Pop Art to Britart

November 2nd, 2014

One of the most important collections of late-twentieth century and contemporary art in private hands is going on show at Lakeside Arts Centre.

Pop Art to Britart includes works by David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield, Bridget Riley, Peter Blake, Francis Bacon and Richard Hamilton and more recent pieces by Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn and Gavin Turk.

The collection belongs to David Ross, an alumnus of the University (Law) and co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse. Mr Ross is a member of University Council and pursues a passion for the arts, sports and education through the David Ross Foundation.

Mr Ross’s collection is largely drawn from pieces created by British artists in his lifetime. He told Apollo magazine: “It’s supposed to be from 1965 onwards. The problem is that when you start getting involved with things like Bridget Riley and Allen Jones and David Hockney and one or two others, actually the reality of the situation is that if you chop off what happened between 1960 and 1965, it doesn’t really work. So whilst it’s supposed to be relatively strictly 1965 to the present day, you will find that there are a couple of works by Bridget Riley that predate the parameters.”

The earliest works date from 1960. Peter Blake’s What’s Wrong Wimpy? Popeye, November 1960 and David Hockney’s The First Love Painting evoke a heady decade in which British society broke free from the privations of the postwar period into an atmosphere of hedonistic optimism.

The most recent, Shock and Awe by Richard Hamilton, was completed in 2010. Like Blake and Hockney, Hamilton is regarded as one of the founders of Pop Art, but this late work defines a different world to that of the early 1960s. Hamilton’s depiction of Tony Blair is bitterly satiric.

British Pop is represented in depth. In addition to Blake, Hockney and Hamilton, other key figures are included, notably Patrick Caulfield, Derek Boshier, Allen Jones and Gerald Laing. Their legacy is apparent in  works by young British artists Hirst, Quinn and Turk.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that Lakeside Arts Centre will be hosting this outstanding and ground-breaking exhibition of late-twentieth century art. It will provide a wonderful opportunity for audiences to get up close to a wide range of contemporary pieces which never before have been made available for public view.”

The exhibition will be opened at Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, on 20 November by Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate.

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