Glasgow Museums acquires works by local and international female artists
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Glasgow Museums acquires works by local and international female artists
Siân Robinson Davies, Conversations (2017), installed in Domestic Bliss, 2019 © the artist. Photo: Ruth Clark.

GLASGOW.- Glasgow Museums announced 14 recent acquisitions for the city’s fine art collection which include sculpture, video, painting and works on paper by artists Sara Barker, Kate Charlesworth, Michelle Hannah, Sharon Hayes, Winnie Herbstein, Mandy McIntosh and the Feegie Needlers, Carol Rhodes, Kate V Robertson, Anne Robinson, Siân Robinson Davies and Camara Taylor.

Acquired as part of a significant strand of Glasgow Museums collecting approach, developed in 2015 to address gender inequality, these works make an unequivocal statement about the value and quality of work by contemporary women and non-binary artists.

The new acquisitions increase the number of works by women in the Glasgow Museums’ fine art collection, which already includes internationally renowned artists Karla Black, Christine Borland Anne Collier, Jacqueline Donachie, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Victoria Morton, Charlotte Prodger and Hito Steyerl.

These recent acquisitions have been made possible through the support of a number of grant funders and organisations supporting the development of public collections. Of particular importance is acquisition of the capsule collection of work by Carol Rhodes (1959 -2018) which includes the painting Land Levels and Rises.

Although Rhodes was one of the most respected and admired painters in Scotland, her work was until now not represented in the civic collection of Glasgow, the city where she lived and worked. The acquisition of this painting, and a subsequent generous gift of a framed drawing and three prints, acknowledge her contribution to visual art in the city and her standing as a key British painter of the late 20th and early 21st century.

These recent acquisitions have been made possible through the support of a number of grant funders and organisations supporting the development of public collections including Art Fund, National Fund for Acquisitions, Henry Moore Foundation and Outset Scotland. Sharon Hayes is an artist who has long been sought by GoMA and Glasgow Museums and their practice is fitting with Glasgow Museums’ aims to collect socially conscious works in documentary media, a strand of collecting that was established through a partnership with the Art Fund under Art Fund International (2007-12).

Under this initiative, Glasgow Museums collected works by Roni Horn, Jenny Holzer, Emily Jacir and Barbara Kruger amongst others. Since the scheme drew to a close the gallery has continued to collect work made with a similar approach, including further partnership working with The Common Guild, which resulted in the recent acquisition of two works by Anne Collier. The works by Sharon Hayes, purchased by generous Art Fund support, continue GoMA’s efforts to collect works by leading international artists with a focus on works made by female (or non-cisgender) artists.

All of these acquisitions reflect current strands of work in the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) exhibitions, with Conversations by Siân Robinson Davies and FEGS URNY MUGS by Mandy McIntosh and the Feegie Needlers already on display in the exhibition Domestic Bliss. In addition, there are plans to display the works by Sharon Hayes and Winnie Herbstein in 2020 and an exhibition is currently in the early stages of planning to include works by Sara Barker, Carol Rhodes and Kate V Robertson for GoMA’s 25th anniversary in 2021.

Speaking about the acquisitions, GoMA Curator Katie Bruce said: “Glasgow Museums’ collection is widely recognised as one of the finest civic collections in Europe and the city has had a longstanding commitment to the purchase of fine art for the collection. I am delighted that this recent pertinent selection of work by female artists has been acquired to add to the contemporary art collection in the city.

“These latest acquisitions represent a legacy of the conversations developed through the 2015-16 exhibition Ripples on the Pond, recently discussed as a case study for Scottish Contemporary Art Network’ s Art in Action campaign. Ripples on the Pond was an exhibition of work exclusively by women, with a programme of associated activity such as events and screenings to support the work of women artists in Glasgow. It provoked a discussion on gender inequality in Glasgow Museums’ collection and how that could be addressed through future acquisitions.”

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Since 2002 GoMA has made a concerted effort to acquire works for Glasgow Museums’ collection by artists living and working in Glasgow, to recognise the contribution they have made to the city’s reputation for visual art.

This was extended to work by international artists, following the award of Art Fund International programme (2007 -2012), and Glasgow Museums will continue to endeavor to build a world-class collection of contemporary visual art. We are very grateful to Art Fund, National Fund for Acquisitions, Henry Moore Foundation and Outset Scotland for their support in making this possible.”
Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund, said:

“We are pleased to support GoMA in acquiring these two works by Sharon Hayes, and we admire Glasgow Museums’ ambitions to create gender parity within its already dynamic fine art collection.”

Godfrey Worsdale, Director, The Henry Moore Foundation, said: “The Henry Moore Foundation is delighted to have been able to support the acquisition of Sara Barker’s Double Son of Rubble for Glasgow Museums. The Foundation is committed to support activity that furthers the study and development of sculpture, but we are happier still to offer assistance where our help also contributes to a fairer reflection of gender balance within a collection containing sculpture, and beyond that, in sculpture’s developing history."

Dr Hazel Williamson, National Fund for Acquisitions Manager, said: “The National Fund for Acquisitions is delighted to have helped to secure Land Levels and Rises by Carol Rhodes for the collection at Glasgow Museums. The work of this distinctive artist and graduate of Glasgow School of Art is a significant addition to the city’s important fine art collection.”

Dr Kirstie Skinner, Director, OUTSET Scotland, said: “Outset Scotland was delighted to initiate and fund the acquisition of bodies of work by Siân Robinson Davies and Kate V Robertson for Glasgow Museums.

“Both make distinctive additions to established themes in the collection: the humour and humanity of Robinson’s “Conversations” speaks to the collection’s strand of domestic surrealism, and Robertson’s ‘transfers' from coloured newsprint “Better Versions #1-8” offer an enigmatic contemporary take on the landscape idyll. We are very grateful to the artists and to our supporters, in particular Robin Hardie, for making our gifts possible."

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