Walk On

Mac Birmingham, until 30 March

Steeped in the tradition of landscape art, walking has been at the heart of many art practices and performances for decades now. This exhibition, focusing on artists’ walks and journeys, both literal and metaphorical, is the first to examine the astonishingly varied ways in which artists since the late 1960s have used what would seem like a universal act – of taking a walk – as a means to create new types of art.

Walk On – From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff, 40 Years of Art Walking, which opens on Saturday 8 February – Sunday 30 March, brings together the work of almost 40 artists. Exhibited throughout mac birmingham’s galleries and open spaces, Walk On will also inspire a host of art walking events and activities including artist walks and talks, geo caching and family workshops.

Walk On offers an as-yet-unwritten history of recent art practice. It argues that from land art and conceptual art, and from street photography to the essay-film, many important artworks have been created by an act of walking. All of the works here start with an artist taking a journey on foot, staking out new artistic territory – whether using the street as their studio, or the landscape as a place to inhabit and change through their presence, rather than merely represent at a distance.

The exhibition proposes that across every decade over the last 40 years, artists have worked as kinds of explorers, both making their marks on rural wildernesses and acting as urban ‘expeditionaries’ – “botanizing on the asphalt”, as the critic Walter Benjamin put it.
Walk On brings together works by artists of global repute, alongside works by some bright new talents and less well known names highlighting walking in both urban and rural settings. It will include 2 and 3 dimensional works, video and performance.

Walk On - From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff - 40 years of Art Walking is curated by Cynthia Morrison-Bell and Mike Collier of WALK partnership with NGCA and supported by the Arts Council England. Organised and toured by Art Circuit Touring Exhibitions.

For more information and a list of artists please see here.

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