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Modern Masters exhibition offers visitors the chance to see work 'in the flesh'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 06, 2013

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BURTON ART GALLERY

The current exhibition at Burton Art Gallery has proved a big success, with next week offering the final chance to see it before it ends on July 15.

Visitors have come from all over the Westcountry, including 13 Devon schools, and donations of almost £3,000 have been received for the Modern Masters in Print exhibition.

Over 180 people attended the preview on May 4, including the comedian Phill Jupitus, who was on tour in the Westcountry at the time.

A record number of visitors on one day were at the gallery on Saturday, June 29, coinciding with Bideford's Heritage Day.

For around 400 pupils and students from local and regional schools, groups and colleges (including Bideford's St Mary's CofE school, Bideford College and Holsworthy Infants School), the exhibition was a unique opportunity to experience work by Picasso, Dali, Matisse and Warhol "in the flesh" in North Devon rather than learn about it from books or having to travel to cities such as Bristol or London.

Nicola Waltho, art teacher at Bideford College, described it as "a really inspiring exhibition" and a great opportunity for students to view work by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

"Students have said they 'felt honoured' to see Picasso's work, and be able to see how different artists have worked in the same technique, widening their experience of different art and artists, first hand," she said.

The Burton was chosen by the Victoria and Albert Museum to be the first venue to have the Modern Masters in Print exhibition outside of London as part of a seven-venue tour, which will also visit Plymouth and Bath.

Warren Collum, exhibition and collections officer, said : "I love the fact that in January we had a schools exhibition, using a billion staples to hang 600 pieces of work, and six months later we've got Picasso and Matisse requiring precision and approval by the Victoria and Albert Museum – all of which shows exactly what we do, something for everyone."

As the only art space on the north coast between Bristol and St Ives of its size, the local authority-owned Burton Art Gallery is unique in bringing nationally and internationally acclaimed artists to North Devon.

The gallery continues to forge strong links with major national institutions such as The Barbican, The Royal Academy, London, The Jerwood Drawing Prize, and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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