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Sculptures from The Ingram Collection to exhibit at Canary Wharf

29th August 2013 Print
Ingram Collection

An exhibition of bronze sculptures from The Ingram Collection, the biggest privately owned, publicly accessible collection of Modern British Art, will open at Canary Wharf this September until 15 November.  The exhibition will bring together important works by major artists from the period, including Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick and Kenneth Armitage and, significantly, will be the first exhibition in Canary Wharf Group’s public art programme to feature objects selected from a private collection.

Canary Wharf Group’s award-winning public art collection now numbers over 65 free-to-view works of art, including stand-alone pieces and integrated artist-architectural works, executed by some of the most inspired artists, designers and craftsmen. The collection is one of the largest in the country and the ‘Sculpture in the Workplace’ temporary exhibition programme aims to show sculpture in its widest sense by artists, from well-established names to those early in their careers.

In the early years of building his collection, media entrepreneur Chris Ingram’s focus was on Modern British Art that was largely figurative in nature. As he purchased paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture he developed a dual narrative: a story reflecting life through art of the times and works that charted the progression of art from the early years of the 1900s to the 1960s. The collection is further enriched by the relationships between the artists represented in the collection, the subjects and themes they explored, the materials they used and flair for experiment and adventure.

This exhibition focuses on a selection of Ingram’s sculpture holdings, which includes works by Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage RA, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick RA, Geoffrey Clarke, Robert Clatworthy RA, Sir Jacob Epstein, Dame Elisabeth Frink RA, Bernard Meadows, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi RA, William Turnbull and Leon Underwood.

Of these artists Ingram has acquired the most pieces by Elisabeth Frink, and has generously loaned Walking Madonna 1981, a monumental bronze of the Madonna striding purposefully forward – a pose that is unusual for this subject. Also in the exhibition are two large heads, a genre for which Frink is possibly best known – Goggle Head 1969 and In Memoriam II 1983. Kenneth Armitage, Lynn Chadwick and Eduardo Paolozzi are also well represented in the collection, and Paolozzi’s Portrait of the Artist 1988 shows the man in mechanistic form. A small sculpture by William Turnbull, Strange Fruit 1959 serves to remind us of the range of his work, contrasting with his Blade of Venus 1985 that stands permanently at the centre of the Lobby, and which is in the collection of Canary Wharf Group plc.

Ann Elliott, Exhibition Curator, says: “Since 2001 our temporary exhibitions programme at Canary Wharf has focussed largely on the work of living – mostly British – artists. It is therefore very timely to look at the work of earlier artists whose progressive, even radical ideas and unique creativity opened up more possibilities for future generations.”

“British Modern Art, which is the focus of Chris Ingram’s impressive collection, is a true reflection of the times in which these sculptures were made. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw far-reaching and momentous changes in the artistic and wider cultural life in Britain. Visual artists’ response to industrial, scientific, political and social change and crucial events such as the First and Second World Wars gave rise to periods of immense creativity. Not all was comfortable. Artists were able to reject traditional modes of working through combining abstraction with expressive form, visualising differently what they knew and observed. Barriers between academic figuration and abstraction were broken down.”

“Within the Ingram Collection it is possible to see British Modernism at its most creative and influential. We are immensely privileged to show this selection at Canary Wharf.”

Claire Bailey-Coombs, Curator of The Ingram Collection, says: “This is a fabulous opportunity to bring some of the major sculptural works from the Ingram Collection and display them in the atrium of the iconic Canary Wharf building.  This exhibition will create an opportunity for people to share their workplace with stimulating and inspiring works of art.”

Lobby, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, 16 September to 15 November 2013.

For further information about Public Art at Canary Wharf, visit

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Ingram Collection