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Contemporary art is art produced at the present point in time. Some art museums and collections define contemporary art as including all art since the end of World War II. A similar term to contemporary art is Modern artPostmodern art would also be a component of contemporary art.

Contemporary Art Sites

Contemporary art has it's place on the www. Here is a page that has lots of information, just click on the image that you are interested in and you will be sent to a site that has lots more information.

There are lots here, Contemporary Art., to keep you occupied for a long time. 

Studio One

Studio One is a socially inclusive visual art service based in Wythenshawe, Manchester. The project works with people to improve and maintain mental wellbeing through creative art practice as part of a recovery approach.

Many people experience an enduring mental health problem or emotional distress throughout their lifetime.  Experiencing ill health in this way can cause loss of skills and confidence and people may find themselves isolated, making the distress and illness worse. Studies have shown that using our creativity can help build and protect well-being and speed up recovery from illness.

Studio One art project

The activities available at the studio include; painting and drawing, digital photography, animation, textiles and sewing skills. Sessions are based around formal and informal tuition delivered by a team of practicing artists who are all skilled in working with people with mental health issues. Further support and guidance for participants is available from Occupational Therapists based within the Social Care and Inclusion Care Group, with particular emphasis for those people wishing to explore options away from the studio.  People come to the studio with varying levels of artistic experience and interest and Studio One helps them to develop their creative potential and identify their own personal goals in relation to the arts, enabling them to develop new competences, regain confidence and move on. The studio also offers people the chance to study for nationally accredited qualifications through our partnership arrangements with Manchester Adult Education Service.

People access the studio through the Trust's formal referral process or via the socially inclusive classes run from the studio base.  Regardless of how people access the studios the tutors from Studio One work with the participants to ensure their identified needs are met.


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I am involved in a community project on Contemporary Art out of the Manchester Art Gallery.

The first week has touched on music by the Smiths plus  links between Factory Records and Andy Warhole - something that I did not know.

There will be much more about Manchester - and more things that I do not know!

So I have created this website to track progress. You will observe that I have included a lot of links to other web sites, I have also extracted text from websites and included it in my pages. I am not pretending to be the author and I know I should Harvard reference it, sorry if you don't agree with my methods but I am not putting a great deal of effort into this, it's just a bit of fun.   

 This may lead to a project, but it is clear that I have a lot of reading to do and an  investment in Dave Haslam's books might be a good idea - here's watching.  

Progress - Week 3

We are now into week 3 and we are still finding out information about Factory Records, it does not look like this will turn into a detailed analysis of contemporary art - we will watch and see. 




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Andy Warhole

Andy Warhole. has been identified a contemporary artist. You can use the link presented to you to see his presence on the WWW - enjoy.

Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movementknown as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States of America dedicated to a single artist.

Warhol's art encompassed many forms of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1985, two years before his death. He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame". Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$100 million for a 1963 canvas titled Eight Elvises. The private transaction was reported in a 2009 article in The Economist, which described Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market".[1] Warhol's works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

The Factory was the name of Andy Warhol's New York City studio, which had three different locations between 1962 and 1984. The original Factory was on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was "only about one hundred dollars a year". Warhol left in 1968 when the building was scheduled to be torn down to make way for an apartment building. The studio then relocated to the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West near the corner of East 16th Street, where it remained until 1973, when it moved to 860 Broadway at the north end of Union Square. Although this space was much larger, not much filmmaking took place there, and in 1984 what remained of Warhol's various enterprises, no longer including filming actitivies, moved to 22 East 33rd Street, a conventional office building.[1]

Favourite Art



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The Fighting Temeraire

At it's time of creation The Fighting Temeraire would have been considered an contemporary art. It has past the test of time to become one of our most loved pieces of work.

Should references be made to it on this site - I will let you be the judge. I have included it because it is my favourite.




Manchester Men


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The Smiths

The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of vocalist Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, the band also included bassist Andy Rourke and drummerMike Joyce. Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.[1] The group was signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records, on which they released four studio albums, several compilations, and numerous non-LP singles. Although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together, and never released a single that charted higher than number 10 in their home country, The Smiths won a significant following, and remain cult and commercial favourites. The band broke up in 1987 and have turned down several offers to reunite since then.

Factory Records

Factory Records was a Manchester based British independent record label, started in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, which featured several prominent musical acts on its roster such as Joy DivisionNew OrderA Certain RatioThe Durutti Column,Happy MondaysNorthside and (briefly) James and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Like the label 4AD Records, Factory Records used a creative team (most notably record producer Martin Hannett and graphic designer Peter Saville) which gave the label, and the artists recording for it, a particular sound and image. The label employed a unique cataloguing system that gave a number not just to its musical releases, but to artwork and other objects.

