Matt Rugg: Connecting Form

Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm

Hatton Gallery

Matt Rugg: Connecting Form, curated by Dr. Harriet Sutcliffe, is the first major retrospective of the work of the British abstract artist and teacher Matt Rugg (1935-2020). The exhibition displays previously unshown work alongside well-known pieces and provide a platform for an outreach and learning programme exploring radical shifts in art education.  

Matt Rugg (b. Somerset, 1935; d. 2020) worked extensively across drawing, painting and sculpture. He studied at King’s College, Newcastle from 1956, where he was taught by and then worked with Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. In 1962, Kenneth Rowntree appointed him as a lecturer in Painting.

In 1965, Rugg moved to Chelsea and began establishing his studio in South London. During this period his work was included in group shows including the Arts Council’s Young Contemporaries and travelling exhibitions, the London Group, and at the ICA. As a teacher at Chelsea School of Art from 1965 he influenced painters and sculptors, going beyond Pasmore’s Basic Form syllabus, and encouraging students to discover their own materials and ways of making. In 1978 Rugg was a prizewinner in the 2nd National Exhibition hosted by Tolly Cobbold/Eastern Arts. This signalled a change of direction in his work, constructing in galvanised wire and sheet metal in linear form. His work has been acquired for public collections including the Tate Gallery, the British Council, the Arts Council, the Contemporary Arts Society, and regional collections.

Image: Detail of Matt Rugg’s Anatomy V Sculpture, 2012, Galvanised steel wire and industrial webbing. Photo by Jamie Orlando Smith © The Estate of Matt Rugg. 

Newcastle University King’s Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU

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23 September 2023—13 January 2024


  • Mon 10am – 5pm
  • Tue 10am – 5pm
  • Wed 10am – 5pm
  • Thu 10am – 5pm
  • Fri 10am – 5pm
  • Sat 10am – 5pm
  • Level access once inside
  • Lifts to all areas
  • Accessible toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
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