Exhibition Archive
28 July - 4 Oct 2007- Laing Art Gallery, UK


Laing Art Solo Award and Commission:
Gordon Cheung - Paradise Lost

Selected by Susan May

Private View Fri 27 July 2007 6-8pm

Laing Solo is a series of exhibitions profiling the work of individual emerging artists. This exhibition was selected through an annual, national competition, open to artists in the early stages of their careers. Work was selected by representatives from the Laing Art Gallery and Susan May, former head of the Arts Council collection and presently director of White Cube gallery, London

A contemporary artist who uses pages from the Financial Times to create dramatic virtual landscapes has been announced as the latest winner of the Laing Art Gallery’s competition for emerging artists, Laing Solo.

London-based artist Gordon Cheung uses a combination of techniques including collage, Chinese ink and spray paint in his work, resulting in breathtaking artworks showing imaginary worlds on the brink of destruction. Cheung’s work can be seen in the Laing’s new exhibition, Laing Solo: Gordon Cheung – Paradise Lost. The exhibition includes 24 new works, which have never been shown before and have been commissioned by the Laing Art Gallery. Julie Milne, curator of the Laing Art Gallery, says:
“Laing Solo is a series of exhibitions which profiles the work of emerging artists, who are selected through a national competition. Gordon Cheung has been selected as one of this year’s winners and we will be showcasing a selection of his work in a dramatic and inspiring exhibition.”

Cheung’s work often includes references to popular culture, with Scooby Doo characters and characters from popular films appearing alongside images from mythology, iconic paintings, magazines and the internet. His latest work focuses on themes of destruction and disaster and is inspired by the work of British 19th century Romantic artist John Martin, whose paintings can also be seen at the Laing Art Gallery. John Martin became famed for his dramatic scenes, such as The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, on show in the Laing’s 18th and 19th Century Gallery. Cheung was particularly drawn to Martin’s Paradise Lost print series, published originally as illustrations for the poem by John Milton.
Cheung explains: “I felt I could re-translate John Martin’s Paradise Lost series into a contemporary and relevant context. The idea that we are losing, or certainly becoming increasingly urgent with, our relationship to Earth is compelling and to use an archetypal story as a means of understanding our era attracted me a great deal.”

The Laing Art Gallery has been attracting visitors for over a hundred years and there are always new exhibitions to enjoy. The permanent collection includes beautiful 18th and 19th century paintings and world-renowned watercolours. The gallery also displays contemporary artwork and has initiated a national competition, Laing Solo, to showcase emerging artists. A friendly, accessible environment, the Laing has a wealth of resources to help everyone learn more about art. There is also a varied learning programme to enjoy throughout the spring.

Notes to editors: MEDIA CONTACT: Emma Pybus
Tel: (0191) 277 2309

Laing Art Gallery
Newcastle (Tyne & Wear Museums)
New Bridge Street
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel : 0191 232 7734
Fax : 0191 222 0952

Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 2-5pm
Free entry



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