Little Ireland

Attending the first day of the event made me think about Manchester. I believe as part of the project there will be some study of Manchester. A thought that came to mind, for no real reason, was that of Little Ireland something that is seldom talked about in the city. 

This is what I have discovered - it may not be relevant to the project but it is interesting.

Little Ireland was a slum district of the township of Manchester in Lancashire in the early 19th century.[1] It was inhabited for about 20 years from about 1827 to 1847 and was given its name from the presence of many poor Irish immigrants. It was south of Oxford Road railway station and enclosed by the railway line and the loop in the river.

Containing mainly poorly skilled Irish immigrants it became Manchester's oldest, smallest and most short lived Irish slum. In the 1820s the first immigrants moved there, however, by the mid 1840s they were moved on and the area was later demolished to make way for the industrious Victorian capitalists in their attempts to build the Manchester South Junction Railway line, which remains there to this day.[citation needed] In his book titled The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 social scientist Friedrich Engels wrote unfavourably about his experience of Little Ireland in Manchester in his book, claiming it was a 'horrid little slum'.[2] the worst of the slums of the township.[3]Regardless of this, Little Ireland became world famous, and the term itself became a generic shorthand for Irish living in slum housing throughout the 19th century industrial world.

It is commemorated by a blue plaque in Cambridge Street near New Wakefield Street.[4][5]




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Mother and Child

In 1940 the Manchester Art Gallery purchased, for £40, a piece of Contemporary Art called Mother and Child.

Sadly I can find no image or reference to this sculpture on the WWW. The piece is by Henry Moore and is now a prized possession.

More to follow !

The First Cut



The Artists

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First Impressioms

Simply the attention to detail is a real wow factor.

The First Cut

31 international artists who cut, sculpt and manipulate paper, transform this humble material into fantastical works of art for our stunning new exhibition.

Wonder at giant sculptures inspired by far away galaxies that spiral from the wall, explore a walk-through forest of paper trees and marvel at miniature worlds that explode from vintage staple boxes or emerge from the page of a book. 

Flocks of birds and butterflies cut from maps appear alongside artworks that feature dark fairytale imagery. Guns and grenades fashioned from paper currency and sinister silhouettes comment on social, political and economic issues. 

At the Gallery of Costume fragile paper dresses and shoes, as well as sculptural dresses fashioned out of maps and money respond to the historical costume displays and grandeur of the Georgian setting. 

You can also buy highly desirable limited edition work from our exhibitionThe First Cut: Editions, on the ground floor of Manchester Art Gallery or buy online here.

Special events

We are running an exciting programme of events and activities linked to the exhibition. Please see the Events tab for more information.  

Manchester Art Gallery Friends can enjoy an exclusive curator-led tour of the exhibition and see Rob Ryan in conversation on Friday 5 October, 1-3pm. More details of this Friends-only event and how to join the Friends are available here.

The Artists

James Aldridge

Noriko Ambe

Andersen M Studio

Su Blackwell

Sarah Bridgland

Claire Brewster

Peter Callesen

Laura Cooperman

Béatrice Coron

Susan Cutts

Nicola Dale

Andrea Dezsö

Tom Gallant

Manabu Hangai

Chris Jones

Chris Kenny

Andreas Kocks

Elisabeth Lecourt

Emma Van Leest

Long-Bin Chen

Violise Lunn

Andrea Mastrovito

Mia Pearlman

Abigail Reynolds

Georgia Russell

Rob Ryan

Andrew Singleton

Justine Smith

Susan Stockwell

Yuken Teruya

Kara Walker

Dreams Without Frontiers



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The Crescents

It did not take a brain surgeon to conclude that the Hulme development would not work. The very site of the complex would be sufficient to turn the family man away. It is no surprise that the site was  eventually demolished. But was there an alternative to the destruction of these properties?

My impression of the Crescent is how different the environment would have been if they were high quality student accommodation.  I may be wrong, but my impression is that the student population  of Manchester live in rented accommodation in Fallowfield and Withington - Ideal family properties.  I am certain that with a little imagination and investment the Hulme project could have become a flagship campus for the MMU.

Agreed that there would have had to be significant investment but to hand the complex over to people best suited for its use seems to be an over simplified solution - perhaps I am a dreamer, I would still like to see better accommodation for the students of Manchester.    

