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Reigning Cats And Dogs
Satirical and sentimental: The art of the domestic pet
As the closest companions to humankind for many centuries it is not surprising that these creatures occur incidentally and centrally throughout the history of art.
From Ancient Egypt to the Chapman Brothers and Jeff Koons, images of cats and dogs appear in the work of Van Eyck, Dürer, Titian, Brueghel, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Goya, Courbet, Bonnard, Klee, Gaudier-Brzeska, Balthus, Peter Blake, and Hockney to name just a few.
Reigning Cats and Dogs features both historical and contemporary images, sometimes imbued with satirical and sentimental intent. Curator Peter Ford RE RWA has brought together an international collection of paintings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, artists’ books, book illustration, postcards and ephemera united under this theme. Reigning Cats and Dogs playfully mixes humour with the serious.
Participating artists include David Inshaw RWA, Stephen Jacobson RWA, Angela Lizon, Ben Hughes, Martin Leman, Anouk Mercier, Lucy Willis, Bobbie Russon, Rose Sanderson, two Russian artists Alexander Kolokoltsev and Yuri Borovitsky, and Japanese artist Emiko Aida. There will also be some lively work on paper by four young Polish artists. The exhibition also presents paintings by P.J. Crook, Augusta Talboys and Elizabeth Frink, and other works from the RWA permanent collection.
From inconsequential intrusions to the starring role, cunning cats and dutiful dogs assert their artistic presence throughout the RWA galleries, acting as vehicles for an exploration of historical, functional and imaginative themes, incorporating kitsch kittens, politicized pooches and menacing mongrels.
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