Toufic, Akram Zaatari and the anonymous artists’ collective Heartland.

At its heart was a discussion of how the landscape of Beirut has changed following the end of civil war in 1990.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


One of the most closely watched American artists of his generation, Kerry James Marshall exhibited an exciting and inspiring show of his paintings.

'Marshall addresses the absence of black people in Western art, with an exhibition that pursues images and ideas of blackness, projecting these into contemporary art by fusing classical and vernacular approaches together with conceptually oriented motifs.'
- Deborah Smith, in exhibition catalogue


Modern Art Oxford was the first to present a the major UK exhibition of work by controversial artist Stella Vine. Stella mainly paints pictures that question the essence of being a celebrity, whether it's Princess Diana, Kate Moss or Slyvia Plath.

'Stella’s work is fresh, bold and original and deserves to reach a wider audience. Modern Art Oxford has a long tradition of recognising and supporting new talent. We are delighted to be working with Stella on her first major exhibition.'
- Andrew Nairne, former Director of Modern Art Oxford.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


One of Europe’s most exciting young artists, Mircea Cantor transformed the gallery with an installation that featured, amongst others, a birdcage with live peacocks.

Cantor’s poetic use of materials, images, animals and places offered an eloquent meditation on the contradictions of our contemporary world and the human condition. His work has a beauty and an immediacy that resonates long after the encounter.

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.

Birdcage installation by young artist Mircea Cantor

Our exhibition spanned seven installations of the revered Canadian duo Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Their installations go from the very literal, such as The House of Books has No Windows through to eerie immersive multimedia works like The Killing Machine, The Muriel Lake Incident, The Dark Pool and Opera for a Small Room.

'...accessible, sometimes spooky and disturbing, sometimes enigmatic and strange.'
- Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 2008

A catalogue for this exhibition is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


A major new exhibition of paintings by Howard Hodgkin explored the acclaimed British artist’s use of abstraction as an expression of subjective experience.

Spanning ten years of the artist’s career, the exhibition included paintings not previously seen by a broader public, including a powerful body of new work developing out of his Home, Home on the Range series of 2008.

Together, they highlighted the physical as well as emotional charge of Hodgkin’s art through his use of scale, sensitivity to light and his ability to create painterly equivalents of depth and atmosphere using colour and brushstroke.


In his first major solo exhibition in the UK, Thomas Houseago presented his monumental figurative sculptures, that are charged with a remarkable energy and vitality. Houseago works primarily with materials associated with classical and modernist sculpture; carved wood, plaster and bronze.

'His somewhat crude and direct working belies a sophistication that is rich in a layering of cultural, mythological and art historical references. In a time of fast-paced technological change, Houseago’s art takes on the role of an awkward, unresolved reminder of the past.'
- Modern Art Oxford exhibition catalogue


In her ever first solo show at a British public gallery, Jenny Saville showed the early paintings that first made her famous in the late 90's, alongside paintings that she'd finished in her Oxford studio just a few days before the opening - some canvases were still wet!


Eva Kotátková exhibited in November, with A Storyteller's Inadequacy her works featured performers connecting with objects which created a 'living sculpture' throughout the gallery spaces.

'Kotátková’s works are proposals for living in an awkward age; blueprints for difficulties that must be overcome in order to explore limits of human relationships and behaviour. Objects become mediators which borrow human voices and tell personal stories as well as literary narratives of human isolation and otherness.'
- Modern Art Oxford exhibition catalogue


In the summer of 2014, the internationally acclaimed artist Barbara Kruger presented a major exhibition of new work at the gallery.

In this exhibition, Kruger produced a site-specific text work which enveloped the entire surface area of the Upper Gallery from lintel to floor.


This major exhibition curated by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller brought together rarely seen works by William Morris and Andy Warhol.

Love is Enough became one of the most popular exhibitions of Modern Art Oxford's recent history.


Modern Art Oxford celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 with a major year-long programme of rolling exhibitions, titled KALEIDOSCOPE.

Iconic works from the past returned to the gallery from across the globe, shown as part of a dynamic programme of new commissions, performances and events by acclaimed artists of the current generation.

An anniversary publication was created for KALEIDOSCOPE and is available in the Modern Art Oxford shop.


In 2017, Modern Art Oxford presented the first major survey exhibition by British artist Lubaina Himid: Invisible Strategies. It brought together a wide range of Himid’s paintings from the 1980s to the present day, as well as sculptures, ceramics and works on paper.

Himid’s monumental Freedom and Change, 1984 (pictured), appropriates and transforms the female figures from Picasso’s Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race), 1922, into black women, powerfully and humorously subverting one of the most canonical paintings in Western art history.


Kazem Hakimi's Portraits from a Chip Shop, presented across Modern Art Oxford and Arts at the Old Fire Station, was a community portrait of Oxford.