1 - Sixties Utopia / 2 - High Rise Housing

There must have been some school of thought in the 1960's that high rise living was the solution to inner city accommodation. There will be experts about who will be able to explain precisely why these housing projects were undertaken. What I can not understand is that as a lay person I would have rejected all incentives to place me in the type of property built in the 1960's which were correctly pulled down in the 1980's. 

If it was so clear that people did not want this solution why were so many builds undertaken - how could we get it so wrong, and what is the solution.  I am glad that I am not one of those responsible for the development of affordable housing in the city. The mathematics of it shows that high rise ticks all the boxes and as our community is lead by accountants high rise is what we got. It is only when you add up all the social costs that you realise high rise was an undertaking that should not have happened.

So what is the solution, I can only comment on what I believe  is acceptable. I may consider sharing a housing block with, say, 5 other families who are willing to contribute to the upkeep of the property, there are plenty of examples about. But no more, you lose the sense of community and families become isolated and problematical.  There is an old saying that an Englishman's home is his castle - I believe that this is true and that city planners should realise that people need their own space.  

3 - Living in your head.

I dream every night, I look forward to my dreams - especially those where I can fly. Sadly though there are those in our community that find it hard to differentiate between reality and their dream state.  It is hard to comprehend what some people get up to that is why I believe that there has to be controls and censorship on what people can experience.  For this reason I am not a fan of computer games, I do not want to fill my head full of images that may return in my dreams.

5 - Imagining Manchester 2018

It's all about the car, the city will continue to drive the car out of the city centre. By 2018 we could well see the absence of vehicles from the city centre. The investment in the tramways will have come through by now giving reasons for legislation and enforcement.

The impact of the Internet has seen changes to the high street - this trend is bound to continue as the new generation of consumers adopt the technology that they have grown up with.

It is difficult to say what the inner city will look like in 6 years time. In terms of housing one must assume that there will be little development  given the current economic climate.

Joy Division


Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon and frontman Pete Shelley have both been credited with suggesting the band call themselves the Stiff Kittens, and they were billed under this name for their first public performance, but the band instead chose the name Warsaw shortly before the gig, in reference to the song "Warszawa" by David Bowie. Warsaw played their first gig on 29 May 1977, supporting the Buzzcocks, Penetration, and John Cooper Clarke at the Electric Circus.[9] The band received national exposure due to reviews of the gig in the NME by Paul Morley and in Sounds by Ian Wood. Tony Tabac played drums that night after joining the band two days earlier. Mason was soon made the band's manager and Tabac was replaced on drums in June 1977 by Steve Brotherdale, who also played in the punk band Panik. During his tenure with Warsaw, Brotherdale tried to get Curtis to leave the band and join Panik and even got Curtis to audition for the band. In July 1977, Warsaw recorded a set of five demo tracks at Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham. Uneasy with Brotherdale's aggressive personality, the band fired him soon after the demo sessions. Driving home from the studio, they pulled over and asked Brotherdale to check on a flat tyre; when he got out of the car, they sped off.

In August 1977, the band placed an advertisement in a music shop window seeking a replacement drummer. Stephen Morris, who had attended the same school as Curtis, was the sole respondent. Deborah Curtis, Ian's wife, stated that Morris "fitted perfectly" with the other men, and that with his addition Warsaw became a "complete 'family'". In order to avoid confusion with the London punk band Warsaw Pakt, the band renamed themselves Joy Division in early 1978, borrowing their new name from the prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel The House of Dolls. In December, the group recorded what became their debut EPAn Ideal for Living at Pennine Sound Studio and played their final gig as Warsaw on New Year's Eve at The Swinging Apple in Liverpool. Billed as Warsaw to ensure an audience, the band played their first gig as Joy Division on 25 January 1978 at Pip's Disco in Manchester.

4 - Remembering Manchester 1978

Remembering 1978 for me is about work, play and Manchester music.

In 1978 I was a Computer Operations Shift Leader responsible for millions of pounds of computing equipment that had significantly less power than your mobile phone. The company had moved from an ICL 1900 series computer centre in Trafford Park to state of the art IBM 370 series offices in Wythenshawe. This was state of the art computing, we were using  POWER/VS - Priority Output Writers Execution Processors and Input Readers which allowed us to multistream. In the early days of 370 computing the machine had no TOD Clock - Time Of Day so we were not able to track schedules. We had to invent schedules and determine by experimentation which jobs / schedules would run together. The company operated a 3 shift system, there was great incentive in trying to get all the work done in two shifts - the night shift got the opportunity to leave early, many a night we got to visit the night life in Manchester. It was on one of these nights in August 1977 when we visited a club in Wood Street Manchester that we heard that Elvis had died. These were good times, we were payed well, we worked very hard and enjoyed our free time.  

