Art charities collaborate to fund Steve McQueen's Giardini for Venice

  • 4 June 2009

The production of Steve McQueen's new film Giardini, for his exhibition in the British Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, was supported by a new philanthropic partnership between two independent art charities, it was revealed today.

The Art Fund and Outset Contemporary Art Fund joined forces earlier this year to fund half the costs towards the production of Giardini. It is the first collaboration between the two charities, which both exist to ensure that outstanding works of art are seen by the widest possible audience. This UK funding was secured by Thomas Dane Gallery, London. The remaining half of the production funding was secured through Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris, from an anonymous European funder. The British Council commissioned Steve McQueen to represent Britain at the 53rd Venice Biennale and has organised his exhibition in the British Pavilion.

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: "Steve McQueen is an exceptional artist who has won many accolades. The Art Fund is delighted to be working with Outset on funding this new work, and to be able together to give an edition of it to a UK public collection in due course. This will be announced in autumn 2009."

Candida Gertler, co-Director and Trustee of Outset, said: "It is the remit of Outset’s production fund to support the most exciting and ambitious work and then to donate it to a public institution. We are thrilled to be supporting an artist of the calibre of Steve McQueen."

Steve McQueen added: "I am very grateful to The Art Fund and Outset for their support in this project – especially in the current financial climate - and delighted that more people will be able to see the work as a result".

The Art Fund has been working with McQueen on other projects. In 2007 it gave his powerful work Queen and Country to the Imperial War Museum. The work features images of British soldiers killed in the Iraq war on stamp sheets. The Art Fund is also campaigning on McQueen’s behalf to see his vision realised for the images to be issued as official stamps by Royal Mail and is currently touring the work across the UK.


For more information contact Madeleine Burbidge, Interim Head of Press, The Art Fund on +44 207 225 4820 or +44 7912 777761 or

Notes to editors

British Council

· The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is managed by the British Council.

· The British Council works with an advisory committee of leading arts professionals across the UK which advises on the artist selection of the Venice Biennale every two years.

· The British Council organises and curates the British representation at the Venice Biennale, through its Visual Arts Department.

· Details of the Venice Biennale and a complete history of the British Pavilion are on the British Council website:

Steve McQueen’s Giardini is at the British Pavilion, Giardini di Castello 30122 from 7 June–22 November 2009 from 10am–6pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.

The Art Fund

· The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.

· It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.

· Queen and Country is part of the Imperial War Museum’s permanent collection, following its presentation by The Art Fund in November 2007 with a full grant of £60,000. Steve McQueen was commissioned by The Imperial War Museum and Manchester International Festival to respond to the conflict in Iraq

· For details of Queen and Country tour, and to sign The Art Fund petition, please visit

· For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit

Outset Contemporary Art Fund

· Outset Contemporary Art Fund was founded in 2003 as a philanthropic organisation dedicated to supporting new art

· The charitable foundation focuses on bringing private funding from its supporters and trustees to public museums, galleries and art projects

· Since its inception the fund has supported most of London's leading visual arts institutions with capital campaign, education, outreach and programming needs and donated nearly 100 works of challenging contemporary art across Britain and abroad.