With almost 15 years’ experience working in the international art world, Hancock Gallery Manager Chris Morgan reflects on an unprecedented year in the gallery.
“We set out in early 2020 with big plans for the gallery. Little did we know just how unpredictable this year would be.
Many galleries have been forced to adapt to an ever-changing set of restrictions and limitations. From the beginning of the year, our goal was to continue to provide inspiring artwork by leading artists from around the world. By late February, the stage was set for our first major group exhibition.
Between Distance and Desire
‘Between Distance and Desire’ showcased one of the largest collections of work seen in the UK by one of the country’s most collectable figurative artists, Mark Demsteader. From 2m square oil on canvas to framed charcoal originals, we were also thrilled to be able to exclusively introduce into the UK the works of leading North American artist Ron Hicks.
Throughout the summer, we saw how the global art world reacted to the rise of the pandemic. Within our own group of artists, being locked in their studio gave rise to some incredible new collections of work. The focus for collectors and gallery-goers turned digital with attention moving toward virtual tours and online viewing rooms.
As the UK lockdown began to ease, our focus moved toward our second group show of the year. Our Autumn programme began with our current exhibition titled ‘Doing:unDoing’. Adopting themes from the Pop Art movement, this exhibition reflects on how 2020 would forever change how we go about our lives.
The works of Tyneside local and international artistic director Jimmy Turrell highlighted just how adaptable artists can be by creating an incredible collection of paintings and collages reacting to our current climate.
As we look forward to 2021, I’m filled with incredible excitement and anticipation for what we’ll see from our artists and the art world as a whole next year. Art has always been an escape for many people, and an inspiration for others. Throughout 2020, we’ve seen how bringing art into your home can have remarkable benefits to our emotional wellbeing, which, on the back of the year we’ve all experienced, we all could do with a little more of.
At Hancock Gallery, we look forward to welcoming you back to the gallery in 2021."