50 years of contemporary art

TONY COOPER The 50th anniversary of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society - formed in January 1956 by a small but influential group of individuals with the expressed aim of building a collection of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle - is being celebrated in an exhibition from March 11 at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery with a broad range of works on show by artists such as Maggi Hambling, Prunella Clough and Roland Penrose.

TONY COOPER

The 50th anniversary of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society - formed in January 1956 by a small but influential group of individuals with the expressed aim of building a collection of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle - is being celebrated in an exhibition from March 11 at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery with a broad range of works on show by artists such as Maggi Hambling, Prunella Clough and Roland Penrose.

Over the past 50 years the society has supported and encouraged modern and contemporary art in the eastern region in a wide range of ways including organising exhibitions, staging talks and lectures and contributing to the provision of public sculpture across Norwich. It has an active membership of approximately 250 people.

The exhibition (to June 4) marks this achievement by bringing together paintings and sculptures that NCAS has given or loaned to Norwich Castle alongside new acquisitions made possible through their generous donations.


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The selection traces the history of the society's contribution to the modern art collection at Norwich Castle from Prunella Clough's Man Entering a Boiler House - the very first painting acquired in 1957 - through to Zara Schofield's Veiled (Orange and Green) purchased last year.

Along the way, the exhibition features major works by many of the leading British artists of the last five decades. This includes an intriguing painting of a farmyard by LS Lowry, an impressive abstract by Bridget Riley and an important bronze sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi.

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The broad range of paintings on show (both abstract and figurative) is a testament to the open-minded approach of collecting that characterises the society. The exhibition has something for everyone with an interest in modern or contemporary art providing a fresh perspective on the collections at Norwich Castle.

Viewing times: Monday to Friday (10am-4.30pm), Saturday (10am-5pm), Sunday (1pm-5pm); Easter and half term: Monday to Saturday (10am to 5pm), Sunday (1pm-5pm). Admission: art/exhibitions zone: adults £4.30, concs £3.65, young person £3.15.

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