Roger Hiorns

8 July 2015
Roger Hiorns, 'Temporary Construction to Hidden Obligations (2001)', steel, enamel (nylon, hardware) 162 x 214 x 60.5cm, © the artist Courtesy Corvi-Mora, London.

Whitworth Art Gallery

Roger Hiorns (b.1975, Birmingham, UK) is a London-based artist with an international reputation. Hiorns studied at Goldsmiths College, London, from 1993 until 1996, and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2009 for his most well-known installation, Seizure (2008), commissioned by Artangel. Hiorns is best known for his use of unusual materials and how these have an effect on found objects and urban situations, often creating surprising transformations. Fire emerges from drains, perfume stains metal surfaces, and copper sulphate crystals colonise industrial objects.

In 2014 the Contemporary Art Society was privileged to be asked to gift two major early works by Roger Hiorns to Museum Members. The Coming Afflictions Suffered For The Dirt Of Love features Hiorns’s signature copper sulphate crystals on the corners of a wall-hung triangle. The work presents pure forms of seemingly straightforward, functional material rooted in geometry and industrial production. Temporary Construction To Hidden Obligations is a structure of black-enamelled sheet steel that makes a witty yet respectful reference to the work Twenty Four Hours (1960) by Anthony Caro. The gift of these two works will be significant additions to Leeds Art Gallery and the Whitworth, where the artist was unrepresented in both collections.

Leeds Art Gallery was established in 1888 and is home to one of the most significant collections of twentieth-century British art in the UK where it offers a changing programme of exhibitions and displays throughout the year. The collection boasts important works by eminent figures such as Francis Bacon, Jacob Epstein, Antony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley and Georgina Starr. The Henry Moore Institute manages the sculpture collection and archive of Leeds Museums and Galleries and through the generous support of the Henry Moore Foundation, the Gallery has bought many important sculptures and can boast one of the strongest public collections of sculpture in Britain.

The Whitworth was established in 1889 and houses an internationally important collection of around 55,000 works of art. The Collection ranges from outstanding groups of works on paper to textiles and wallpapers made for the mass market. It is also home to a unique collection of Outsider Art and international contemporary works. Dynamic and changing, the Whitworth continues to expand its collection through gifts and purchases and in 2014 underwent a major £15 million redevelopment, transforming the galleries and doubling them in size, while creating new spaces for the collection and exhibitions.

Gifted by an anonymous donor through the Contemporary Art Society, 2014


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