Nottingham Contemporary is a small art gallery in the middle of the city centre, which is focused around twentieth and twenty-first century works. The museum is composed of four galleries with constantly changing exhibitions. I happened to visit in the closing days of the 'Somewhat Abstract' exhibition, which closes 29 June 2014. The next exhibition, dedicated to the works of Carol Rama and Danh Vő, will begin on 19 July 2014 (and closes 28 September). Whatever time of the year, the museum provides some great works of internationally recognised artists and is a nice escape on a rainy day.
Contemporary art is a term which sometimes defies a concrete definition. It can include modern art, postmodern art, or simply anything created in the present day. As such, the works displayed in Nottingham Contemporary represent a diversity of materials, styles, philosophies, and systems of thought.
A Kind of Blue, Richard Deacon (2001). Photo by Erin Connelly
The works I saw on my visit were not displayed in chronological order, as is the custom in many galleries, but rather by shared subject matter. Thus, works dealing with ideas of power and authority, although spanning several decades of time, were grouped together, while the other galleries were oriented around such themes as environment, buoyancy, and the 'poetry of thought.'
Heap 4, Barry Flanagan (1967). Photo by Erin Connelly
Due to the abstract and symbolic qualities often found in contemporary art, some of the installations may be difficult to process compared to, for example, a seventeenth century portrait gallery. There are several helpful volunteers stationed around each gallery who are more than willing to share their knowledge of each work and artist, which really adds depth to the experience.
Land, Kathy Prendergast (1990), Photo by Erin Connelly
The museum is located in a large green and gold building right next to the Lace Market tram stop. Entrance to the gallery is completely free and child-friendly as well. The gallery is open at the following times: