2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation. To celebrate the anniversary of this vital body, a showcase of significant works acquired through the Foundation is on display until 1 December 2014.

Since its inception in 1989, the Foundation has enabled the Gallery to bring more than 4,500 works into the State Art Collection, representing 25 per cent of AGWA’s holdings. In the last 5 years, the Foundation has accounted for 80 per cent of all acquisitions.

The AGWA Foundation was formed by a passionate group of people with a shared vision for a state art collection of national and international significance.

In recognition of the Silver Anniversary of the AGWA Foundation, the Gallery is showcasing key works acquired through the Foundation’s support.

Visitors will also be able to view 245 works acquired through the Foundation that are currently on display throughout the permanent Your Collection galleries on the ground floor of the main building and the Centenary Galleries.

The anniversary display features a diverse mix of historical, 20th century and contemporary art, among which are Indigenous works of significance such as Patrick Mung Mung’s Gawarre 2011. This painting is a captivating image of the Purnululu National Park that depicts the great reverence the Gija people of the far-north of Western Australia have for this important site and for their Country. Indigenous art is an important Collection focus for the Gallery and the display celebrates the achievements of Indigenous Australian artists, featuring works by Tony Albert, Paddy Bedford, Richard Bell, Fiona Foley, Gunybi Ganambarr, Kitty Kantilla, Ray Ken and Justin Puruntatameri.

The Foundation has also enabled the acquisition of works like Concertina 2008 by Trevor Richards, which reflects the artist’s on-going exploration of the stereotypes of image making. Another Western Australian artist, Pilar Mata Dupont, is represented by a lush filmic work The Embrace 2013, which resulted from an Asialink residency in Seoul and her extensive research into the history and politics between North and South Korea.

Support from the Foundation has allowed the achievements of Australian female artists with a modernist sensibility to be collected. With its dynamic design, wonderfully playful sense of movement, and rhythmic interplay of overlapping shapes and colours, it is clear why Swings 1932 is one of Ethel Spowers’ most widely admired modernist prints. It features alongside prints by Eveline Syme and Margaret Preston, and works by Joy Hester such as the enigmatic painting Mad girl circa 1942.

The decorative arts have also been well-supported by benefactors as can be seen in Kitch Currie’s Peacock Necklace circa 1973, the selection of eighteenth century porcelain items on show, and the superbly modelled and painted Vase with albatross decoration 1919.

Image Credit: Ethel Spowers - Swings 1932. Colour linocut on buff oriental laid tissue (30.0 x 27.8 cm - sheet). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Sir Claude Hotchin Art Foundation, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2011.

Image: Ethel Spowers - Swings 1932. Colour linocut on buff oriental laid tissue 30.0 x 27.8 cm (sheet). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Sir Claude Hotchin Art Foundation, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2011.


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Art Gallery of WA

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