ArtFunded work inspires new Guildhall collection
- Guildhall Art Gallery
- 30 January 2014
Mark Titchner's sculpture Plenty and Progress, bought by Guildhall Art Gallery with Art Fund support, has inspired a new contemporary art collection tackling issues raised by London's financial sector.
Situated within the City of London, the historical centre of Britain’s financial services industry, the Guildhall Art Gallery is perfectly placed to explore the often-controversial issues of money, wealth and the economy. Mark Titchner's 2012 sculpture Plenty and Progress will form the cornerstone of a new collection of contemporary art at the gallery, intended to provoke debate on the merits – and faults – of capitalism.
At first glance, Plenty and Progress seems to embody the affluence evoked by its title: Titchner's sculpture is spectacularly glossy, bursting with a vibrant red reflected within its own mirrored surfaces. Yet a close inspection reveals that the apparent plenty is only surface deep. The sculpture isn't precious metal but stainless steel, a material of austerity, while the circularity of the work seemingly resists any notion of linear progress. The work invites the viewer to consider the issues raised, without providing any conclusions of its own.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: 'Titchner’s Plenty and Progress will be a striking contemporary addition to the historic core of Guildhall Art Gallery’s important art collection. We’re really pleased that the acquisition will spearhead the gallery’s new collecting policy and the start of a new chapter in its illustrious story of service to people who live and work in, as well as visit, the Square Mile.'
The work was bought by the gallery with Art Fund support, plus grants from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of Guildhall Art Gallery, whose Vivien Knight Fund was established in memory of Vivien Knight, the art gallery’s previous curator, who died in 2009.
Plenty and Progress has been installed in the Guildhall's Undercroft Galleries and will be unveiled to the public on Thursday 6 February.