The Lie of the Land - Turner, Joseph Mallord William, from I. Numbered Perspective Diagrams, Lecture Diagram 18: Principles of Rectilinear Perspective (after Thomas Malton Senior), c.1810. © Tate, London 2019

Turner, Joseph Mallord William, from I. Numbered Perspective Diagrams, Lecture Diagram 18: Principles of Rectilinear Perspective (after Thomas Malton Senior), c.1810. © Tate, London 2019

The Lie of the Land (16 March - 26 May 2019)

The new MK Gallery will open on 16 March 2019 with The Lie of the Land, an ambitious exhibition featuring works by over 85 artists including Canaletto, Rachel Whiteread, J.M.W. Turner, Richard Hamilton, Bridget Riley, L.S. Lowry, Jeremy Deller, Henry Moore, Thomas Gainsborough and Yinka Shonibare MBE. The show charts how British landscape has been radically transformed through changing attitudes to free time and leisure. 

Spread across all five of the new exhibition galleries, The Lie of the Land crosses genres, media and timeframes. Highlights include Richard Hamilton’s Just what was it that made yesterday’s homes so different, so appealing? (2004) from a private collection, Thomas Gainsborough’s John Plampin (c. 1752) on loan from the National Gallery, Rachel Whiteread’s Demolished Portfolio (1996) and The Diving Stage (1928) by Paul Nash from the British Council Collection, J.M.W. Turner’s Lecture Diagrams (c.1910) on loan from Tate, L.S. Lowry’s Britain at Play (1943) from the Usher Gallery and Canaletto’s The Grand Walk, Vauxhall Gardens (c. 1751) on loan from Compton Verney. 

New commissions include a 60-channel sonic portrait of Milton Keynes by sound artist and composer Caroline Devine, an immersive installation by Project Art Works and a film working with the community by Ed Webb-Ingall. The Lie of the Land is curated by MK Gallery Director, Anthony Spira, with Sam Jacob, Claire Louise Staunton, Fay Blanchard, 6a architects founding director Tom Emerson, Gareth Jones and Niall Hobhouse. 

The new MK Gallery, designed by 6a architects, seeks to capture the original spirit of Milton Keynes, reflecting the natural world in its polished stainless-steel exterior surfaces inspired by the city’s original grid and the geometries of the adjacent Campbell Park. It will provide spaces for major exhibitions both contemporary and historical, films, music, performance, family events, workshops, and social spaces, many designed in collaboration with artists Gareth Jones and Nils Norman. The new space will put a clear emphasis on community engagement and provide democratic access to the best of the arts. 

MK Gallery receives regular core funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and Milton Keynes Council, and is a member of Plus Tate network.