Playtime in Manchester is all about the night life, it's shopping during the day but a different city came alive at night. In 1978 there were many clubs in the centre of Manchester servicing all tastes in music, the top clubs had multiple rooms playing different genres. A typical evening would be meeting in one of the many pubs in the city early evening moving on to your selected club towards closing time. Once in the club you would separate  from your friends to chat to other people that you know in your chosen genre. Pips was famous for having a 'Bowie' room where all manners of people used to attend, but it was not my choice I was away to the soul bar. I was fortunate in that I had friends in the city and was able to get into some clubs without being charged. One club had a membership scheme where you payed a yearly subscription, this was very appealing to somebody who used to finish work at 10pm - Manchester was a great attraction. We had great fun in the 70's but clubs changed in 1978 when Saturday Night Fever took over, not for the better in my mind.

In 1978, as I am now, I was blissfully unaware that Manchester had a music scene. My band was Sad Cafe, formed in 1976, I collected their albums and went to see them in concert many times. I did not attend Pips Disco on the 25th of January 1978 when Joy Division played their first gig, had I been there my musical taste may be different today. I never was a fan of punk but I did appreciate some of the work by The Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten left the band in January 1978 so I guess it was the end of an era. Researching this I have discovered that Sad Cafe, The Buzzcocks and Joy Division were all formed in 1976 yet it was only Sad Cafe that came to my attention,
my musical preferences  were  Motown, Rick James and disco, Peter Brown who we danced to in clubland.

I now feel guilty that I was not involved with my heritage when it was all happening in the 70's but these were times before The Hacienda and I was not a follower of live music. Perhaps had I been more involved with student culture I might have been more aware of the music of Manchester. I  am now blessed with Youtube and I am making up for lost time.     

6 - Warszawa by David Bowie

When  I was requested to write 300 words about Warszawa by David Bowie came up with :

"From the album Low - I am glad it is not in my collection."

But that was before I was informed by David Haslam that it was about Warsaw. Bowie had spent time in Walsaw with Iggy Pop and Brian Eno and was inspired to write the piece Warzawa which in turn influenced Ian Curtis who was obsessed by Berlin. Ian Curtis was the lead singer with the group Joy Division. a group that had strong connections with Factory Records and Fac 51 - The Hacienda. The group had history before becoming Joy Division. - we can thank Wikipedia for the following snippets of information.

Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon and frontman Pete Shelley have both been credited with suggesting the band call themselves the Stiff Kittens, and they were billed under this name for their first public performance, but the band instead chose the name Warsaw shortly before the gig, in reference to the song "Warszawa" by David BowieIn order to avoid confusion with the London punk band Warsaw Pakt, the band renamed themselves Joy Division in early 1978, borrowing their new name from the prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel The House of Dolls. In December, the group recorded what became their debut EPAn Ideal for Living at Pennine Sound Studio and played their final gig as Warsaw on New Year's Eve at The Swinging Apple in Liverpool. Billed as Warsaw to ensure an audience, the band played their first gig as Joy Division on 25 January 1978 at Pip's Disco in Manchester.

So this is where the story really starts, Pip's disco catered for many tastes, it had a soul bar, a Bowie room and a Roxy room so the links with David Bowie, Brian Eno, Warsaw and Joy Division are very strong. Joy Division were originally contracted to RCA but bought out their contract before moving to Tony Wilson and Factory Records. Which brings us back to Fac 51 - The Hacienda and it's DJ Dave Haslem. Now we have a story that is going to take significantly more than 300 words to tell.

So what first appeared to be an innocent little subject has led us to something significant in the art and culture of our city and that link is Linder Sterling, who was responsible for the artwork of a Buzzxcocks album, and Peter Saville who was responsible for the art work of Factory Records. Linder has remained a friend of David Haslam and has recently presented him with an example of her work for his birthday. 

The exhibition at The Manchester Art Gallery titled Dreams without Frontiers has works of art presented by Keeley Walker and it is clear to see that Keeley has been influenced by Peter Saville. David has also contributed to this exhibition and is the driving force behind this narrative.

