Emerging Artists Take Center Stage at ‘Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years’

Sometime between now and 16th August, do yourself a favour and make your way to Belsize Park for ‘Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years‘ now on show at Zab London HQ. As for the launch event Thursday last, it was a real party — mini fish & chips were munched upon outside, whilst the G&T’s happily flowed indoors amongst some of the most provocative, beautiful and challenging contemporary art I’ve yet seen.

Commemorating 20 years of their collection, which focuses primarily on emerging artists, this exhibition is not only full of once-radical-now-classic YBAs like Damien Hirst, Martin Creed and Sarah Lucas, and international contemporary art figures the likes of Sigmar Polke, but also, perhaps most thrillingly, of young, emerging talent you may or may not have heard of yet.

'I Love You,' Damien Hirst, Butterflies and household gloss on canvas, 1994-5
‘I Love You,’ Damien Hirst, Butterflies and household gloss on canvas, 1994-5
'Spamaggedon,' Sarah Lucas, 2004
‘Spamaggedon,’ Sarah Lucas, 2004

At the opening, I looked up to the foyer from the ground floor only to be greeted by colourful beach towels hanging on poles like flags. My initial reaction was to giggle at this “art,” but I must admit these works, entitled ‘Velour Series‘ and created by Alexandre da Cunha, are perhaps those that have stuck with me most since my visit to the show. As I always say, that’s got to mean something!

'Velour Series,' Alexandre da Cunha,  2005-06. Installation view, Revolution des Altäglichen, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London (via www.zabludowiczcollection.com)
‘Velour Series,’ Alexandre da Cunha, 2005-06. Installation view, Revolution des Altäglichen, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London (via http://www.zabludowiczcollection.com)

At ArtAttack, we constantly ask the question, “what is art?,” and we do so not to formulate an answer but rather to prove that the definition of Art is ever-changing, flexible and evolving. ‘Velour Series,‘ as well as many other pieces showcased in the exhibition, (including my personal favourite, Guyton\Walker’s ‘Coconut Lamps‘) are welcome reminders that Art is without limits, and as long as visionaries like the Zabludowicz family, Charles Saatchi and others keep collecting, more radical forms of art will continue to thrive and cement their place in our culture.

'Coconut Lamps,' Guyton\Walker, Coconuts, electric wiring, lightbulbs, 2005. Courtesy of the artist, Zabludowicz Collection, and Greene Naftali, NY. (Via www.zabludowiczcollection.com
‘Coconut Lamps,’ Guyton\Walker, Coconuts, electric wiring, lightbulbs, 2005. Courtesy of the artist, Zabludowicz Collection, and Greene Naftali, NY. (Via http://www.zabludowiczcollection.com

Another piece that really peaked my interest was Jim Lambie‘s ‘Zobop (Fluorescent)’. Consisting of a bright neon colour patterned staircase, this work invited viewers to sit down amidst the hypnotic maze of hot pinks, oranges and greens. Dizzying, yet welcoming, and simple despite it’s uniqueness, this installation is the perfect illustration of the splendour of this collection and the open-minded brilliance of the Zabludowicz family as collectors.

'Zobop (Fluorescent),' Jim Lambie, 2006
‘Zobop (Fluorescent),’ Jim Lambie, 2006

One of ArtAttack’s major aims is to provide a platform for unknown and emerging artists, and on a much larger scale, this is what the Zabludowicz Collection does. They collect art that the average person might easily pass over as rubbish. And you know what they say about one man’s trash…

– India Irving

Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years‘ is on view at Zabludowicz Collection until 16th August; 176 Prince of Wales Road London, NW5 3PT; Open Thursday- Sunday 12PM-6PM & By Appointment; Admission: FREE

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