Black horse laying in grass, part of Running Thunder, a film by Steve McQueen
Film Screening

Steve McQueen - Running Thunder Wolverhampton Art Gallery London

Wolverhampton Art Gallery presents an exciting opportunity to experience the acclaimed work of Steve McQueen, whose many achievements include the Turner Prize, the BAFTA award for Best Film, and the Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years A Slave.

McQueen’s short film Running Thunder was added to the city’s permanent collection through the Contemporary Art Society ‘Great Works’ scheme, which enables regional galleries in the UK to acquire works by British artists who have established international reputations over the last 20 years.

Running Thunder offers a moment for meditation. It presents a silent, static shot of a black horse lying in a sunlit meadow. Only the blades of grass, swaying softly in the breeze, and circling flies break the apparent tranquillity. 

Motionless and unstirring, the animal challenges associations with horseracing suggested by the work’s title. The image of galloping horses which was famously documented by nineteenth century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, in a series often credited with anticipating developments in moving pictures, is at once evoked and denied by the creature’s stillness.  

With this film, McQueen plays with the viewer’s expectations. It achieves a dramatic and emotional climax through the most subtle of means, inviting audiences to question the conventions, and workings, of film as a medium.  

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: "This is a remarkable film to add to the city’s collection and is an important one for future generations to see.

2 June - 17 July 2022

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