PREVIEW: The Enchanted Interior, Guildhall Art Gallery

The gallery’s latest exhibition will explore female subjects in art.

Edward Burne-Jones, Laus Veneris,1873-75, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne. (c) Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Bridgeman Images.

On display from the 13th March, this new exhibition will include the work of over fifty artists that draw upon the historic depiction of women in enclosed and ornate spaces, including contemporary works which
‘speak back’ to the tradition.

The Enchanted Interior will examine and challenge the the metaphor of
the ‘gilded cage’ and bring together work by Edward Burne-Jones, Evelyn De Morgan, James Abbot McNeill Whistler, and Fiona Tan.

Highlights of the exhibition include: Edward Burne-Jones’ Laus Veneris (1873-75) and The Lady of Shalott by JohnWilliam Waterhouse (c. 1894), in which the famed subject is trapped in a tower, unable to engage.
Elsewhere, blurring the lines between the historic and modern are works such as George Frampton’s Lamia (1899-1900), a mythical femme fatale from John Keats’ poem.

The display will contain a mixture of paintings, furniture, photography, film, decorative objects and installation throughout to cast light upon the duality of the interior as both sanctuary and threat.

Talking about the exhibition, Graham Packham, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said: “Visitors who step inside ‘The Enchanted Interior’ at Guildhall Art Gallery will discover a thought- provoking exhibition that engages the senses and invites the viewer to question hidden, and perhaps unsettling, themes related to enforced isolation. Beautifully painted and alive with vibrant colours, but ultimately dark in tone, we hope that the art works on show in ‘The Enchanted Interior’ will contribute towards making it one of the must-see exhibitions in London in 2020.”

The Enchanted Interior will be on display at the Guildhall Art Gallery from the 13th March until the 14th June.

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