The SLG has a small yet strong collection of contemporary art. In the 1980s the gallery focused on collecting works by local artists and works relating to South London. Later, the gallery acquired work for its permanent collection in relation to its changing temporary exhibition programme, including the work of Gilbert and George, Anselm Kiefer and Sherrie Levine, as well as Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk and Ann-Sofi Siden.
The collection follows two main themes: artists picturing themselves and artists recording the local area, with works by Sarah Lucas, Keith Coventry, Angus Fairhurst, Christian Boltanski and Keith Tyson. The South London Gallery is best known for its changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions.
It may come as a surprise that SLG has a permanent collection. Many works can be seen in the building’s hallways and stairwells and pieces are often brought out in themed exhibitions. The new development of the building will give more space to make this broad-ranging collection visible.