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Three major contemporary artworks to enter our collection

We’re delighted to announce that three major contemporary artworks will enter our collection, all made possible thanks to Frieze London and the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund.

These three acquired works by artists Grada Kiloma, Pamela Phatismo Sunstrum and Goshka Macuga embody a multitude of global stories and art historical traditions. And the acquisitions mark the first time that two of the artists, Grada Kilomba and Pamela Phatismo Sunstrum, will be represented in the collection of a British institution.

About the artists and the artworks…

Grada Kilomba is a Berlin-based Portuguese artist, whose works draws on memory, trauma, gender and post-colonialism, interrogating concepts of knowledge, power and violence.

Kilomba’s artwork, Untitled Poem (one sorrow, one revolution) consists of 18 charcoaled wood blocks engraved with poems by the artist in gold leaf, written in Yoruba, Cape Vere Creole, Portuguese, Syrian Arabic and English, to further explore cyclical violence and the relationship between narrative, power and repetition.

Goshka Macuga is a London based, Polish artist whose practice is based on historical and archival research, which informs her installations, sculptures, tapestries, and collages. As an artist Macuga questions history, political structures, and the pressing issues of our time.

Macuga’s sculpture, Rabindranath Tagore (Blue), includes a plaster head of Indian polymath and Noble laureate, Rabindranath Tagore as a flower vase. The work relates to her larger series of 73 bronze sculptures from 2016, the “International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation” depicting 61 historical and contemporary figures in imaginary dialogue across cultural and temporal divides. Tagore was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of early 20th-century India.

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum was born in Botswana and is now based in The Hague. Her art encompasses drawing, painting, installation and animation, with works that allude to mythology, geology and theories on the nature of the universe. Sunstrum’s drawings have been said to appear simultaneously futuristic and ancient.

Sunstrum’s artwork, The Dream II (mae), pictures a double portrait of the artist’s alter ego Asme, who has become a constant figure in her work - representing a testing ground for ideas, in the absence of representation of the black female body in art history. The double figures in the painting are each depicted cradling eggs in the palms of their hands. The rich symbology of the egg - speaking to fertility and unhatched potential here ascribes a powerful sense of what might come. Suggesting then, in The Dream II, the artist desires for the visibility of women of colour as well as a profound sense of potential.

Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society said “In this 7th year of our collaboration with Frieze London, and its 20th anniversary year, I am delighted that we have been able to make these important purchases for one of our most important institutions outside of London. We are proud of a track record of acquiring works by major international artists, who bring global discourses into the heart of UK regional museums with works that engage, delight and challenge.”

Habda Rashid, our Senior Curator Contemporary & Modern Art said “I am deeply thankful to the Collection Fund at Frieze and the CAS patrons for supporting the acquisition of works by three outstanding international women artists, whose poetic and powerful art making can resonate across the collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

We’re thrilled to have these works enter the Fitzwilliam Museum collection.

11 October 2023

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