The Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze London this year will be purchasing a major work at the fair for Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne.
The Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund was set up in 2012 and is designed to support the acquisition of significant contemporary works for Contemporary Art Society museum members across the UK, drawing together the knowledge and experience of private collectors with that of museum curators.
The Collections Fund at Frieze was awarded to Towner Art Gallery after a competitive application process open to the Contemporary Art Society’s 70 Museum Members across the UK. The work acquired through the Collections Fund at Frieze will be announced at 15.00 on 4 October 2017 in the Reading Room at Frieze London.
The Towner has a significant collection of works that explore notions of the ‘edge in landscape’, including those by Yael Bartana, Tacita Dean, Olafur Eliasson (a Contemporary Art Society acquisition in 2004), Omer Fast and Isaac Julien. The museum is located on the southern coast of England, along the constantly changing boundary between land and sea. Looking out across the channel to Europe it has an interest in artists that engage with ideas of geographical, political and imaginary borders, and how these can become places of both exchange and conflict.
Eastbourne Borough Council has recently proposed to cut its investment in Towner Art Gallery by 50% from 2018, in a move that potentially threatens the town’s flagship cultural institution.
Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society, said: “The committee chose to work with the Towner Art Gallery because the themes they proposed to explore seem so urgent in 2017. Regional museums are a vital and disproportionally important resource within their communities and we are proud to be working with a gallery that in spite of facing dramatic funding cuts remains so ambitious in their collecting and keen to present international work of the highest standard to their audiences.
Emma Morris, Executive Director, Towner Art Gallery, said: “The opportunity for Towner to purchase significant contemporary works for our collection has always depended on the generosity of funders and the Contemporary Art Society have been instrumental in helping us bring many works into our collection over the past twenty years. Despite the proposed funding cut, we remain resolute in our ambition to present world class exhibitions and strengthen our collection. This opportunity provided by the Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund at Frieze supports our commitment to acquire important works which explore and reflect the pressing concerns of our time.”
Jo Stella-Sawicka, Artistic Director, Frieze Fairs (Europe, Middle East, Russia & Africa) said: “We are delighted to see the CAS Collections Fund at Frieze return after its successful debut in 2016, acquiring two major works by John Akomfrah and Kader Attia for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. The partnership underlies how important these kinds of initiatives are for museums, providing access and visibility to the international market for our public collections and enabling them to make ambitious, international additions to their collections. We are very proud to see the fund return this year.”
The work acquired through the Collections Fund at Frieze will be announced at 15.00 on 4 October 2017 in the Reading Room at Frieze London.
Notes to Editors:
- About the Collections Fund at Frieze
The Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund was set up in 2012 and is designed to support the acquisition of significant contemporary works for Contemporary Art Society museum members across the UK. A key aim of the scheme is to draw together the knowledge, experience and expertise of private collectors with that of museum curators in a programme of research leading to an acquisition. For 2017 the Contemporary Art Society is once again partnering with Frieze London and will purchase a major work at the fair for Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Past acquisitions through the Collections Fund have included works by Simon Fujiwara for Leeds Art Gallery (2013); Ben Rivers for Royal Pavilion & Museum, Brighton & Hove, and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (2014); Hito Steyerl for GoMA, Glasgow (2015) and John Akomfrah and Kader Attia for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (2016).
The Collections Fund at Frieze is co-chaired by The Lady Lupton, with Jill Hackel and Anna Yang. The committee includes: Nicola Blake, Hugo Brown, Margaret Erbe, Emma Goltz, Paul Smith, Emily Sun, and Cathy Wills.
2. About the Contemporary Art Society
The Contemporary Art Society champions the collecting of outstanding contemporary art and craft in the UK. Since 1910 the charity has donated thousands of works by living artists to museums, from Picasso, Bacon, Hepworth and Moore in their day, through to the influential artists of our times. Sitting at the heart of cultural life in the UK, the Contemporary Art Society brokers philanthropic support for the benefit of museums and their audiences across the entire country. Their work ensures that the story of art continues to be told now and for future generations. www.contemporaryartsociety.org
3. About Towner Art Gallery
Founded as an art gallery for the people, Towner Art Gallery presents exhibitions of national and international importance to audiences across the UK and beyond. Showcasing the most exciting developments in modern and contemporary art, Towner develops and supports artistic practice, and provides a place for experiencing, creating and discussing art and culture. The gallery welcomes over 140,000 visitors a year and collaborates with individuals, communities and organisations to deliver an inclusive and accessible associated public programme and learning offer. Their acclaimed Collection of 4500 works is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art. In 2014, Towner became an independent charitable Trust, supported by a Board of Trustees, chaired by David Dimbleby. Towner is supported by Eastbourne Borough Council and Arts Council England through its National Portfolio Programme. www.townereastbourne.org.uk
4. About Frieze
Frieze is the leading platform for modern and contemporary art for scholars, connoisseurs, collectors and the general public alike. Frieze comprises three magazines—frieze magazine, Frieze Masters Magazine and Frieze Week—and three international art fairs—Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze New York. Additionally, Frieze organizes a program of special courses and lectures in London and abroad through Frieze Academy.
Frieze was founded in 1991 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, with the launch of frieze magazine, the leading international magazine of contemporary art and culture. In 2003, Sharp and Slotover launched Frieze London art fair, which takes place each October in The Regent’s Park, London. In 2012, they launched Frieze New York, which occurs each May in Randall’s Island Park, and Frieze Masters, which coincides with Frieze London in October and is dedicated to art from ancient to modern. Frieze fairs are sponsored by global lead partner Deutsche Bank.