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Pop Art From Eric & Jean Cass Exhibited at Contemporary Art Society - ArtLyst Article image

Pop Art From Eric & Jean Cass Exhibited at Contemporary Art Society

27-09-2013
 
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A recently donated collection of over 300 important modern and contemporary artworks given by the collectors Eric and Jean Cass to the Contemporary Art Society for gifting to museums, including works by Karel Appel, Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor Pasmore, Pablo Picasso and Niki de Saint-Phalle will be exhibited at the CAS. The donation is one of the most important gifts that the Contemporary Art Society has handled in its 103 year history and totals over £4 million.

Developed over 40 years, Eric and Jean's collection was one of the most unique and significant collections of modern and contemporary art in the UK and was previously housed in the interiors and gardens of 'Bleep', their spectacular modernist home in Surrey named after the pager system that Eric Cass' company invented. Wanting their collection to benefit the widest possible audience, the philanthropists approached the Contemporary Art Society to disseminate works from their collection to museums across the whole country.

From 16 October 2013, a selection of Pop works donated to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands, from The Eric & Jean Cass Gift will be on display at the Contemporary Art Society. This is the first time the Contemporary Art Society has exhibited any of the works from the gift and it will be the first of several displays showcasing selected works from Eric and Jean Cass' collection.

The gift has allowed Wolverhampton Art Gallery to develop its collection of Pop Art by introducing works by Victor Vasarely, Julio Le Parc and Karel Appel and a new focus on the impact of European artists on the UK Pop movement. Major works on display include the first Karel Appel work purchased by Eric Cass, Compelviction (1967); Victor Vasarely's AXO-99 (1988); and Longue March (1976) by Julio Le Parc, an impromptu purchase by Eric and Jean during a visit to Paris. Other works from Wolverhampton's collection will also be on display to contextualise the impact of the gift, including those by Eduardo Paolozzi and Bridget Riley.

Eric and Jean Cass said: “When the time came for us to leave Bleep and our 365-strong collection of modern and contemporary art, we had to find a home that would love the pieces as much as we did. The Contemporary Art Society provided the answer. It has been a big job, carried out with the same spirit that involved us in collecting in the first place.”

Sophia Bardsley, Deputy Director at Contemporary Art Society, said: "We are thrilled to be able to show a selection of works from The Eric & Jean Cass Gift in our space from October. Eric and Jean's collection is one of the most eclectic we have worked with and combines major modernist works with others collected during their many travels - all highlighting their passion for collecting works of art that they enjoyed and identified with. Their collection is hugely personal. Eric and Jean's decision to gift over 300 works from their collection to the Contemporary Art Society for gifting to UK museums shows their engagement with the arts and their commitment to philanthropy on a national scale. Their donation will make a long-term difference to regional museum collections across the whole of the UK - and it is this development of regional collections, alongside inspiring an appreciation of contemporary art with regional audiences, that is at the heart of the Contemporary Art Society's mission."

Pop Works from the Eric & Jean Cass Gift runs 16 October - 22 November. There is a discussionof The Eric & Jean Cass Gift by curator and writer Ann Elliott and Marguerite Nugent, curator and programme development manager at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, on 19 October at 15.00 at the Contemporary Art Society.

Pop Works 16 October - 22 November 2013

Pop Works from the Eric & Jean Cass Gift runs 16 October - 22 November. There is a discussionof The Eric & Jean Cass Gift by curator and writer Ann Elliott and Marguerite Nugent, curator and programme development manager at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, on 19 October at 15.00 at the Contemporary Art Society.
 


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