Found, Curated by Cornelia Parker, The Foundling Museum, London

Foundling Fellow Cornelia Parker has invited over 60 artists from a range of creative disciplines to respond to the theme of ‘found’, reflecting on the Museum’s long-standing history and heritage. Opening on 27 May, this major exhibition titled Found will combine new and existing work with historic objects from the museum’s permanent collection.

Taking on the role of curator, English sculptor and installation artist Parker has been inspired, in part, by the museum’s 18th century tokens: small items left by mothers with their babies as a means of identification should they ever return to the Foundling Hospital to claim their child. “In order for something to be ‘found’, it has to at some point in its history been ‘lost’ ” says Parker. Her intention is to create a “collective cacophony”.

Participants include a wealth of key contemporary practitioners: Ron Arad RA, Phyllida Barlow RA, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Deacon RA, Tacita Dean RA, Jeremy Deller, Edmund de Waal, Brian Eno, Antony Gormley RA, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Heatherwick RA, Christian Marclay, Mike Nelson, Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley, Bob and Roberta Smith RA, Wolfgang Tillmans RA, Marina Warner and Rachel Whiteread.

Accompanying this stellar line-up will be 20 Royal Academicians, whose work will echo the role that the Foundling Hospital played in the development of the Royal Academy in London. Founded in 1739,  the hospital was supported by leading artists of the day, many of whom donated work, thanks to the revolutionary involvement of artist William Hogarth and composer George Frideric Handel. The Royal Academy’s origins can be traced to the collective mobilisation of artists and the promotion of British art that took place at the hospital during the 18th century.

Found, An Exhibition Curated by Cornelia Parker, 27 May – 4 September, The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ.

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1. Cornelia Parker. Thirty Pieces of Silver. 1988.