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Baltic beauties.

Byline: By Linda Richards

Feast of modern art

This year's Baltic programme is getting off to a controversial start with 1,700 naked people on display ( and Spencer Tunick's is not the only eye-catching exhibition.

Artists from around the globe, as well as local ones, are lined up to give gallery-goers a taste of the world of contemporary art.

New York artist Spencer Tunick's exhibition shows images from his photo shoot involving 1,700 people who stripped in the name of art on the Quayside last July. Opening on January 21, it runs until March 26.

Another major exhibition is by British artist Sam Taylor Wood, from May 17 to September 3, featuring actors Robin Williams, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Paul Newman, who all shed crocodile tears for her Crying Men series.

And from July 5 to October 8 there will be other installations recalling scenes in Thai markets and massage parlours by artist Surasi Kusolwong.

Political and social issues will also be touched on in an exhibition by American artist Kerry James Marshall. Along The Way, from February 4 to April 23, addresses racial issues.

Last year Baltic director Peter Doroshenko was blasted for neglecting the region's talent and promised to showcase the work of local artists.

He will be doing that in You Shall Know Our Velocity, which runs at the same time as Spencer Tunick's work, and features a group exhibition of North East artists, from emerging talent to more established artists.

From April 8 to July 2, two exhibitions, And So Our Eyes and Scan Time, explore the relationship between the work of James Hugonin and Ian Stephenson, who have made significant contributions to British abstract painting. Both have a link with the North East. Stephenson presented major exhibitions in both London and Newcastle in the 60s and 70s, and Hugonin lives and works in Northumberland.

Dutch artist Mark Manders has been working on his project Self-portrait As A Building since 1986. His first UK solo exhibition, Short Sad Thoughts, a new commission for Baltic, draws on that project. Featuring drawings and sculptures, it runs from January 27 to April 23.

Austrian Erwin Wurm will install large-scale sculptural works from July 5 to October 10 from his Fat series outside Baltic His work transforms everyday objects, from rubberbands to sweaters and fridges.

Actors will turn heads when they stroll "naked" around Tyneside this week. They will sport nude suits to promote the Spencer Tunick exhibition.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2006
Words:415
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