It featured fifty portraits, shot at Hakimi’s popular fish and chip shop on the Iffley Road.

“My customers are a cross-section of society and the photographs reveal an Oxford which is very different to the image of the city known to the outside world: one that is multi-ethnic and diverse. This series celebrates the range of characters who have made Oxford the city I love.” - Kazem Hakimi


Future Knowledge was the first of a two-part exhibition exploring how we can use the arts creatively to imagine future possibilities.

This unconventional exhibition invited participation and generated content over time. Through conversation, images and events, it invited visitors to imagine alternative future possibilities for city life.

"Of all exhibitions I’ve seen in museums around the world I’ve never seen an exhibition like this - it’s different and fresh." - Visitor


At Modern Art Oxford, Aleksandra Mir presented Earth Observation & Human Spaceflight, new chapters from her wider project Space Tapestry.

Much like a graphic novel, Space Tapestry tells an episodic visual story of Space travel.

For Earth Observation & Human Spaceflight, Mir brought together a team of collaborators aged 18 to 24, to draw the work collectively in her studio.


Life, Belief and Beyond was the first posthumous exhibition of works by the highly acclaimed and influential artist Rose Finn-Kelcey (1945–2014).

The exhibition focused on Finn-Kelcey’s explorations of power, performance, political commentary, and perceptions of the self, belief and spirituality. It featured works such as Bureau de Change and It Pays to Pray (pictured).

"No two works of hers are physically alike; each represents a fresh challenge." – Guy Brett


Hannah Ryggen (1894-1970) was one of Scandinavia’s most outstanding artistic figures of the 20th century. Woven Histories was the first major presentation of her work in the UK.

The exhibition celebrated both her vibrant tapestries -impassioned responses to the socio-political events of her time - and the processes involved in creating them.

The exhibition was organised in partnership with Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum / Museene I Sør-Trøndelag.


Speakers was a new commission by Modern Art Oxford for Swiss artist Nicolas Party.

The Piper Gallery was taken over by a theatrical cast of female heads representing and acknowledging the achievements of pioneering women in the city of Oxford.

Speakers incorporated a soundscape of piano, cello and voice arrangements, offering up improvised auditory encounters for visitors.


Modern Art Oxford presented the first major UK solo exhibition by Cinthia Marcelle, one of Brazil’s most significant contemporary artists.

The Family in Disorder, a new installation commissioned by Modern Art Oxford, comprised two strikingly different structures realised on-site across separate galleries.

In the wake of rising social inequality caused by multiple political and economic crises, Marcelle created a mirror image of chaos and order.

The Family in Disorder (2018) was made in collaboration with artists Aaron Head, Chris Jackson, Kamila Janska, Andy Owen, Sebastian Thomas and Aline Tima.


In Summer 2018, Modern Art Oxford and Drawing Room jointly presented A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings, a group exhibition celebrating the sustained power of drawing in the digital age.

Bringing together a dynamic selection of recent works by 14 international artists who are committed to the materiality of paper and pencil, A Slice through the World explored the power of traditional drawing to make us slow down and reconsider how we look at the world.


Building on its inaugural edition in 2017, Future Knowledge explored the role of visual culture in continuing to raise awareness of the effects of climate change.

It brought together artworks, prototypes and projects by artists, designers and thinkers from a range of different disciplines, in order to showcase fascinating and diverse creative responses to environmental concerns.

Lucy Kimbell's prototype for domestic wallpaper (pictured) changes colour over time in response to UK air pollutants.

Future Knowledge is part of the nationwide project Season for Change, which invites artists and arts organisations from across the country to explore climate change through creative presentation.


Fantastic Cities was the first major art exhibition of artist and director Penny Woolcock, an unparalleled pioneer in contemporary visual culture in the UK.

Fantastic Cities presented ‘parallel worlds’, through intimate accounts of real urban experiences that often go unheard, at times layered together with fantastical tales from literature, film and music.


The Script | أكرم زعتري: السكريبت was a solo exhibition of works by renowned Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari.

The Script (2018) was born out of the artist’s research into online content connected with the Arab world. Exploring YouTube using relatively neutral search terms such as ‘father and son’, Zaatari discovered multiple films depicting fathers praying, despite their children’s mischievous attempts to distract them.

Such tender scenes of domestic life are rarely seen in the Western media’s representation of the Arab world, prompting us to consider whether the men who created these original films may be deliberately attempting to redress the negative view of Islam that has prevailed in recent times.


In Summer 2019, Modern Art Oxford presented I Came to Dance, an overview of the work of Claudette Johnson, one of the most accomplished figurative artists working in Britain today.

Her art sets out to redress negative portrayals of black women and men and to counter the invisibility of black people in cultural spheres and beyond.

“I’m interested in our humanity, our feelings and our politics; some things which have been neglected.” - Claudette Johnson