Preview: Party! at the New Art Gallery Walsall

Anne Hardy, Untitled IV (Balloons) (2005). Diasec Mounted C-Type Print. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Exhibition: Party!, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, February 12 – April 18 2010

The birthday bash of a 10-year-old can easily get out of hand. It certainly looks that way with an exhibition called Party! at the New Art Gallery Walsall.

More than 50 artists feature in the show, which celebrates a decade since the lottery funded gallery first opened its doors. They represent an A to Z of contemporary art, from Jonathan Allen to Zhang Peng.

Martin Creed is installing 2,000 purple balloons in a single gallery space for a piece entitled Half The Air In A Given Space.

In Disco Mécanique by David Batchelor hundreds of pairs of plastic sunglasses have been turned into kaleidoscopic mirrorballs.

And 1,400 corks have been popped for an as yet unnamed piece by New Zealander Judy Darragh.

There will be a few specially chosen grown-ups in attendance, such as Marc Chagall, Pierre Auguste Renoir and Francisco Goya.

The Chagall painting, turning 60 this year, is called Blue Circus and also featured in The New Art Gallery’s inaugural exhibition.

Along with music, song, dance, food and drink, dress and decor, Party! will explore some of the darker side of human festivities.

Chinese artist Yang Mian brings along a kitsch bronze statue of Michael Jackson. The King of Pop stands more than two metres tall and his death has done little to dampen spirits.

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