London On the eve of a sale to benefit one of Birmingham’s Contemporary art institutions, artist Ian Davenport reflects on the importance of Ikon Gallery.


What does Ikon mean to you?

The Ikon Gallery is very important for me because in 2003 I had a large survey show of paintings. It was an important milestone in my career and the first time I was able to exhibit an extensive body of work, selected from the previous fifteen years.

What is the work you have in the sale?

The painting I have for sale in the auction is called Colourcade: Yellow and Black, and it develops themes I have been exploring to do with colour and materials. It is formed of brightly coloured lines of paint that have been carefully dripped down the surface and then pool and puddle at the bottom of the work.


Does the work have any significance in relation to Ikon?

It does, the Director of Ikon, Jonathan Watkins, saw the very first attempts to make these pieces in the studio and was very encouraging. He eventually invited me to take part in a large group show he was curating in London where I made a massive wall painting.

If you could offer advice to your younger self what would it be?

Picasso was asked at the end of his life the same question to which he replied, “I would have trusted myself more.” I think that is pretty good advice!


What do you think the next 50 years will hold for Ikon?

I hope it builds on the legacy and reputation it has worked so hard to create. It has one of the best exhibition programs in the country, and the shows are always ambitious and exciting. The money raised from the sale at Sotheby’s will ensure that the gallery is able to continue commissioning artists to make beautiful and provocative work in and around Birmingham.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

02 July 2015 | London