MUSEUMS & INSTITUTIONSPUBLIC PROJECTS IN ART & LITERATURE
THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
Simon Oldfield devised and curated the first major programme combining art and literature at the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with Pindrop and working alongside Tim Marlow.
Since 2014, we have worked with world-leading artists, authors and thinkers who are invited to respond to the themes of the Royal Academy's exhibitions, culminating in a rich and diverse collection of writings, performances, talks and interviews. In 2015, the programme expanded to include the RA & Pindrop Short Story Award, which has discovered new talent including award-winning and Booker-nominated writers. There are many highlights including Stephen Fry and Gwendoline Christie during the Summer Exhibition, Dame Eileen Atkins and Dame Sian Philips performing in response to Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 (pictured); Booker Prize-winner Graham Swift reading his short story, Haematology, against the backdrop of the exhibition Charles I: King and Collector; and author William Boyd reading selected stories amongst the soaring installations of the Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined exhibition.
Born out of this programme at the RA was the publication of A Short Affair, a book edited and curated by Simon Oldfield, featuring original short fiction by bestselling writers with newly commissioned artworks by Tracey Emin, Eddie Peake and other artists from the RA.
Image: Gwendoline Christie performing at the Royal Academy of Arts
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLANDMUSEUM TOUR
Simon Oldfield and his team curated a nationwide art and literature project touring major museums across England including Turner Contemporary, the New Art Gallery Walsall, Pallant House Gallery and Tate Liverpool.
In collaboration with the Arts Council England and Pindrop, the project comprised a curated series of art and literature performances and interviews in response to the gallery exhibitions. Hosted by Simon Oldfield, he was joined on stage by actor and Talk Art podcaster Russell Tovey, multi-award-winning British actress Juliet Stevenson, and writer and activist Nikesh Shukla, and artist Mahtab Hussain.
Contemporary Art Society & Tate Collection and Archive
Simon Oldfield collaborated with the Contemporary Art Society to present works from the Tate Collection and Archive in an exhibition curated by artist Yane Calovski. The installation at Tate Britain, Ponder Pause Process (a Situation), was part of Tate’s Art Now programme and included works by Liam Gillick, Francis Alys, Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Emma Kay, Christopher Wool, Henri Matisse, Jeff Wall, an unpublished manuscript by Sven Berlin, and the mediative sound work A Flock of Rotation by French artist Samon Takahashi. The installation aimed to question a range of preconceptions and assumptions that relate to the Tate Collection and conservation of art.
Image: Installation view of ‘Ponder Pause Process (A Situation)’ at Tate Britain, London, 2010. Photo: Joe Plommer and Matthew Blaney
ART FUND COLLECTIONS
Simon Oldfield is the appointed curator and advisor to several art funds including Fortescue & Oldfield, established with a particular focus on artists from under-represented groups, women artists and 20th century modern masters.
All artworks held within the art fund collections are available for public display at museums and galleries, which evolves over time through acquisitions and disposals. The fund collections currently include a series of important goauches by Bridget Riley from 1970 - 1995 representing key moments of transition in her decades-long career, a pair of intimate paintings by Amoako Boafo and a complete set of Andy Warhol's 1968 Campbell's Soup I (F. & S. 11.44.53).
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Image: BRIDGET RILEY (b. 1931), 1ST STUDY FOR PAINTING, 1989, Gouache on paper
GROSVENOR ESTATE MAYFAIR
Simon Oldfield created the curatarial blueprint for a new public arts programme across Mayfair, which informs the public-realm installations such as Yinka Ilori's sculpture on Mount Street.
Simon and his team also curated and produced a multi-disciplinary programme of exhibitions, cultural events and artist residences across a selection of Grosvenor Estate’s property portfolio including Carlos Place and Mount Street. Simon also conceived, edited and published a quarterly arts magazine, Square, to accompany the programme.
Image: Seduction, Simon Foxall, Carlos Place, Mayfair
British fashion brand Burberry invited Simon Oldfield to curate a cultural programme in response to their collections over several seasons.
By staging live performances and interventions that referred directly to the inspiration for Burberry’s collections, our programme added a cultural perspective with leading artists, writers and actors including Juliet Stevenson, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Sian Philips, Ben Okri, Russell Tovey.Image: Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri reading his own short fiction during Burberry's Here We Are
Hauser & Wirth
Simon Oldfield has an ongoing and advisory relationship with Hauser & Wirth, which begun with an invitation to curate and host an event at Hauser & Wirth Somerset.
Image: Russell Tovey and Simon Oldfield on stage at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. Russell read Heart's Last Pass by Douglas W. Milliken, a story from A Short Affair, followed by a conversation about the marriage of art and literature. Listen to Russell's reading on the Pindrop podcast here.
Simon Oldfield GalleryMayfair
In 2012, Simon Oldfield Gallery moved to Mayfair. Across four locations at Carlos Place, Mount Street and Davies Street our exhibitions programme encompassed a multi-discplinary programme with solo and group shows including Seduction, Honeymoon Suite, Portrait of a Life Half Known and Screw Your Courage to the Sticking Place, one of the UK's first exhibtions to explore the queer art movement and subculture. Artists exhibited include Matthew Stone, Paul Kindersley, Jonny Briggs, Juno Calypso, Simon Foxall, Judy Blame, Princess Julia, Bruce Ingram, Matthew La Croix and Neal Tait.
Collaborations included James Long's Spring/Summer Collection Presentation 2011/2012, GQ Style Art x Fashion, and the launch of Pindrop by Simon Oldfield and writer, podcaster and broadcaster Elizabeth Day.
Image: Screw Your Courage to the Sticking Place, Judy Blame, Bruce Ingram, Princess Julia and Paul Kindersley
Simon Oldfield GallerySoho & Covent Garden
Simon Oldfield Gallery opened in Soho followed by a larger space in Covent Garden including one of the first solo presentations of paintings by Michael Armitage and solo shows by Jonathan Trayte (Under a Pine Tree), Katie Cuddon (Waiting for the Cue) and Neal Tait. Group shows included New Symphony, Base Metal, Modern Love, Night Shift and Friendship of the Peoples, exhibiting over 200 artists including Eddie Peake, Fiona Banner, Michael Dean, Roger Hiorns, Humphrey Ocean, Princess Julia, David Thorpe, Mark Titchner, Francis Upritchard, Donald Urquhart, Alison Wilding and Chris Ofili.
The exhibition programme received widespread critical acclaim and enjoyed the support of the Whitechapel Gallery, the Contemporary Art Society through their curator-led tours programme.
Image: New Sympony, Douglas White, Katie Cuddon