In addition to Warsaw, which was the subject matter of this piece, we have Berlin. Ian Curtis visited Berlin and it is said that he wrote a post card to his mother saying - it is just as he imagined it. My vision of Berlin is depicted by the film Goodbye Lenin which is an interesting little watch, I now have an impression of Warsaw from the work of David Bowie and I am somewhat saddened that it is not in my collection.   

In a recent study of the discography of Brian Eno I found the piece Warszawa, on many of his albums, one version being over sixteen minutes long. 



7 - New York, seen through Martin Scorsese's lens

I assume that you would have to form your opinions on the films 'Taxi Driver', 'NewYork, NewYork' , 'The Gangs Of NewYork' and Goodfellas.  The lasting impression that you have is that the city is run by crime. 

10 - Where would we be without Linder

Or should we ask - where are we with Linder Sterling. 

I am no expert on her work and the influences that she has had therefore I have very little to comment.

11 - The romance of a derelict building

There is something that attracts children to derelict buildings they are full of adventure. In my youth we used to play war games, the area of Manchester called Victoria Park had some very large derelict buildings that attracted us. 

I would not have called them romantic but we were certainly using our imagination.

8 - Is it time to turn apartments back into nightclubs

No - the music scene is no longer there.

9 - 'Panic' by the Smiths

I heard Panic by The Smiths for the first time in Brahms and Listz in Manchester. This club had problems during The Door Wars and no longer exists. It remains one of my favorite tracks which I add to my playlists.




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My Opinion

In this section of the site I will observe and report peoples opinion of Contemporary Art. I will consult a complete outsider and extract a couple of thoughts from the WWW.

My opinion is that that I have no parameters as to how I should judge a piece of work. For some reason I like or dislike a piece of work, sometimes I might admire it but not like it but I have never analysed the reasons behind my feelings.

I like quality, if the work shows some form of style then I may well like it. I do not tend to suffer from mood swings, if I like something today I will like it tomorrow.

I have never classified Contemporary Art or thought what context time has to do with art. Hopefully I will learn something which will allow me to form a true opinion on the subject matter.

Xi 2012

WWW Opinion - 1

At the time of the opening of Tate Modern - London's temple to contemporary art - a story swept the press. A visitor had reportedly dropped his wallet in a gallery. Realising this, he went back into the room to find a crowd gathered admiringly round the leather rectangle. When he stooped to retrieve his possession, an attendant rebuked him for touching an exhibit. Whether or not it happened, this anecdote fast became the sardonic gospel of the enemies of modern art, filed alongside similar legends of gallery cleaners accidentally chucking out what they assumed to be rubbish on the building floor but were in fact the famous Turner-shortlisted works Garbage or Sweet Paper.

To conservatives all these stories hold the same moral: that once anything can be accepted as creativity it becomes impossible to distinguish between a work of art and lost property or litter.

Your Opinion - 1

Watch this space !

WWW Opinion - 2

E.H. Gombrich’s, The Story of Art, famously begins with the thought that, “There is really no such thing as Art. There are only artists.” Contemporary art has indeed fulfilled Gombrich’s prescience and insight with a somewhat sorrowful consequence, probably unforeseen when first published in 1950. The past half century has birthed an art in which the conceptual presence of the artist has eclipsed his creation – the work of art. As theory and ideas have become both the driving force of the artist’s creation and the measure against which the viewer evaluates it, the ‘work of art’ has been subject to a draining of its language, i.e.- of its ability to articulate its own reason for being. This deficit of language is now manifest in an excessive reliance on a large infrastructure of ancillary exposition to give voice to these concepts. In this way the work of art has become relegated to a mere illustration of the artist’s thought and unable to dialogue independently of its context.

Emerging Themes

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It is only the second week of the project and we are still feeling our way but already crime has shown it's face as an emerging theme.

We have been made aware of The Cresent in Hulme, an estate that was rife in crime.  We have already been introduced to The Hacienda, a club that suffered in the door wars and we have seen and heard the work of The Smiths.  Is it coincidence that I first heard the song Panic in the club Brahms and Listz which I have learnt today was also closed in the door wars. 

In future weeks we will be asked about the work of Martin Scorsese. It is true to say that there is significant  gun crime in Scorsese films.

it is too early to say where this project is taking us, I hope that this theme that has emerged  today is not the core subject matter. 


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The last day

On the last day we had a review and the opportunity  to discuss how the sessions went.

We closed continuing the cutting that had started the previous  week where we had experienced the way art is created.

Everybody was pleased with the event and had gained something from attending.