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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 3DH

Add TOO CUTE! to your Itinerary



Rachel Maclean will examine the world of cuteness by curating works from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham’s collection to reveal how objects and images can have the unique ability to be simultaneously sweet and sinister. An opening film has also been created by Maclean to introduce the themes of the exhibition.

Maclean’s display will showcase the multiple manifestations of sinister cuteness with works ranging from 19th-century oil paintings to internet-inspired installations. Artists include John Isaacs, Gillian Wearing, Ana Maria Pacheco, Helen Chadwick, Paula Rego, Peter Blake and Hermann Sondermann. 

From adult onesies to bunny ear photo-filters, there is an overwhelming presence of cuteness in contemporary society. Through the exhibition Maclean will ask why we feel the need to share and reproduce cute things, as well as question the fine line between cuteness and creepiness.

The gallery will be transformed with the artist’s signature colourful style and accompanying the exhibition will be an interpretative video with a twist! ‘Dr Cute’ - a grotesque Care Bear-like creature played by Maclean - will present a short lecture on the themes explored in the show, whilst being repeatedly distracted by its contents. The doctor will attempt to put forward an academic account of cuteness and its affects, but will be constantly hindered by sudden emotional responses, as artworks incite reflexes of love, repulsion and fear.

Too Cute! will also extend the social commentary that pervades Maclean’s video work. Pinocchio-inspired Spite Your Face was written following the Brexit campaign and most recently Make Me Up depicts social media’s encouragement for women to adhere to societal ideals. Maclean’s hour-long film Feed Me featured in BMAG’s 2017 Arts Council Collection exhibition I Want! I Want! and examined the preoccupations of contemporary society. 


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Tel: 0121 348 8000

Add TOO CUTE! to your Itinerary

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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, West MidlandsBirmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) first opened in 1885. It is housed in a Grade II* listed city centre landmark building. There are over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography.


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