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MOCA Virginia to host Barnaby Barford's first solo show in the USA.

MOCA Virginia to host Barnaby Barford's first solo show in the USA.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia, USA to host first US solo exhibition by UK artist Barnaby Barford

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) June 21, 2013 — The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) will host UK artist Barnaby Barford, September 12-December 29, 2013, known for his work with antique or mass-produced porcelain figures, which he recombines and reassembles into narrative sculpture.

This will be Barford’s first solo exhibition in the US and will feature 30 sculptural works which explore and celebrate the human condition, usually with a sinister or sardonic theme. Included in the exhibition is a more recent piece from the artist’s latest acclaimed show, Seven Deadly Sins at The David Gill Gallery LTD (London), and a 2008 short animated film Damaged Goods; a tragic love story played out by porcelain figurines commissioned by Animate Projects, a non-profit organization in the UK dedicated to supporting experiments in animation.

“Barnaby is not just a sculptor, not just an artist. He’s a total original, which is why I knew I wanted to work with him.” said UK gallerist, David Gill.

Barnaby draws a portrait of our contemporary lives with an ironic choice of medium. A kitsch figure of a 19th century peasant boy becomes a 20th century teenage thug in a hoodie; rustic maidens dancing on a bed of roses brandish guns; a charming scene of a Victorian family shares a meal of copious buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

The exhibition is organized by MOCA and curated by Alison Byrne, Director of Exhibitions and Education at MOCA, and Andrée Cooke, Independent Curator based in London. 

Andrée Cooke says: "Barnaby Barford's use of ceramics fuses contemporary application with tradition; his witty use of language and content is a dynamic rare blend which sets him apart from his contemporaries. His style is highly distinctive and provides a critical commentary of western contemporary culture.” 

Accompanying the exhibition will be a full-color catalogue and extensive educational programming, including audio tours, a Master Class and lecture with the artist and tours with area high schools and universities during Barford’s week-long visit in November. The exhibition is also available to travel.

In tradition with the museum’s interactive focus, MOCA’s ARTlab will offer visitors the chance to learn more about Barford’s work through hands-on projects, including 30 figurines in various stages of completion from the artist’s studio to create a voyeuristic approach to his process. 

“MOCA is delighted to introduce Barford to new audiences in the United States,” says MOCA’s Alison Byrne, who has been following Barford’s work for several years. “Viewers from all backgrounds can relate to his themes, fostering self-awareness as well as appreciation for contemporary art. A large part of MOCA’s mission.” 

About the artist: Barnaby Barford (born 1977) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002. He has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in the UK and has shown in exhibitions internationally. His graduate show attracted the attention of UK gallerist, David Gill who represents him.

About MOCA: The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Virginia Beach, is a non-profit that exists to foster awareness, exploration and understanding of the significant art of our time. MOCA is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As Virginia's only museum dedicated solely to the exhibition of contemporary art, MOCA encourages visitors to discover and explore art and to engage in hands-on art experiences. 

MOCA was founded in 1952 and incorporated in 1971. Its exhibitions and educational programming attract 500,000 adults and schoolchildren annually. MOCA's main galleries are dedicated to the work of national and international contemporary artists who are finding new approaches to objects, media and ideas. MOCA's Fleming Gallery, community gallery space and satellite gallery (a short walk from the museum) annually showcase the work of more than 1,000 regional artists. In addition to a roster of 10 major and 18 auxiliary exhibitions a year, MOCA activates all of its spaces with exhibition-related programs: film series; school-group tours; adult tours; teen, senior, and family programs; audio-tours; and ARTlab which provides layered-learning experiences through technology, hands-on art projects.

MOCA is located at 2200 Parks Avenue at the entrance of I-264 in Virginia Beach. 757-425-0000.