William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living, Hunterian, Glasgow, 25th March 2016 – 5th March 2017


William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living continues The Hunterian’s innovative programme of contemporary art displays and features objects and artworks that explore both the historical and contemporary connections between art and science.
Damien Hirst’s Necromancer will be on public display for the first time.

This challenging work is a vitrine layered with obstetric instruments and other medical specimens and incorporates many of the exhibition’s themes. By utilising scientific materials, Necromancer explores the relationship between science and art, life and death.
William Hunter to Damien Hirst also features rarely seen items from the collections of Hunterian founder Dr William Hunter – a pioneering obstetrician and avid art enthusiast.

The works on display are all dependant on observation of the body, whether by eye, microscope or the latest technology. Hunter’s plaster cast of the gravid uterus is one of a series made around 1770. Taken from women who died in childbirth, making the failures of the flesh evident, the casts were used to teach improved techniques to doctors and mid-wives, Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s pioneering work on the neuron at the end of the 19th century is made apparent through his extraordinary sketches and today, Catherine Street’s work, often using technology, strives to record and understand the relationship of the physical self to intangible qualities like emotion and sensation.

Glasgow based Scott Rogers’ new work, A Call to the Old Ones, uses comparative anatomy to investigate how avian and human vision responds to a device known as a lark mirror. Initially developed in the 19th century as a hunting lure to trap songbirds, it was later used to hypnotize human patients.

This exhibition is presented as part of Glasgow International 2016 and has been curated by students from the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) programme, established jointly between the University of Glasgow and The Glasgow School of Art. The exhibition has been realised through access to The Hunterian collections with support from Hunterian staff. Necromancer comes from the collection of renowned art dealer, collector and philanthropist Anthony d’Offay.

Catherine Street, based in Edinburgh, will present a specially commissioned live work on 23 April 2016, at The Two Cultures event, part of Glasgow International. The work will attempt to synthesise different approaches to writing and speaking, creating a visceral rumination on vision and physicality.

Opening times:
Fri 25 March 2016 – January 2017
Mon, 10am – 5pm (11, 18 & 25 April)
Tues – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Sun, 11am – 4pm

Hunterian Art Gallery
82 Hillhead Street
Glasgow, G12 8QQ

There will be an opening reception on Saturday 9 April 2016, 12 noon – 2.00pm


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