Recent Gifts, Acquisitions and Bequests

13 March 2012 By

January 2012

The Contemporary Art Society exists to develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK. We do so by raising the funds and brokering partnerships in order to purchase, commission and gift works of art to public collections. We work closely with over 64 museums and galleries across the UK that subscribe to the Contemporary Art Society as members. Over the last 100 years we have played a unique and largely solitary role in the formation of public collections of contemporary art in this country, donating more than 8000 works where they are enjoyed by audiences everywhere.


Three Works by Andrew Kerr

Purchased for Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow in 2011

All three works are titled Untitled and dated 2008

The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery is home to one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland. It includes over 450 paintings, 40,000 works on paper, and modest holdings of applied and decorative art and sculpture. Important historically because of its origins in William Hunter’s collection, which included works by Rembrandt, Chardin and Stubbs, it has developed particular strengths in Whistler, Mackintosh and Scottish Art, especially the Glasgow Boys and Scottish Colourists. The Hunterian Print Room houses the largest collection of works on paper in Scotland, with one of its principal strengths being the collection of mainly British drawings and watercolours.

Andrew Kerr lives and works in Glasgow. His small figurative works on paper seem to shift in focus from the sharply distinct series of these three works acquired for The Hunterian’s collection to his recent, far more impressionistic works. As paintings from life dominated by a versatile blue sheet, Kerr has painted his working environment again and again. There is a fragility to the work, the frayed paper edges as much a part of the work as the image itself. These works have been specifically selected to be shown with a small series of historic works, also painted from the artist’s studio.

Seven Works by Keith Vaughn

Donated to UK museums through the Contemporary Art Society, as a bequest from Dr Ronald Lande, in memory of his life partner Walter Urech.

The following museums have been selected to receive work/s from the bequest:

Abbot Hall Gallery, Lakeland Arts Trust
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
Towner, Eastbourne
York Art Gallery
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Keith Vaughan (1912 – 1977) was born in West Sussex and is known for his depiction of the male nude. The works in this gift are a mixture of paintings and gouache drawings dating from between 1954 and 1966 and are important examples of how Vaughan’s style pushed the figure of the male nude into almost complete abstraction. Early influences on Vaughan were those of Cézanne and the Impressionists as well as English Neo-Romantics such as Graham Sutherland, John Minton and John Craxton, some of whom he met during the Second World War. His later influence in abstraction came from Nicolas de Staël, which can be seen in the figures as they became more like linear forms within the image. Vaughan’s reputation grew in the 1950s with important retrospectives of his work at the Whitechapel in 1962 and the University of York in 1970. His work is represented in many public collections across the UK, including Tate and The British Council. This bequest is particularly timely as it coincides with the 100th anniversay of Vaughan’s birth.

Dr Ronald Lande was a great supporter of Vaughan and frequently visited him in his studio. Last year, another work owned by Dr Lande, David Hockney’s A Rake’s Progress was gifted to the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Images: (top) Andrew Kerr, Untitled, 2008 acrylic on paper, 33 x 59cm © the artist, courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd. Photo: Ruth Clark. (bottom) Keith Vaughan, Two Figures, 1966, oil on canvas, 122 x 91cm © the artist’s estate. Photo: Joe Plommer.