In 1988 Ikon commissioned Cornelia Parker to make Thirty Pieces of Silver, a major installation now in the collection of Tate. She returns to Ikon to show Thirty Pieces of Silver (exhaled) (2003), a more recent work comprising thirty silver-plated items crushed by a 250 tonne industrial press. A kind of critical response to monumental floor-based sculpture, it also characteristically conflates ideas of preciousness and perceived cultural value with traces of a traumatic event.
Ikon Icons sees the return of five key British artists from an exhibition programme starting in 1965, one artist per decade: John Salt (1960s), Ian Emes (1970s), Cornelia Parker (1980s), Yinka Shonibare (1990s) and Julian Opie (2000s). A presentation of work by each takes place consecutively during Ikon 50, in Ikon’s Tower Room.
The series is a major component of Ikon 50, the programme of exhibition and events celebrating Ikon’s 50th anniversary.