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Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years

6 May 2015 Jonathan Velardi

London Calling investigates the major exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection that celebrates one of the capital's leading independent art collections in its 20th year.

A major exhibition featuring over thirty international artists celebrates one of the capital’s leading independent art collections in this its landmark year. Since 1994, the Zabludowicz Collection in North London has pioneered both the patronage and presentation of contemporary art and artists from its neoclassical headquarters in a converted nineteenth-century Methodist Chapel at 176 Prince of Wales Road in Camden. ‘Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years’ showcases two decades of dedicated collecting by founders Anita and Poju Zabludowicz, who have amassed a collection of works by over 500 hundred artists, which span an important contextual timeframe for contemporary art activity in both London as well as on the international stage.

The exhibition presents an intimate portrait of twenty-first century collectors: their taste and acumen documented by the collection’s early days in the 90s during the YBA movement in London, through to the acquisition of artists from around the world that contributes towards the growth of the private collection to this day. In addition to showcasing an enviable roster of critical artworks to vie with the most established of institutions – Emin, Hirst, Polke, Tillmans and Wearing to name only a few – the collection has successfully staged ambitious exhibitions on various themes on architecture, performance and film: from the group exhibition around cultural production in ‘Past-Forward’ from 2008 and Toby Ziegler’s large-scale mechanical installation in 2010, to the first solo exhibition of American collaborative partnership Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin in 2014, when their acclaimed ‘Priority Infield’ installation, commissioned for The Encyclopedic Palace at the 55th Venice Biennale, was recreated for the London gallery. Followers of Anita Zabludowicz’s popular ‘Art Diary’ Instagram feed (@anitazart) will already know about the focus of emerging talent that plays a significant role in the collection. From studio visit snaps to young artists in downtime, Anita’s prolific search for developing practices attests to the collection’s longevity to date.

Operating across a network of three sites - the gallery and project space in London, an outpost on Broadway in Times Square, New York City and a residency programme on the island of Sarvisalo in Finland - the collection offers a unique approach to the production of contemporary art, which has arguably pioneered the launching platform models for artist productivity so typical of organisations in recent years. The gallery and project space in London, established in 2007, presents new works and commissions produced at the residency in Sarvisalo in conjunction with a dynamic programme of group and solo exhibitions by artists linked to the collection, often featuring works never before seen by a UK audience. Testing Grounds, an annual arts education and curating initiative, also provides experimentation and exposure of artists at all levels in their career that continues to inform and shape this decidedly contemporary collection.

These chapters in the collection’s career will be highlighted in the exhibition alongside works by artists whose practice are inspired by the everyday. Martin Creed’s totem pole sculpture of various chair designs in ‘Work No. 997’, 2009 will be framed by Jim Lambie’s technicolour vinyl tape intervention ‘Zobop (Flourescent), 2006, which will illuminate the floor of the former chapel. Further highlights include the collection’s ongoing commitment to supporting artists in their early careers with a series of reimagined mixed-media installations by Samara Golden, Laura Buckley, Haroon Mirza and Dave Maclean. The exhibition will be accompanied by a symposium in partnership with University College London Art Museum, which will examine art collections that spotlight emerging art practice and the issues around collecting new and experimental art.

‘Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years’ opens at the Zabludowicz Collection London on 1 May and runs to 16 August 2015

 

 

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