Leicester-born artist to have first-ever city exhibition at DMU


An artist who studied at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) before becoming an influential figure in the contemporary art world is to have his first exhibition in his home city at The Gallery at DMU.


Jonathan Monk – a former student of what is now a part of DMU – completed the Art and Design (Foundation Studies) course at the university nearly 30 years ago, graduating in 1988.

Since then Jonathan, who now lives in Berlin, has enjoyed remarkable success with his experimental pieces, which have been acquired by galleries such as the Tate and the Guggenheim in New York.

His solo exhibitions have appeared in numerous locations, including Rome, Paris, New York, Copenhagen, Tokyo and London, but this will be the first time it has happened in his home city.

The six-week exhibition, entitled ‘The Sound Of Laughter Isn't Necessarily Funny’, is running at DMU’s The Gallery from Friday 27 January until Saturday 11 March. It will be open from Mondays to Saturdays between midday and 5pm each day.


The Gallery, which is located in DMU’s landmark Vijay Patel building, is the largest space of its kind in Leicester.

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Hugo Worthy, the curator at The Gallery, said: “Jonathan is one of the most influential artists of his generation with his work being widely collected internationally – and his story started here in Leicester.

“He has gone on to such huge acclaim and we are incredibly proud to be showing the work of one of the world’s leading artists returning to his home-city of Leicester for his first exhibition here since leaving in the 1980s.”


The exhibition, which includes sculpture, installations and an extraordinary piano-playing piece, explores memory, personal history and the passing of time.

It is being launched with an invite-only private viewing next on Thursday 26 January which will be attended by the artist himself.

While in Leicester, Jonathan will give a talk to DMU art and design students, as well as tutorials. Among those will be the foundation course students who are in the same position as Jonathan was nearly 30 years ago.

One of Jonathan’s fellow DMU graduates from the late-1980s is David Shrigley, a highly successful artist in his own right who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013 and whose ‘thumbs up’ sculpture now occupies the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Posted on Monday 23rd January 2017

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