Two purchases funded by the UK’s leading independent art charity The Art Fund, through its £5 million funding scheme Art Fund International, are going on display for the first time at a new exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. The works by Lothar Baumgarten and Emily Jacir form part of the exhibition ‘Unsettled Objects’ which features pieces from Glasgow’s collection of contemporary art, and runs 10 from December 2009 until March 2011.
Lothar Baumgarten – Unsettled Objects (1968–69) Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
On display for the first time is Lothar Baumgarten’s installation Unsettled Objects (1968–69) Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. This work’s combination of characteristics of 20th century conceptual art with acute and insightful social critique sets the tone for the rest of the exhibition. Unsettled Objects (1968-69) is a seminal early work by this influential German artist looking at how non-Western art and artefacts are displayed in a Western museum. In this slide projection Baumgarten uses a combination of text and image which has informed the work of subsequent generations of artists. GoMA is the only UK institution outside London to hold work by Baumgarten, who previously exhibited in Glasgow at Transmission Gallery in 1994.
Emily Jacir’s From Texas With Love is a video accompanied by a selection of songs chosen by Palestinian people who were asked what they would like to hear if they could drive for an hour on an uninterrupted journey in complete freedom. Born in Saudi Arabia, the artist lives and works in Ramallah and New York, and her critically acclaimed work – for which she was awarded a Golden Lion award at the 52nd Venice Biennale – highlights the restricted day-to-day lives of the Palestinian people.
Also on show in the exhibition are works which address a range of issues by artists including Graham Fagen, Beth Forde, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Ross Sinclair, Jo Spence, George Rodger and Zineb Sedira.
Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: “Glasgow’s bid for Art Fund International was to build an international context for their existing contemporary art collection and resonate with the best Scottish artists working today, and this display triumphantly reflects that ambition.”
Bailie Liz Cameron, Chair of Culture and Sport Glasgow, said: “This exhibition is a powerful reminder of the scope of the collection of modern art that Glasgow has. It is also giving GoMA the chance to show some of the new works which are being added to that collection thanks to Art Fund International and the partnership with The Common Guild. These are outstanding acquisitions, which reflects our ambition to build on the city’s reputation as the home of the very best in modern art outside London”
Katrina Brown, Director of The Common Guild, said: “The Art Fund made it possible for works of such quality and significance as those by Jacir and Baumgarten to come to Glasgow on a permanent basis, to be enjoyed by generations to come, but we have to be equally grateful to the fantastic artists who live and work in this city and who have made Glasgow such an important context for truly world-class contemporary art and a display such as this possible. Shown together for the first time, these works begin to suggest the full potential of what can be achieved with such committed collecting.”
The scheme was devised by The Art Fund to encourage a radical change in the scale and ambition of public collections of international contemporary art. Five UK museums were allocated £1million each to help build their collections; GoMA has acquired 12 works by four different artists. The Gallery of Modern Art established a partnership with The Common Guild, a Glasgow based visual arts organisation for contemporary projects, exhibitions and events to apply for the £1million award.
The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. Recent achievements include: helping secure Titian’s Diana and Actaeon for the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London in February 2009 with a grant of £1 million; helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1 million; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org