Art | Need To Now

Original artworks, sold to support a non-profit gallery

Artworks by Turner Prize winners go up for sale in a fundraising exhibition

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Original artworks, sold to support a non-profit gallery

Image: © Michael Landy

April 13 2011
Victoria Woodcock

With cuts to the arts seemingly deepening by the day, now would surely be the perfect time to furnish a nonprofit gallery space with some financial support. What could be better, then, if in doing so you could come away with an original artwork?

Drawing 2011 is the fifth biennial fundraiser organised by the Drawing Room gallery in east London. Making up the exhibition – now on and running until May 18 – are more than 200 works by both leading and emerging artists, all executed on paper specially for the show, all generously donated.

Big-name artists taking part include Turner Prize-winners Richard Long (second picture shows his Untitled block print) and Mark Wallinger and nominees Fiona Banner and Tacita Dean, while one up-and-comer to note is ICA-exhibited Anna Barham, whose work in a variety of media, including sculpture, performance, video and drawing, revolves around poetic text.

By restricting participants to a single sheet of A4-sized cartridge paper, Drawing 2011 offers a chance to see artists stripped back to the most basic of materials. Michael Landy, for example, is best known for his elaborate installation performance pieces, in particular the headline-grabbing Break Down (2001), which saw him systematically destroy all his belongings in the old C&A building on London’s Oxford Street. Here, however, he is represented quietly in watercolour, by a self-portrait as a rubbish bin (first picture).

While Londoners can enjoy the gallery experience, nestled as it is among artists’ studios on the Regent’s Canal, an online auction site is also running until May 18, when the show culminates in a silent auction, with bids accepted online and over the phone as well as in person. Prices start at a first-time-buyer-friendly £250 and, if past events are anything to go by, some corners will be hard-fought. The 2007 event, for example, witnessed a bidding war over a piece by the Portuguese artist Paula Rego, which generated a final price of £10,000. Rego has contributed to this year’s offerings too, with a typically figurative piece called St Mary of Egypt.

Drawing 2011 runs until May 18; the silent auction takes place on May 18, 6.30pm-8.30pm.