Strong sales at COLLECT 2012
Contemporary Applied Arts stand at COLLECT, photo: Sophie Mutevelian
COLLECT, the international art fair for contemporary objects, presented by the Crafts Council, returned to the Saatchi Gallery from 11 to 14 May 2012. Exhibiting galleries reported strong sales, with the close-of-show total estimated at £1.5m, an increase from 2011.
This year 31 galleries from 11 countries including UK, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden and China displayed pieces by the best established and up-and-coming artists from around the world, which were seen by approximately 9,000 visitors over four days.
Cementing COLLECT’s reputation as the leading European fair for contemporary craft, many exhibitors reported record sales figures, including UK based Joanna Bird, whose sale of two large-scale installations by Pippin Drysdale totaled almost £80,000 alone. Joanna said:
“I have sold to national institutions and private collectors both from the UK and abroad. COLLECT is the most important fair in Europe for the decorative arts, it attracts a dedicated and increasing audience who come from all over the continent to attend.”
First-time exhibitors and international galleries also reported excellent figures, with Japanese exhibitor Yufuku Gallery selling the majority of its works in the first two days of the Fair, including key sales to the British Museum and National Museums Scotland.
Art Fund Collect, the Art Fund and Crafts Council’s annual £75,000 scheme to bring outstanding contemporary craft to UK public collections was this year shared by five institutions: National Museum of Scotland, Whitworth Art Gallery, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Museums Sheffield and Touchstones Rochdale.
Contemporary Applied Arts celebrated the acquisition of three key pieces by major institutions, with the V&A securing Merete Rasmussen’s Red Twisted Form for its Permanent Collection, Adi Toch’s Reflective Bowl going to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and Eclipse by Matthew Chambers gaining a place at the National Museums Scotland.
Several other prolific national institutions purchased objects for their collections including the Mint Museum, USA, the National Museum of Decorative Arts, Norway, CODO Museum, Netherlands and Masjonalmuseet, Oslo.
For the first time, in addition to the exhibiting galleries, the Craft Council launched its latest touring exhibition during COLLECT. Curated by the Crafts Council with Brent Dzekciorius and Michael Marriott, Raw Craft: fine thinking in contemporary furniture, presented pieces that exemplify a type of furniture-making that celebrates craft processes, materiality and small workshop culture.
The Project Space covered the second floor of the Saatchi Gallery and this year featured ten large-scale installations by individual artists with a focus on textiles and furniture. In addition to the galleries and exhibitions, a special four-day programme of panel discussions, screenings, tours and booth talks took place creating an informative and sociable atmosphere at the Fair.
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