Born 1950, Isle of Man.
“Atherton has produced a substantial body of diverse work, performance, sculpture, film, and video, installation and site-related. The audience has been central to the becoming of his artworks, from the Brixton Platform sculptures, to his direct address of the invisible demarcation of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture in Coronation Street. Atherton has used the art gallery as ‘theatre’ to question art and the artist ‘performer’ relative to the wider cultural influences of mass entertainment, including the performer in vaudeville or stand-up comedy.” – J.Hatfield
He studied at the Isle of Man College of Art 1968-69 and Leeds Polytechnic, Fine Art Department 1969-72
Since 1972 he has been a visiting lecturer, part-time teacher and external examiner in art colleges throughout the UK and subsequently a Specialist Adviser to the Fine Art Board, Council for National Academic Awards from 1985-92. He was on the panel of Assessors for the Arts Council of England “Arts for Everyone” Lottery Fund 1997-99. Following a long period of teaching at Chelsea College of Art and Design (1982-98), Atherton was appointed the first Head of Media Department at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in January 2000.
Atherton has exhibited widely since 1972, including performances and video and virtual reality installations in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA. His work is in numerous public collections and he has received many awards. His best known public commissions include ‘A Body of Work’ (ten life size bronze sections of pupils and staff commissioned by Tower Hamlets for Langdon Park School, Poplar); ‘Three Bronze Deckchairs’ (Serpentine, London and Liverpool Garden Festival) 1984, the 1986 Platform Piece for Brixton Railway Station, and ‘Iron Horses’ 1987, a sculpture in twelve parts commissioned by British Rail and the West Midlands County Council for the Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway corridor.
Interview of Kevin Atherton
View the interview transcript here
ONE PERSON EXHIBITIONS
Video Times, installation and publication, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and touring to Kettles Yard Gallery, Cambridge.
One Man Show, Mild Steel, Bronze, and Painted Sign, Serpentine Gallery, London.
Two Video Installations, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, Western Australia.
Three Decades Three works, Arthouse, Dublin, and the Manx Museum and Art Gallery, Douglas, Isle of Man.
In Two Minds x Three Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Peter Stuyvesant Northern Painters and Sculptors Exhibition, Bede Gallery, Jarrow.
One Artist one Day, Robert Self Gallery, London.
Serpentine Spring Show, Serpentine Gallery, London.
Video Art 78, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry.
Un Certain Art Anglais, a British Council survey, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris.
Mixage, De Lantaren, Rotterdam.
Video, Performance, Installation, Tate Gallery, London.
Live to Air, Tate Gallery, London.
London Video Arts, Air Gallery, London.
The Sculpture Show Arts Council Survey Show, Serpentine Gallery, London.
1984 – An Exhibition, Camden Arts Centre, London.
Sculpture, a three-person exhibition with Richard Deacon, and Shirazeh Houshiary, London Borough of Bexley Library Services.
The British Art ShowÌ, major Arts Council survey exhibition, City Art Gallery and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and touring to Edinburgh, Sheffield, and Southampton.
Artist of the Day, selected by Richard Hamilton, Angela Flowers Gallery, London.
Channel Six, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
Modern Art – It’s a Joke, Cleveland Gallery, Middlesborough.
Scanners, Air Gallery, London.
Talking Back to the Media, Time Based Arts, Amsterdam.
The British Edge [British video art], Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. U.S.A.
Embodied Time, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, U.C.C. Cork.
Bits an Pieces An Exhibition of Digital and Film Art Macroom Town Hall Gallery, Macroom, Co Cork.
Something Else Kilkenny Arts Festival.
The Studio Dialogues San Francisco Museum of Modern Art USA.
SELECTED SCULPTURE COMMISSIONS
A Body of Work, bronze, Langdon Park School, London E.14.
Upon Reflection, bronze, Philip Noel Baker Peace Park, London N.19.
Cathedral, stained glass, Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Gloucestershire.
Platforms Piece, bronze, Brixton British Rail Station, London.
Iron Horses, mild steel, British Rail, between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
One Man Show, Mild Steel, Bronze, and Painted Sign, Serpentine Gallery, London.
Synchronised Sculpture, Stockley Park, London.
To the Top, bronze, steel and cotton rope, New Civic Centre, Twickenham, London.
Conversation Piece, bronze and toughened glass, Leicester.
A Different Ball Game, bronze and polished stainless steel, Kingshill, Kent.
A Private View, bronze, polished stainless steel, telescopes, Cardiff Bay.
Field of Vision, bronze and polished stainless steel, Smith Kline Glaxos world headquarters, Brentford, London.
A Reflective Approach – a two part sculpture for Clarence Dock, Leeds.
Another Sphere- a three-part sculpture incorporating video surveillance, Ballymun, Dublin
Time Piece, a performance in public space, College Green, Durham City.
A Review of Butlers Wharf, 2B Butlers Wharf, London.
Double Vision, a week of video performances, Garage Gallery, London.
Some Features of Support, 2B Butlers Wharf, London.
Two Places/Two performances, two weeks of video performances linking two galleries, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London.
Any Questions, ÎPerformance Art SymposiumÌ, Neue Gallery, Aachen.
