Thursday, 18 June 2009
Last night we held a panel discussion for Paperview, exploring the subjects of work on paper and collecting art. Writer Martin Holman chaired the discussion, which as well as the curator of Paperview Danny Rolph, included Lizzie Neilson, Head of Collections at The Zabludowicz Collection, JD Evans, co founder of the Lodeveans Collection and myself on behalf of the John Jones Contemporary Collection.
Danny spoke about his ongoing fascination with paper as a material. He doesn't see it as a passive form waiting for instruction, but as more of a partner in the creative process. A self described 'cultural magpie', he highlighted some of the playful gestures incorporated into the installation of Paperview, such as the birds by Chris Ofili and Hurvin Anderson , both perched on one of the lines that run around the space, watched keenly by Paul Houseley's Cat, Velazquez, which is placed above Pauline Kraneis' watercolour of a net curtain.
I found it fascinating to hear more about The Zabludowicz and Lodeveans Collections - their reasons for existing, how the collections support artists, the acquisitions strategies in place and so on. The Zabludowicz Collection is particularly impressive - as well as the collection itself, they have a separate set up to focus specifically on commissioning artists.
The three collections have been founded for very different reasons and operate in very different ways, but are clearly linked by a passion for art and artists.
At the end of the discussion, Martin asked each of us to select a work from the exhibition that had caught our eye. Interestingly myself and JD both chose a small abstract work by a young artist that Danny had invited to exhibit work - Flo Pullin (she'd also caught Martin's eye). Lizzie chose a wonderful minimalist diptych by Anna Barriball from the Lodeveans Collection.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a great turnout of over 40 people.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Thursday night saw the opening of the seventh show in the John Jones Project Space – Paperview - curated by artist Danny Rolph. Danny approached us a few months back with a proposal to curate an exhibition exploring works on paper primarily from established art collections. As well as our own contemporary collection, Danny contacted the impressive Zabludowicz and Lodeveans collections, both of whom were happy to be involved, generously giving him access to an incredible range of works. Danny also decided to invite independent artists to include certain pieces that he felt enhanced his ‘survey’ of works on paper.
To install the show, he ran three bold black permanent vinyl lines around the Project Space which he then used to position the works. Taking an often playful tone, some works sit below the lines, others perch on the top line (interestingly many of these have birds in them…), some sit across all three lines. It’s a huge open space, so the lines really draw the space in. Some people compared it to the lines of a boxing ring, others to a musical stave with the artworks as notes. One collector even compared it to the blips on a heartbeat monitor…
It’s fascinating to see works from our own collection in a different context, sitting alongside other works. Danny’s placement of them has created new dialogues and opened our eyes to artists we haven’t encountered before. A particular favourite are the tiny watercolour works by the artist Flo Pullin, which the artist appears to have graffitied over with abstract blocks of flouroscent colours and glitter.
Building up the John Jones collection has been an enjoyable and addictive experience. The artists we collect have enhanced our understanding of different aspects of the world and given us fresh perspectives. We often get asked if we have methodologies or themes that dictate the collection – so to answer these questions and in general celebration of collecting art, we’re hosting a panel discussion on 17 June around the passions and practicalities of collecting. Lizzie Neilson, curator of The Zabludowicz Collection, Jon Evans of the Lodeveans Collection and myself as representative of the John Jones Collection, will join Danny Rolph, to discuss points raised by writer and critic Martin Holman. Everyone is welcome – please email email@example.com to reserve a place.
The event was filmed by our friends at MAXUSART, with various interviews, so we’ll post the clip later this week.
Images courtesy of Gareth Dutton