The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2012 > Keith Coventry 'Black Bronze White Slaves'

Keith Coventry 'Black Bronze White Slaves'

This was the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the bronze sculptures of celebrated artist Keith Coventry.

Coventry is a key member of what has been termed the ‘Sensation’ generation who came to prominence in the 1990s on the wave of interest in British artists. He has since become an established (if not an ‘Establishment) artist whose work is in collections such as the Tate, London and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Although known primarily as a painter, Coventry has always made iconic bronzes throughout his career, but only now was an exhibition staged to focus on this body of work. All his major pieces featured in Keith Coventry 'Black Bronze White Slaves', including Looted Shop Front, Kebab Machine, Supermodel (Kate Moss) and Crack Pipe, along with eight examples of his White Slave series, and five of his broken trees, two of which were new.

Coventry has previously said of his work that he looks at the history of art, and at a social issue and then combines the two. The themes of his bronzes are those of a universal nature: desperation, revolution, the unsettling of political order, the decline of society and a belief in art and its restorative powers.

The themes of Coventry’s work could be found, portrayed in a variety of ways, running through The Bowes Museum’s collection. This exhibition, within the context of the Museum, seeked to activate a further understanding of the permanent collection in relation to the bronzes.


The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.