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Department of History of Art


Below are some recent exhibitions curated by members of the Department:

Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge, 14 February 2020 –ongoing

A new solo exhibition of work by Linder, curated by Amy Tobin. Linder was born in Liverpool in 1954 and was an active figure in the punk and post-punk music scenes. Probably best known for the album covers which she created, her photomontages often combine everyday images taken from fashion or home magazines with images from pornography. Most well known for her photomontage, this exhibition explores the diverse range of Linder’s practice. It explores Linder as performance artist, zine-maker, musician, documentary-photographer, collaborator, muse, guru, medium and body-builder. Through the use of the Kettle’s Yard Archive, Linder also approaches Helen Ede’s elusive presence in Kettle’s Yard. Linder reinstates Helen through the creation of ‘House of Helen’, a brand of products available in the shop. A series of new commissions engage all five senses and see Linder staging interventions in all areas of Kettle’s Yard. The accompanying catalogue with essays by Tobin and Alyce Mahon. 


Dorothea Tanning

Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (Oct 2018-Jan 2019) and the Tate Modern, London (Feb-June 2019)

Dorothea Tanning, the first major retrospective exhibition of American Surrealist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012), brought over 150 works and documents from global museum and private collections to international audiences in two major institutions – the Reina Sofia Museum and the Tate Modern. Built on three years of primary research on Tanning by Mahon and her established expertise on Surrealism and women of the avant-garde, the exhibition presented 7o years of paintings, drawings, film, sculptures and ballet designs, as well as Tanning’s early advertising work, creative writings and unpublished journals for the first time, ensuring new public and scholarly awareness of a hitherto neglected, but seminal, Surrealist woman artist.


Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky

National Portrait Gallery, London (17 March - 26 June 2016) 

From 2011-2016 Rosalind Polly Blakesley led a five-year collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery, London and the State Tretyakov Gallery, Russia’s national gallery in Moscow. For this she curated and wrote the sell-out catalogue for Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky, at the National Portrait Gallery; advised on its partner exhibition, From Elizabeth to Victoria: British Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, at the Tretyakov Gallery (21 April - 24 July 2016), and spearheaded public engagement in both countries, including learning programmes for local communities and schools. Widely praised for the expert cultural diplomacy required to secure iconic paintings never before seen in Britain, Russia and the Arts revealed to over 68,000 people (against a target of 40,000) the intensity with which portraiture mediated relations between theatre, literature, music and painting in the closing decades of Imperial rule. 




16 DOROTHEA TANNING Vista de sala


russia and the arts installation1