The present Ashmolean was created in 1908 by combining two ancient Oxford institutions: the University Art Collection and the original Ashmolean Museum.
The collections span the civilisations of east and west, charting the aspirations of humankind from the Neolithic era to the present day. Among its treasures are the world’s largest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of pre-Dynastic Egyptian material in Europe, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, the finest Anglo-Saxon collections outside the British Museum and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the Western world.
The Ashmolean is also a teaching and research department of the University of Oxford, providing research and publications of the highest standard in the academic fields of art history, archaeology and history.
Refurbished in 2009, the way that the collections are displayed in the new galleries & enjoyed by the public became the driving force behind the transformation. The galleries are interlinked by one big theme, Crossing Cultures, Crossing Time. This encourages visitors to make new connections between the collections of the Ashmolean. Adding 39 new galleries to the original 1845 Cockerell Building, the Ashmolean’s new wing was designed by award-winning architect Rick Mather.
The Art class and I needed more than the few hours we had to full apriciate the vast collections. However we had a brilliant adventure exploring art history from around the world.
Ikon presents the first UK solo show of works by Korean artist Lee Bul.
The college art group had a blast and commented on how detailed the sculptures were even thou they were on such a massive scale. there was something beautiful yet disjointed in the utopian project i thought. And was glad to find out that is exactly how Lee Bul wants you to feel. This was something i had to show my Dad.
Being able to get up really close and even interact with Her sculptures was a real treat. I adore artist who allow us to be within or to get in tough with the art; providing both visual and sensual creative information. these artist you know are think about communicating to everyone as much of their mind as possible. My Dad is the reason that I did well in art so when his eyesight was permanently damaged I wondered if the days of us wondering around Art galleries and historical sites with the camera were at and end. Thankfully all it did was open up a new way of looking and finding art, nature and beauty. “Having a different set of artistic eyes.” he says.
So thank you Lee Bul we really enjoyed the day at your exhibition
Born in 1964, under the military dictatorship of South Korea, Lee Bul graduated in sculpture from Hongik University during the late 1980s. Her works became preoccupied with politics, delving into the many forms of idealism that permeate our civilisations, and from the beginning she created works that crossed genres and disciplines in provocative ways.
The sculptures reflect utopian architectural schemes of the early twentieth century as well as images of totalitarianism from Lee Bul’s early experiences.
“Cyborg display” drew upon art history, critical theory, science fiction and popular imagination to explore anxieties arising out of dysfunctional technological advances, whilst simultaneously harking back to icons of classical sculpture.
As part of the Longbridge Lighting Festival artist Teresa Albor wanted to make an artistic statement about production and labouring linked to this area of Birmingham (UK) she used items that were all factory produced and used the gallery space that had once been the site of a car factory.
We observed her mid-morning speedily working away. I like the idea and power of the statement. The sculptures were not overly planned out and that became obvious in the quality of the way the items were put together. I would have liked to see more of the items she chose fused together somehow maybe with industrial tools, bolts or even spot welded. Even with the time restraints I think it was still possible to have improved.