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East Midlands Chamber News

Pop Art to Britart

The first public exhibition of one of the most important collections of modern art in private hands in this country is being staged at the Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham.

There will be 60 works on display including some by David Hockney, Peter Blake, Damien Hirst and Bridget Riley.

The owner, David Ross, was the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse. Apart from his passion for collecting art, he supports the arts, sports and education through the David Ross Foundation. He is also an alumnus of The University of Nottingham and a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery.

The collection is particularly rich in paintings by artists of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.

David Hockney has three works in the exhibition — one from his student days, and two from his early trips to California. Peter Blake is represented by an early comic book inspired picture of Popeye. There is a Patrick Caulfield painting of a café interior just returned from his major retrospective at the Tate. A picture of Mick Jagger in handcuffs on a drugs charge is one of Richard Hamilton’s iconic images of Swinging London. Another of his works in the exhibition dates from much later in his life and shows Tony Blair as a gun-slinging cowboy at the time of the Iraq War. Joe Tilson’s Gagarin, Star, Triangle reveals the excitement in the 1960s with space travel.

Another generation of artists who were being born in the 1960s is represented by the YBAs (Young British Artists). They include Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn and Gavin Turk. The Ross collection holds an early spot painting by Hirst and a complete set of Quinn’s poisonous looking flower arrangements in the Winter Garden Series.

There are also major paintings by other key figures in British art, for example Bridget Riley’s dizzying Op Art paintings; a late Francis Bacon; and three works by Gilbert & George. It ends with a celebrity line-up in the photographic portraits of Mario Testino. Lady Diana, Kate Moss, Madonna, Mick Jagger, and Robbie Williams all feature.

Modern Masters from the David Ross Collection will on display from 23 November to 9 February. Admission is free.