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Contemporary

New installations and additions to the collection tell the story of contemporary art in Britain.

A blurred man walks towards a stairwell with a brightly coloured mural of geometric patterns painted on the right wall

Contemporary stairwell with Lothar Götz mural

The art of the present day forms an integral aspect of the experience of visiting Pallant House Gallery.

With exciting installations and major acquisitions, we strive to continue telling the story of Modern British art right up to the present day.

Click the links below to find out more.

Overview

Highlights from the collection

 

 

Overview

Since 2006, we have commissioned contemporary artists from across the world to create work specifically for the Gallery. Our 18th century historic house in particular provides a unique setting for presenting contemporary installations. Artists such as Susie MacMurray, Cathie Pilkington and Lothar Götz have created works that have formed a fascinating dialogue with the history of house and its former occupants.

The grand staircase of the historic house in particular has been transformed numerous times. In 2006, Susie Macmurray’s Shell (2006) transformed the space with 20,000 mussel shells filled with velvet. The installation was a comment on the loveless marriage of Henry and Elizabeth Peckham, the original owners of Pallant House. A small section of this extraordinary work can often be seen hanging in the historic house to this day.

A grand wooden staircase with walls covered in mussel shells with red velvet peeking out between the shells

Danish artist Nina Saunders installation Autumn Flowers (2007-2009) similarly transformed the staircase, with hanging forms upholstered in William Morris fabric. An armchair, bulging unsettlingly can still be found within the historic house. More recently, Argentinian artist Pablo Bronstein’s Wall Pomp (2016) created extraordinary wallpapers based on overblown classical funerary monuments.

We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the contemporary wing with an installation by German artist Lothar Götz. Composition for a Staircase is a vibrant abstract mural inspired in part by some of the modern abstract paintings in the collection.

Over the last fifteen years we have also acquired over 300 contemporary prints by artists including Rachel Whiteread, Paula Rego, Gavin Turk, and David Shrigley. These acquisitions have been made possible thanks to generosity of the Golder – Thompson Gift. We have also made major acquisitions such as Sean Scully’s painting Dark Pink Triptych (2010) and Andy Goldsworthy’s Hearth Stone (2002) made of chalk from the nearby South Downs.