'Encounters: New Art from Old' was an exhibition of new work by 24 major living artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, video and installation artists) made in response to paintings in the National Gallery, and showed how some of the greatest artistic personalities of the late 20th century continue to engage with the work of their predecessors.
For some, like Kossoff and Freud, this engagement is based on close study of the way an artist paints and is a continual process of technical discovery. For others, like Bourgeois, Clemente and Kiefer, the art of the past is a source of ideas to be interpreted and refashioned in works of a very different kind. The painters they looked at were as various as their responses, ranging from Duccio to Seurat.
The new works made for 'Encounters' demonstrated that the art of the past continues to speak to the present. They allowed everyone who visited the exhibition to share that artistic exchange between old and new.