Major art donation for Chichester's Pallant House Gallery

Craig Martin
Craig Martin

Artworks by major contemporary British artists including Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin have been given a permanent home at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery.

The six works by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Peter Blake, Rachel Whiteread, Gavin Turk and Michael Craig Martin are a gift to the gallery from Frank and Lorna Dunphy under the Cultural Gifts Scheme.

Ranging from paintings to sculptures, the new artworks help demonstrate the legacy of British Pop Art and the development of conceptual art in Britain through the works of the Young British Artists (YBAs), a loose group of British artists who began exhibiting together in the late 1980s.

Frank Dunphy was Damien Hirst’s manager from 1995 until 2010. He and his wife Lorna have a lifelong love of art and have amassed a collection that charts the radical 1990s art scene, of which they were at the very heart. This September, 200 more works from their collection will be displayed and auctioned at Sotheby’s in London, further cementing their importance as collectors.

The works the Dunphys have chosen to give to the gallery were all initially bought for display in their homes, including in Bognor Regis.

Amongst the new works given to the Gallery is Bognor Blue by Damien Hirst, part of the artist’s 2008 Butterfly series which incorporated real butterflies into his paintings. The painting was named at the Dunphy’s home in Bognor Regis in a homage to the colour of the sea. Roman Standard (2005) by Tracey Emin was initially placed in the Dunphy’s garden. The sculpture, a small bronze bird perched on top of a 3.5 metre pole can now be found in the Gallery’s courtyard. Also currently on display in the gallery is Rachel Whiteread’s Untitled (For Frank) (1999). One of the first pieces Frank Dunphy acquired for his collection, the sculpture is a plaster relief of bookshelves created by Whiteread as part of an room installation in the MOMA collection.

Frank Dunphy said: ‘We love our connection with Pallant House Gallery and the fact that we can come and see the works when they are on show. There is nobody more deserving. We prefer to give to a smaller gallery than one of the nationals where half of it will never be shown.”

Simon Martin, director of Pallant House Gallery, said: “We are thrilled to receive Frank and Lorna Dunphy’s generous gift. Pallant House Gallery is often described as a ‘collection of collections’ and this remarkable addition will enable us to present the continuing history of British art from the 20th century to the present day.

“We are hugely grateful to Frank and Lorna for this extraordinary gift, as well as Sotheby’s, Arts Council England and DCMS for their support.”

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