Colors, historical clashes in new London art show

Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:56am EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - In the second in a series of exhibitions showcasing works from Britain's huge Government Art Collection, artist Cornelia Parker has chosen a rainbow color scheme to present her favorites.

Parker selected over 70 works from the collection of around 13,500 pieces which grace the walls and corridors of embassies, official residences and other state buildings around the world.

It is believed to be the world's biggest collection of British art after the Tate gallery.

The show, free of charge and entitled "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain," opens at the Whitechapel Gallery in east London on Friday and ends on December 4.

It is named after the mnemonic used to recall the key colours of the spectrum -- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

The one-room exhibition follows the color pattern, beginning with predominantly red paintings and works of art and running through the colours before fading to black and then white.

For Parker, the fact that all of the works came from a government-owned collection meant they were in a way political, a point underlined by the choice of colours -- many of which represent political parties.

"There is a sense that all these works of art have quietly eavesdropped on many an important conversation over the years," she said.   Continued...