Wish You Were Here? Hestercombe Gallery showcases artists’ postcards

David Hockney, Yoko Ono and Mark Wallinger are just some of the artists showcased at the Hestercombe Gallery, near Taunton, with Art Circuit’s Wish You Were Here? exhibition.

Artists’ postcards from 1960s to today, selected from art writer and novelist Jeremy Cooper’s remarkable collection, will be on display to visitors from October 24, some for the first time, before the collection is donated to the British Prints and Drawings Department in 2018.

Hestercombe will host this touring exhibition until February 28, 2016, and give a unique opportunity for art-lovers to view the works, drawn from a collection of more than 2000.

Included in the exhibition are some very recent acquisitions which are to be displayed for the first time when they come to the Hestercombe Gallery. One of these is Steve Butcher’s Wedding Portrait (1989) - two collaged postcards, facing each other to form a diptych. The 1960s postcards from the Uffizi are Piero della Francesca’s profile portraits of Federigo di Montefeltro and Battista Sforza, the Duke and Duchess or Urbino. Steve Butcher is an English-born artist and designer who has lived in New York since the mid eighties and is drawn to using postcards, usually in the form of collage, using an X-Acto knife.

Another new exhibit is a set of six photographic postcards from 1916. By a group of artists known as Inventory, the 2014 work entitled First World Century Come Down, shows the postcards which have been altered by transfer letters and painted enamel.

Wish You Were Here? features over 200 artists including some of today’s most celebrated artists such as Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, David Hockney , Richard Hamilton, Bruce Nauman, Carl Andre, Gilbert & George, Susan Hiller, Gavin Turk, Tacita Dean and Mark Wallinger. Each has been produced with the idea and the function of the postcard in mind.

The exhibition explores the remarkable diversity of how artists have considered the postcard as a
medium in its own right, through which we can trace important moments in the history of modern and contemporary art from the 1960s to the present day.

The exhibition has been curated thematically to include examples of mail art and fluxus from the 1960s and 70s, concrete poetry, graphic postcards, political and polemical postcards and recent artists’ postcards, looking at how a younger generation of artists such as Ruth Claxton, Sara Mc Killop, and Alexsandra Mir continue to work with postcards today. C

urated by Jeremy Copper in collaboration with Cynthia Morrison-Bell, Wish You Were Here? is a touring exhibition organised and produced by Art Circuit Touring Exhibitions.

Wish You Were Here? runs from October 24 - February 28, 2016 at the Hestercombe Gallery, near Taunton. Visit www.hestercombe.com for more about the gallery, house and gardens.