'Crossing borders from the Danube to the Humber: Alfred Gruber and Friends' - a new exhibition for Beverley Art Gallery

Date
Mon, 04 Apr 2022
Article

A brand new exhibition at Beverley Art Gallery, opening on Saturday, 9 April, will present the outstanding work of Austrian-born sculptor, Alfred Gruber, and the artistic friends he encountered on his journey from Austria to East Yorkshire via Switzerland and Prague. 

Having travelled from the Danube to the Humber, Alfred Gruber settled at Welton in East Yorkshire in 1969.  The new exhibition tells the story of the artistic journey of this exceptional artist, whose work was invariably experimental, emerging from an exploration of materials and sculptural form. The results, which were often interactive, could be funny, forceful and at times painfully direct.

Throughout his journey, artistic friendships and partnerships were forged. They included modern Swiss architects and artists including the young David Weiss (one half of the celebrated artistic duo Peter Fischli/David Weiss), who was Gruber's mentee. Despite language, social and cultural divides, Gruber formed friendships with leading Czech artists like Čeněk Pražák and Jiří Kolář, through a shared love of art. But it was the artistic and personal relationship with the English-born sculptor Jacqueline Stieger that ultimately steered him towards Yorkshire.

The exhibition has been supported by Arts Council England, the Anglo-Austrian Society (Otto Harper Award) and Czech Centre London. It opens at Beverley Art Gallery on Saturday, 9 April and runs until Saturday, 2 July. Exhibition Curator, Dr Gerardine Mulcahy-Parker, will be offering talks and guided tours - check the website for details: www.eastridingmuseums.co.uk

Dr Gerardine Mulcahy-Parker said: "It has been a joy and a privilege unearthing the story of Alfred Gruber and his artistic friends.  It was exciting to discover the strong connections between leading European artists and the picturesque market town of Beverley in East Yorkshire during the 1960s….to see how language, social and cultural divides were ignored, as these European artists 'crossed borders', to come together through a shared love of art. 

"Their story reminds us that friendship and unity can overcome barriers - a message that remains as pertinent as ever today."

Entry to the exhibition will be free and there is no need to book in advance.

For full details of the opening hours of Beverley Art Gallery, which is located in the Treasure House in Champney Road, visit: www.eastridingmuseums.co.uk

Follow Beverley Art Gallery social media for updates on the exhibition:

@BeverleyArtGallery on Facebook and Instagram

@BevArtGallery on Twitter

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