Contemporary Art Society opens The Eric & Jean Cass Gift exhibition

The Contemporary Art Society presents The Eric & Jean Cass Gift exhibition on view through 22 November 2013.

Julio Le Parc, Longue March, 1976. Installation view at ‘Bleep,’ Eric and Jean Cass’ modernist home. Photo: Doug Atfield

Julio Le Parc, Longue March, 1976. Installation view at ‘Bleep,’ Eric and Jean Cass’ modernist home. Photo: Doug Atfield


Collectors Eric and Jean Cass recently donated over 300 important modern and contemporary artworks to the Contemporary Art Society for gifting to museums, including works by Karel Appel, Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor Pasmore, Pablo Picasso and Niki de Saint-Phalle.

The gift is one of the most important donations to the Contemporary Art Society in the charity’s 103-year history and totals in excess of 4 million GBP.

Developed over 40 years, Eric and Jean Cass’ collection was one of the most unique and significant collections of modern and contemporary art in the UK and was previously housed in the interiors and gardens of Bleep, their spectacular modernist home in Surrey named after the pager system that Eric Cass’ company invented. Wishing that their collection would benefit the widest possible audience, the philanthropists approached the Contemporary Art Society in 2008 to disseminate works from their collection to museums across the whole country.

From 16 October to 22 November, a selection of Pop works from The Eric & Jean Cass Gift are on display at the Contemporary Art Society. This is the first time the Contemporary Art Society has exhibited any of the works from the gift and it will be the first of several displays showcasing selected works from Eric and Jean Cass’ collection.

The display concentrates on a selection of works from the gift that were presented by the Contemporary Art Society to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands. The gift has developed Wolverhampton’s already outstanding collection of Pop Art by introducing sculpture by Victor Vasarely as well as prints by Julio Le Parc and Karel Appel, which have provided a new focus on the impact of European artists on the UK Pop movement. Also on display are companion pieces by Eduardo Paolozzi and Bridget Riley from Wolverhampton’s existing collection.

Featured works include Karel Appel’s Compelviction (1967), the first Appel work purchased by Eric Cass in 1972, and Longue March (1976) by Julio Le Parc, an impromptu purchase by Eric and Jean during a visit to Paris—on viewing the work, they purchased it immediately and installed it in their home.

The Eric & Jean Cass Gift runs from 16 October to 22 November. This will be followed by a display of work by 2013 Turner Prize nominee Laure Prouvost and an Artist Talk by Laure Prouvost on 12 December.

Contemporary Art Society
59 Central Street
London EC1V 3AF
T +44 (0)20 7017 8400
www.contemporaryartsociety.org

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