Exhibition Overview

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The Artes Mundi exhibition is one of the highlights of the UK’s visual arts calendar. At the first exhibition in 2004, work by ten shortlisted artists occupied a series of seven galleries over two floors of the National Museum, Cardiff. Each artist worked with the curator, Tessa Jackson, to show a body of work that represented their recent practice.

63,000 visitors came to the exhibition. The National Museum recorded its highest attendance during March since the building was opened in 1927.

Works were transported from as far afield as Korea, Israel, New Zealand and the USA.

‘I was totally knocked out by the whole experience and thought it the most thought-provoking and indeed the most beautiful visual arts exhibition I have seen in the many years I have been in the UK.’
Lynne Williams, Arts Producer

The second exhibition comprises a body of work by each shortlisted artist. It includes large paintings, humorous drawings and compelling photographic images as well as fictional films of human drama or documentary discussion. Each artist comments on society in a different way, with different materials. Artes Mundi celebrates some of the world’s most significant artists working today, and their perspectives on real and imagined worlds and cultures.