Installation view: James Turrell © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

Contemporary Eye: Material Matters

Inspired by Pallant House Gallery’s Collection of Collections, Artwise proposed to the gallery a series of exhibitions, The Contemporary Eye Series, that would look at contemporary art through the lens of the collector. Major works by internationally acclaimed artists such as Angela Bulloch, Angus Fairhurst, Langlands & Bell, Sarah Lucas, Oswaldo Maciá, Katie Paterson, Charles Sandison, and James Turrell, were temporarily lent to the gallery from various private collections; they were woven in amongst the gallery’s permanent displays and spaces, creating a dynamic dialogue between its historic interior and their contemporary aesthetics and merging the familiar with the cutting edge.

Material Matters, the first of the series, explored the challenges posed by contemporary art and the various mediums used to produce it; from multi-media installations that used light, sound and video, to artworks that were deliberately created on consumable materials that would visibly deteriorate with time, the exhibition played with notions of experimentation and preservation. The staircase, for example, was adorned with a new installation created by artist collective WOKmedia. This privately owned work featured twenty-four, large-scale porcelain eggs, both suspended from the ceiling and shattered onto the floor, revealing traditional Chinese erotic paintings from inside their broken shells.

Contemporary Eye: Material Matters was a great success and provided a fascinating insight into the world of today’s art collecting. The project brought together contemporary collector, artist, guest curators and gallery in a unique and effective collaboration.

Contemporary Eye: Material Matters images

  • Katie Paterson © the artist

    Katie Paterson © the artist

  • Installation view: Langlands & Bell with Collector Doris Lockhart

    Installation view: Langlands & Bell with Collector Doris Lockhart

  • Installation view: Angus Fairhurst © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

    Installation view: Angus Fairhurst © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

  • Installation view: Collector Rose Knox-Peebles through Angus Fairhurst © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

    Installation view: Collector Rose Knox-Peebles through Angus Fairhurst © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

  • Installation view: WOK Media © the artists. Photo by John MacLean

    Installation view: WOK Media © the artists. Photo by John MacLean

  • Installation view: Sarah Lucas © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

    Installation view: Sarah Lucas © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

  • Oswaldo Maciá © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

    Oswaldo Maciá © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

  • Installation view: Charles Sandison © the artist. Photo by John MacLean

    Installation view: Charles Sandison © the artist. Photo by John MacLean