Sotheby’s is delighted to present a group of works to be sold to benefit the Pallant House Gallery Catalyst Endowment Appeal.
Pallant House Gallery in Chichester has one of the best public collections of Modern British art in the country, described by the Financial Times’ critic Jackie Wullschlager as a ‘revelation’. The museum is in fact a ‘collection of collections’ donated by a number of private individuals. Displayed in the domestic interiors of a Grade-1 listed Queen Anne townhouse and the contemporary galleries of the new wing, the Gallery first opened in 1982 with the collection of Walter Hussey, the former Dean of Chichester Cathedral, which includes works by Barbara Hepworth, Ivon Hitchens, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and others. This was followed in 1989 with Charles Kearley’s bequest of works by international artists such as Paul Cézanne, André Derain, Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, and Gino Severini. The Wilson Gift in 2006, from Colin St John Wilson and MJ Long, featured both iconic works by figurative artists such as Walter Sickert, David Bomberg, Lucian Freud and William Coldstream and an internationally significant collection of works by British Pop artists including Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, Richard Hamilton, R.B. Kitaj, and Eduardo Paolozzi. The collection continues to grow, with the recent addition of the George Dannatt Collection of St Ives artists, and a growing collection of contemporary and Outsider art. Each collection was formed through personal taste, choice and circumstance, not as an attempt to portray the history of Modern British art, although this is undoubtedly what they amount to.
The Gallery is known for its acclaimed programme of temporary exhibitions and thematic surveys such as Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War. It has a reputation for restoring British artists to prominence with ground-breaking exhibitions of artists including Edward Burra, Leonora Carrington, Keith Vaughan, Leon Underwood, John Tunnard and William Roberts, as well as reappraisals of Pop Artists such as R.B. Kitaj, Eduardo Paolozzi and Colin Self. In 2007 the Gallery won the Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year, and its learning and community programmes, such as the pioneering project Outside In, have received awards including the 2013 Charity Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage - a testament to the strength of the Gallery’s inclusive vision.
Lot 1 in the Evening Sale, and lots 100 to 111 in the Day Sale, have all been donated by contemporary artists represented in both the Gallery’s collection and its exhibition programme. Each work is offered for sale to raise funds for the Catalyst Endowment Fund, providing a secure source of income that will enable the Gallery to deliver its programmes and care for the collection. Having been awarded a £1million match funding grant in 2012 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Gallery has until 30 June 2016 to raise £1million. Proceeds from this sale will be matched pound for pound by the HLF, making it a remarkable opportunity to support Pallant House Gallery.
Simon Martin, Artistic Director, Pallant House Gallery