Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 14:42 UK

British Art Show's contemporary talent revealed

Phoebe Unwin - Sink
Phoebe Unwin studied at the Slade School of Art

Some of the UK's most esteemed artists are to be showcased at the latest British Art Show - the survey of contemporary art held every five years.

Painter Phoebe Unwin and former YBA Sarah Lucas are among the 39 artists whose work will form part of the exhibition.

The work on display includes sculpture, painting, installation, photography, film, drawing, video and performance.

British Art Show 7 will tour Glasgow, Nottingham, London and Plymouth.

'Significant contribution'

The British Art Show - which began in 1979 - is seen as one of the most influential events on the cultural calendar.

Work by artists such as Damien Hirst, Sam Taylor-Wood and Chris Ofili were showcased in 1995, and all four nominated artists on the Turner Prize list in 2005 were included in that year's exhibition.

This year's 39 selected artists have been chosen on the grounds of their "significant contribution to contemporary art in the last five years".

They include Argentine-born painter Varda Caivano, sculptor Mick Peter, collaborative filmmakers Anja Kirschner and David Panos, and 75-year-old Scottish artist Alasdair Gray.

It is hoped hundreds of thousands of visitors will visit the touring show, which is organised by the Hayward Gallery.

Varda Caivano
Work by abstract painter Varda Caivano will be on show

Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery, said the show had always been, and continued to be, at the "forefront of innovation".

He said: "The curatorial premise of the British Art Show 7 allows visitors the chance to discover younger artists, and also re-evaluate and reconnect with artists whose work they thought they were familiar with, but whose new developments hold many surprises."

British Art Show 7 - subtitled In the Days of the Comet - is curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton.

They said: "Our subtitle is taken from HG Wells' 1906 science fiction novel In the Days of the Comet.

"We are interested in the recurrent nature of the comet as a symbol of how each version of the present collides with the past and the future and the work of the artists in British Art Show 7, in many different ways, contest assumptions of how 'the now' might be understood."

The British Art Show 7 will open at Nottingham Contemporary on 23 October, before moving to the Hayward Gallery, in London, on 14 February 2011.

It will be at Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art between May and August 2011, and at Plymouth Arts Centre from September until December.

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