Lives: An exhibition of artists whose work is based on other people’s lives

Serpentine Gallery 29 December 1979 — 1 February 1980 Free

An exhibition of a wide range of work by artists whose subject matter explored the lives of other people, selected by Derek Boshier.

Over the previous year, Boshier selected and bought works for the Arts Council Collection exhibition shown at the Serpentine Gallery. Boshier chose a wide range of work by artists whose subject matter explored the lives of other people. The exhibition embraced a wide spectrum of artistic activity, ranging from cartoonists and graphic designers, to video and performance artists. Some high profile names included David Hockney, R B Kitaj, and Bruce McLean.

One work featured in the exhibition was John Dugger’s A Vitória É Certa, a banner depicting the stages of economic development in a third world country, as well as people who were active in the long struggle for national liberation and self-determination.

Another memorable work was Guy Brett’s The Fad, a slide/sound tape installation that showed a variety of ‘fads’ in Western cities during the 20th century, including hula-hoops, bubble-gum, and body-painting.

Curiously, there were also pieces from a newspaper in Powys, the County Times. Powys was spread over many small communities and towns and each community was anxious to be on the map and get published. The County Times was inundated with ideas and photographs. By publishing these, the newspaper served as a record of the communities and reflected their ways of life. Boshier also lent to the exhibition related found photographic albums from 1908 to 1964.

Archive

Discover 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architecture pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas marathon and the General Ecology programme, explore 50 years of artists, projects and exhibitions.

View archive