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image for Exhibition item typeGillian Ayres at National Museum Cardiff

  • Visit Wales VAQAS
  • Green Dragon Environmental Scheme
  • Croeso Cynnes Cymreig

Art Exhibition, Sat 8 Apr - Sun 3 Sep 2017, free entry

Gillian Ayres

Gillian Ayres


This major exhibition celebrates the bold and colourful work of one of Britain’s most important and internationally renowned abstract artists. Featuring major paintings from across the artist’s career, this is the largest exhibition of Ayres’s work ever seen in the UK.

In the 1950s, Ayres was a pioneer of abstract painting, making work on a vast scale. She explored colour and space by pouring, dripping and staining paint onto the canvas. She was a leading figure in a generation of British artists who were responding to the latest international developments in Paris and New York, including the work of American Abstract Expressionists.

This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to see Ayres’s greatest works from the 1950s to the 1980s. It features loans from major public collections installed alongside rarely seen paintings from the artist’s own collection. Across this period Ayres was a regular visitor to Wales and her experience of the mountains of Wales had a powerful influence on her expression of the ‘abstract sublime’. This connection to Wales was strengthened when Ayres lived and worked on the Llyn Peninsula between 1981 and 1987. This period coincided with a particularly productive phase in her career which will be explored in this exhibition.

Gillian Ayres was born in 1930 and studied at Camberwell College of Art 1946-50. Her work featured in many of the landmark group shows of the 1960s including Situation 1960. Major solo shows have followed, including the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 1981, the Serpentine 1983, the Tate 1995 and the Royal Academy 1997. Ayres was awarded an OBE in 1986 and was made a Royal Academician in 1991.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedDisabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsOn-site light refreshmentsPublic toiletsWheelchairs available

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 8 Apr - Sun 3 Sep 2017


Free entry

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Sat 17 Jun - Sun 3 Sep Agatha Christie: A life in photographs
Sat 18 Feb - Wed 31 Jan Bacon to Doig: Modern Masterpieces
Sat 8 Apr - Sun 3 Sep Gillian Ayres
Fri 25 Aug Friday Talk: Welsh dinosaurs family talk
Tue 29 - Thu 31 Aug Sculpture Family Workshop
Fri 1 Sep September Friday Talks


Cathays Park,
CF10 3NP



Plan route to National Museum Cardiff using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: ST 183769  Lat: 51.48512 Long: -3.17800

Cardiff's Civic Centre, 20 minutes walk from Cardiff Central Train Station. By car - Junction 32 of the M4.

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Cardiff Queen Street station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available