Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maverick collector Frank Cohen in news

The Manchester collector, Frank Cohen, quite often termed ’the Saatchi of the North’, owns up to giving away works from his vast contemporary art collection only grudgingly. It often entails selling works of art by many young artists for much less than it actually cost, something not very popular with the artists themselves or their dealers. In an upcoming sale in Paris, 143 artworks by these young artists from Cohen collection are on offered courtesy Pierre Berge auctions. We take a look at Frank Cohen’s art venture Initial Access in the backdrop of this auction:

Last year, the collector appeared to have cooled in his prolonged love affair with art when he revealed to the Daily Telegraph’s Howard Jacobson in an honest interview for: “The whole world has gone contemporary mad. There are too many artists or would-be artists out there overpriced and overvalued.” This April he is about to launch a London gallery to showcase his collections of modern & contemporary sans those works he has already sold or would sell.

His 'Initial Access' opened on 19 January 2007, as a space to present exhibitions from Frank Cohen’s internationally important collection of contemporary art. It is sited on the outskirts of the millennium city of Wolverhampton, in two refurbished warehouses that provide 10,000 sq feet of exhibition space. The avenue presents different aspects of the Collection in a series of curated exhibitions. The program is designed to mount shows of new acquisitions to the collection, explore themes among works that may not have been seen before and give the public an opportunity to see more of the collection currently in store.

The latest exhibition there, entitled ‘Painting is a Painting is a Painting’ presented three artists who playfully question what constitutes 'a painting'. John M Armleder, Rashid Johnson and Dirk Skreber (D) all from very different backgrounds, working visually, conceptually, even ideologically very differently, but all challenge our expectations of what a painting can, feel and look like. The exhibition title adapted Gertrude Stein’s 1913 poem, Sacred Emily, ‘a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’

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