Dark Matters: Works from the Whitworth Collection


This display of works from the Whitworth’s collection reveals ideas surrounding shadow as captured by the artist in a variety of medium.

Some of the works selected demonstrate how artists have employed tone and darkness to render solidity and structure within the pictorial space. A significant number of paintings, prints and drawings, also convey the symbolic power of shadow to evoke time, mystery, loss and solitude.

The deep, theatrical shadows of Paula Rego and Käthe Kollowtz bring to mind the chilling enchantment of the phantasmagoria. Employing gentle washes of watercolour, Turner’s ethereal silhouettes and Barbara Bodichon’s ghostly ships evoke time’s passing. The cavernous hands of the sculptor in Henry Moore’s etching and the velvety darkness of Anish Kapoors ‘Blackness from Her Womb’ suggest dark places as areas for creation. The inky gloom of Rembrandt’s ‘The Three Crosses’ conveys the power of shadow to reflect divine damnation whilst the exposed mausoleum in Rachel Whiteread’s screen-print reinforces the ancient notion of the dead inhabiting a world devoid of light.

More information on the Whitworth prints and drawings blog

*Exhibition now extended to 15th April 2012*

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