Paper Chase; Mima to Work Its Magic in Different Mediums

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Byline: Gloria McShane reports:

DOORS open today for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art's latest exhibition which features four shows in one.

This time mima turns the spotlight on the creative and social upheaval of the 1960s and early '70s with its new exhibition Based On Paper - The Marzona Collection.

Showcasing more than 70 works by artists who changed our ideas about art itself, Based On Paper features a wide selection of drawing, collage, video and sculpture and is one of no fewer than four exhibitions opening at the gallery today.

"It's called Based On Paper because all arts - visual arts, as well as architecture, theatre and so on - begin with ideas on paper," says mima curator Gavin Delahunty.

The works include Portrait Of The Artist As Young Men, an intriguing video installation by the popular Gilbert & George.

"In this they're pretending to be sculptors, but they look confused, a bit like some audiences for modern art," explains Gavin.

"Some people think 'Why don't I get it?' so it's a comment on that."

Also striking are the drawings by Gordon Matta-Clark, which look like flat surfaces until you come closer and notice that they are actually three-dimensional works.

"Drawings become sculpture in this way. It blurs the line," says Gavin.

For hierarchy-smashing concepts, though, take a look at Carl Andre's Eighth Reversed Steel Corner.

This is an artwork of flat, rolled steel plates, which explores the idea of horizontal sculpture, as opposed to the vertical figures of traditional sculpture.

"The 1960s and early '70s was a time of creative ferment," says Gavin.

"Things were bubbling below the surface, and you had the emergence of the women's movement, the black civil rights movement in the US, the protest against the Vietnam War. Artists were also challenging tradition."

If you think the groundbreaking art of this time was mainly Andy Warhol's pop art soup cans, there's so much more to discover at this show, which comes from top museums in Germany.

Learn more about art of this period in a special area with reading materials at mima, plus several gallery talks. …