Contemporary Art Society Acquisition for the Leeds Art Gallery

9 February 2010 By
Common Field
Common Field, formica on plywood, 2006. Acquired by the Contemporary Art Society with support from Bloomberg for the collection at Leeds Art Gallery, 2008, 120 x 120cm, © the artist, image courtesy:the artist and Sies + Hoke, Dusseldorf, photo by:Achim Kukulies

Bloomberg generously invited the Contemporary Art Society to nominate a shortlist of organisations from our nationwide membership of regional museums, to benefit from a new acquisition focused on `drawing in its broadest sense’. Leeds Art Gallery was selected for its curatorial ambition, an active and developing interest in collecting drawings by sculptors (particularly through the Henry Moore Institute), which this new acquisition aims to extend in scope, and to mark continuing refurbishment of its gallery spaces.

The Contemporary Art Society brought together curators from Bloomberg SPACE (the contemporary art gallery in Bloomberg’s European headquarters, open since 2002), and Leeds Art Gallery in association with The Henry Moore Institute, to select a suitable work, and we are delighted that a work by DJ Simpson has been purchased with funding from Bloomberg.

DJ Simpson takes a sculptural approach to drawing. He has said of his work that it is like ‘drawing with electricity’. He uses an electric router to gouge marks into the birch plywood or formica laminate supports, to create a relief surface articulated by abstract lines and forms. Mundane material is revealed for what it is and transformed by a process of drawing into something fascinating and quite beautiful. He was featured in the MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art exhibition Draw. Conversations around the Legacy of Drawing, January-April 2007, an acknowledgement of his importance as an artist working with drawing.

We would like to express our considerable gratitude to Bloomberg for extending our ARTfutures partnership through such a generous act of philanthropy to the benefit of one of our member organisations, and to Leeds Museums and Galleries and The Henry Moore Institute for the imaginative and expert way they have guided this exciting acquisition.