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Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Opens Exhibition by Celebrated Artist and Filmmaker Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen, ‘Running Thunder,’ 2007. 16mm film 11.41 mins, continuous projection. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Marian Goodman, New York, Paris.

GATESHEAD.- Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is delighted to announce a major exhibition by celebrated artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. Adding to an already impressive year, McQueen presents two recent works; Pursuit, 2005, which will be shown in the UK for the first time and Running Thunder, 2007. The exhibition opens on Wednesday 10 September and runs until Sunday 23 November 2008.

The exhibition brings to Baltic recent work of one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in contemporary art. Pursuit, which premiered at the Prada Foundation, Milan, is a large scale installation combining space, sound and projected video which will dominate the Level 3 gallery space. A darkened environment of abstract, ill-defined lights and oppressive sound creates a disorientating experience in which the viewer attempts in vain to organise or define the nature of the images.

At the rear of the gallery in an enclosed alcove Running Thunder, 2007 is presented as a counterpoise. The 16mm film is a resolute departure in mood and scope from McQueen’s other recent works, including Pursuit, 2005. To the familiar clatter of a traditional mechanical film projector, Running Thunder offers the audience the apparently static image of a supine horse. McQueen challenges conventions of the film and photographic genres, through extreme economy of means and lightness of touch.

Though formally at polar extremes, the two works are united in their reflection of the fragility of life and of the human condition.

Since winning the Turner Prize and being awarded the OBE in 1999, McQueen has commanded international recognition. Alessandro Vincentelli, Baltic’s Acting Head of Programme adds: “McQueen is experiencing an incredible year collecting the Camera d’Or at Cannes and being offered the British Pavillion at Venice (2009). Here at Baltic we are delighted to be presenting an exhibition of McQueen’s work which includes staging a work not seen in the UK before”.

Steve McQueen was born in London in 1969. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1999 and in 2002 he presented Carib’s Leap / Western Deep at Documenta X and also in London for his Artangel commission. He was awarded an OBE in the same year. For the 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007, he showed Gravesend / Unexploded, which was also exhibited at the Renaissance Society, Chigaco the same year. McQueen has had solo exhibitions at the Fondazione Prada, Milan; Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Kunsthalle, Vienna and Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan. He is currently Official War Artist to Iraq, to which his response, Queen and Country, is daily in the news; it is currently on display at the Barbican, London. McQueen lives and works in London and Amsterdam.

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