Drawing Towards a Self Portrait, Arts Council of Northern Ireland Gallery, Belfast.
In Two Minds, video performance, Project Arts Centre, Dublin and touring.
Performance Art Festival, Beursschouwburg, Brussels.
Framed, de Appel Gallery, Amsterdam.
Farewell to Performance, Brighton Festival, Brighton.
In Two Minds Past Version, Analogue- pioneering British, Canadian, and Polish Video, Tate Britain.
SELECTED VIRTUAL REALITY WORKS
Successfully proposed The Virtual Reality as a Fine Art Medium research project at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.
Organised and presented work at the International Conference Virtual Reality and the Gallery The Tate Gallery, London.
Artist/Designer Sketch presented at 23rd International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques – SIGGRAPH 96 New Orleans.
Gallery Guide a virtual reality performance presented live at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as a part of the International Symposium of Electronic Art – ISEA.
Gallery Guide [the broadcast version] nominated for the International Video Art Award at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie ZKM Karlsruhe and broadcast on SWF television in Switzerland and SF DRS 2 television in Germany.
Gallery Guide the performance presented at The Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm as a part of the festival Nature is Perverse.Ì
Gallery Guide [the broadcast version] selected for the 8th Biennial of Moving Images Geneva.
Gallery Guide [broadcast version] presented at The National Gallery of Ireland as part of the conference The Museum Visit: Virtual Reality and the Gallery
Gallery Guide the performance presented at Tate Britain as a part of the Digital Surface within Fine Art Practice conference.
Public Space-Gallery Space-Cyber Space, Virtual Reality and the Gallery, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 1995.
Four Rooms and a Toilet, Virtual Catalogue, The London Institute, 1999.
The Trouble With Video Art Catalogue Article, Bits and Pieces, Macroom, Cork County Council,2007.
Home Is Where The Art Is
In Two Minds – Past and Future Versions
In Two Minds
In Two Minds The Final Version
A Body of Work
Stills For Radio Times
The Television Live from Glasgow
Time Piece Performance (Durham)
Project/Paint/Project (slide installation, Bede Gallery, Jarrow)
Mr Atherton Directs a Manx World Ballet (performance, Battersea Arts Centre, London)
A Review of Butler’s Wharf (performance, 2B Butler’s Wharf, London)
Eight New Works (installation/performance, Robert Self Gallery, London)
Video Times video and illustrated guide, 31 mins.
Television Interview Two Monitor Installation including Coronation Street, 28 Mins.
In Two Minds Original Serpentine Version, two screen video installation, 28mins
2006 and 1978
In Two Minds-Past Version, two screen video installation, 28 mins
In Two Minds-Future Version, two screen video installation, 28 mins.
Slide Room, Bottle Room, Toilet, Boat Room, and Smoke House – five separate and continuous short video loops available in group show format as: Four Rooms and a Toilet or as separate video projections.
Single Screen Works
Monitor Minder, the video to watch video art, 1 hour.
Monitor Minder, the Commercial made in collaboration with Central Television, 1 min.
Scaling Up, 15 mins.
Television Interruptions, five one-minute interruptions directed at the TV viewer, broadcast by Channel 4 as part of The Eleventh Hour series.
Stand up Television, recorded live at the ICA London, 5 mins.
Death In Glasgow, recorded live at Transmissions Gallery, Glasgow, 50 mins.
The Television Interviewed, Dutch Version with David Garcia, 5 mins.
The Television Interviewed, London Version with Deborah Schneider, 5 mins.
Gallery Guide, Broadcast Version, 20 mins.
A Body of Work, video documentary made in collaboration with Peter Shirley, of Atherton’s first sculpture commission at Langdon Park School, Poplar, East London.
Iron Horses, The Video, a documentary of Atherton’s twelve part sculpture, made in collaboration with Anna Ridley, of Annalogue Productions and featuring Kevin Atherton and Michael Archer in interview on a train.
Image of Television Interview 1984, the Coronatoin Street Tape shown at British Art Show II Ikon Gallery Birmingham and touring to Edinburgh, Sheffield and Southhampton City Art Galleries. Taken from catalogue to accompany exhibition Kevin Atherton: Three Decades, Three Works.
Image of Television Interview 1984, the Interviewer Tape shown at British Art Show II Ikon Gallery Birmingham and touring to Edinburgh, Sheffield and Southhampton City Art Galleries. Taken from catalogue to accompany exhibition Kevin Atherton: Three Decades, Three Works.
Image of Television Interview 1984, the Coronation Street Tape shown at British Art Show II Ikon Gallery Birmingham and touring to Edinburgh, Sheffield and Southhampton City Art Galleries. Taken from catalogue to accompany exhibition Kevin Atherton: Three Decades, Three Works.
Image of The Television Interviewed, with David Gargia “Talking Back to the Media” TIme Based Arts Amsterdam 1986. Taken from catalogue to accompany exhibition Kevin Atherton: Three Decades, Three Works.
Image of Big Sister shown as part of Nineteen Eighty Four – An Exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre London 1984. Taken from catalogue to accompany exhibition Kevin Atherton: Three Decades, Three Works.