Barnsley to host exhibition by world-famous artists

2nd October 2021

Drawings by some of the world’s most famous artists have arrived in Barnsley as part of a major British Museum touring exhibition.

The town’s Cooper Gallery is hosting works by Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor, Bridget Riley and more than 50 other leading names in the art world.

Saturday, 2 October saw the doors to the gallery open, giving the public four months to enjoy the free exhibition Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now.

Barnsley’s reputation as a growing visitor destination nationally is on the up after the town’s Experience Barnsley attraction was announced as a finalist for the prestigious Art Fund National Museum of the Year Award, the world’s largest museum prize.

It is the British Museum’s first-ever collaborative co-curated exhibition, with Barnsley Museums being included as one of four other successful locations for the tour of these artworks across the United Kingdom.

The Cooper Gallery will be the last location in England, before the tour heads to its final destination in Orkney. The exhibition features original drawings and artworks all created using anything that’s not printing – including pen, pencil and paint.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “These are works by the superstars of the art world and we are absolutely delighted to have secured this exhibition, thanks to the British Museum’s National Programme. This exhibition is the only time that people will be able to see these drawings in one place so it’s a complete one-off and real coup for Barnsley and Yorkshire.

“If you’re an art aficionado then we think you will love this collection and if you have never set foot in a gallery, then this is the perfect time to change that.

“The fact an exhibition of international calibre is coming to Barnsley shows where we now are on the global stage when it comes to attracting and providing first-class tourism experiences for the people of the borough, the county and the country.”

Maria Bojanowska, Head of National Programmes at the British Museum, said: “We are delighted to see these works touring the country in a select number of venues that perfectly complement this unique and engaging collection.

“Some of these pieces have never been seen on public display prior to this tour, which makes it even more compelling. We hope art lovers will appreciate being able to see these works in such intimate settings and that a whole new wave of people will be engaged in the art world.”

The show opened on Saturday, 2 October and runs until Saturday, 5 February.

Barnsley to host exhibition by world-famous artists