A new chapter begins for the Serpentine

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A new chapter begins for the Serpentine
Zaha Hadid: Hafenstrasse Development Hafenstrasse Development, Hamburg, Germany 1989; Copyright Zaha Hadid Architects.

LONDON.- In their first joint press conference, the new leadership of the Serpentine Galleries, CEO Yana Peel and Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, today announced a series of programmes and partnerships which will begin an exciting new chapter in the development of the Serpentine. The team outlined the new direction that the Serpentine will take with an emphasis on artists, audiences, technology, partnerships, innovation and accessibility for everyone. This includes the announcement of a year-long programme of exhibitions, the appointment of two new trustees, a new approach to the Serpentine Summer Pavilion and a series of innovative artists’ partnerships.

Artists play an important role in the running of the Serpentine and two new board members were announced today: leading international artist Lynette Yiadom Boakye and award-winning architect David Adjaye, whose recently completed National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC has been highly acclaimed.

The presentation of outstanding exhibitions will remain the lifeblood of the Serpentine. A major exhibition of works by Zaha Hadid, which was jointly conceived with the architect before she died, will present rarely seen paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations by the architect as well as her visionary digital work. The exhibition will also include a selection of her notebooks, which will be shown in public for the very first time, giving a fascinating insight into her ideas and working practices (8 December 2016 - 12 February 2017).

The cross-disciplinary, uncompromising nature of Zaha Hadid’s practice is shared with that of the emerging New York-based artist Lucy Raven whose show will run concurrently at the Serpentine. Her work encompasses animated films, sculptural installations, performative lectures, curatorial projects and interventions into live television (8 December 2016 – 12 February 2017).

The two Galleries will be connected in new ways in the spring, with an important show of the work of radical British sculptor and conceptual artist, John Latham alongside a group show of young artists responding to Latham’s holistic and inter-disciplinary approach to art and life. Latham has become increasingly recognised as one of the most radical and influential British artists of the second half of the 20th century. A hugely significant thinker whose ideas continue to resonate with new generations of artists, his practice encompassed a wide array of forms, including sculpture, installation, painting, film and performance happenings (2 March – 21 May 2017).

The Serpentine has invited British artist Grayson Perry, one of the most astute commentators on contemporary society and culture, to present a major exhibition of new works. The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! will touch on many themes, including popularity and art and the current cultural landscape. Working in a variety of traditional media, such as ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking and tapestry, Perry is best known for his ability to combine delicately crafted objects with scenes of contemporary life. His subject matter is drawn from his own childhood and life as a transvestite, as well as wider social issues from class and politics to sex and religion (8 June – 7 September 2017).

There will be a new approach to the Serpentine Pavilion programme, in which a group of architects have been invited to submit designs for the 2017 commission. The selection will be made by Yana Peel and Hans Ulrich Obrist together with a new Pavilion advisory group that includes Richard Rogers and David Adjaye. The Serpentine's Pavilion commission, conceived in 2000, has become an international site for architectural experimentation and has presented projects by some of the world's greatest architects.

From 2017, there will be an artist-led Congress of Ideas. Inspired by John Latham and Barbara Steveni’s Artist Placement Group, the Congress will address urgent issues, bringing artists together with politicians, scientists and business leaders to pool knowledge and offer solutions to pressing 21st century problems.

The Serpentine launches its third digital commission with Cloud Index by British artist and writer James Bridle. Cloud Index is a weather prediction model that consumes vast amounts of historic weather data from satellites and correlates it with polling data on major political events, most recently the UK’s recent referendum (from 28 September 2016). A major digital engagement initiative supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies includes Mobile Tours and a Build Your Own Pavilion platform for young people, bringing audiences closer to artists and architects.

Leading figures from the worlds of art, literature, science and business will come together at the Serpentine next week to explore the sacred, ritual, repetition and magical thinking in the Miracle Marathon on Sunday 9 October 2016, midday – midnight. Participants include: artists Christo,

Adrián Villar Rojas and Tomás Saraceno; writers Marie NDiaye, Edna O’Brien, Ben Okri, Andrew O'Hagan and Adam Thirlwell; thinkers and theorists Timothy Morton, Jacqueline Rose and Eyal Weizman; architect Mark Cousins; mathematician Marcus du Sautoy; poets Bhanu Kapil and Ruth Padel; film-maker and theorist Manthia Diawara; cultural theorist Norman M. Klein; physicist Carlo Rovelli and scientist Riccardo Sabatini. There will also be performances and presentations from Sophia Al-Maria, Es Devlin, Gilbert & George and Genesis P-Orridge among many others.

Yana Peel, CEO, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, said: “Zaha Hadid once said that ‘there should be no end to experimentation’ and this has become a mantra for the Serpentine team. It is the reason why we continue to put artists at the core of everything we do, crossing disciplines, innovating and reaching out to new audiences.”

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