New Acquisitions Announced

26 April 2017

The Arts Council Collection, one of the UK’s largest national loan collections of modern and contemporary art, today unveils the full list of 45 works by 29 artists that it has acquired for the nation in 2016-2017.

Among the highlights are significant works by Phyllida Barlow (untitled: dunce, 2015), Andy Holden (Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, 2011-16), Aleksandra Mir (ISS 0004, 2016) and Yinka Shonibare (The Crowning2007).

It was a noteworthy year for artists generously gifting major works to be seen in galleries around the country: Oscar Murillo donated his painting catalyst #13, 2016; Phyllida Barlow, who this year will represent Britain in the Venice Biennale, gifted two drawings - untitled: cementpost2015 and untitled: frames2015; Matthew Darbyshire and Ryan Mosley also gifted works, as did the estates of Jacqueline Morreau and Joanna Price. Simon Starling’s Project for a Rift Valley Crossing, 2015-16 was acquired for the collection thanks to a bequest from the estate of Elfrida Louise Thornton.

The Arts Council Collection supports and promotes British art and artists by buying their work at an early or critical stage in their career. The Acquisitions committee also purchased two mixed-media works by Simeon Barclay, An Arrangement on Blue (Swamp Rat Skank)2015 and Handicap2016; Seamus Harahan’s Cold Open (Version 1), 2014; a trio of works by London-based Mawuena Kattahand Charlotte Prodger’s BRIDGIT, 2016. All the artists acquired have demonstrated innovative practices across a varied range of media.

Works from the Collection – spanning video, photography, installation, painting, computer animation and sculpture – are lent to galleries and public institutions throughout the country. Over 2 million people have seen 1,423 works lent by Arts Council Collection to 144 venues, including 64 works to 17 international venues, throughout last year. The newly acquired works on the list (detailed below) are available to borrow with immediate effect.

Recommendations to purchase innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain today are made by a changing group of external advisors to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee. For 2016-17 they were: Helen Legg, Director, Spike Island, Bristol; Helen Pheby, Senior Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Morgan Quaintance, writer and curator; and Bedwyr Williams, artist. The four permanent members of the acquisitions committee are: Maria Balshaw (Chair), Director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries; Jill Constantine, Director, Arts Council Collection; Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England; and Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, London.

Explore the full list of New Acquisitions

WATCH: Artist Ryan Mosley discusses his recent gifts to the Arts Council Collection



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.