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Magnificent Obsessions

The Artist as Collector

Collection of items in an art gallery

The first major exhibition in the UK to present the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists

Ranging from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rare artefacts and specimens, the collections in Magnificent Obsessions provided insight into the inspirations, influences, motives and obsessions of artists. 

While some artists are connoisseurs, others accumulate hoards of objects, never letting anything go. Many live with and make direct use of their collections and others keep them under wraps or in storage. Collecting objects for research and study is key to the practice of many artists in the exhibition. Presented alongside examples of their work, their collections, in turn, help to elucidate their art.


Arman, Peter Blake, Hanne Darboven, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Dr Lakra, Sol LeWitt, Martin Parr, Jim Shaw, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andy Warhol, Pae White, Martin Wong / Danh Vo. 


‘What a delightful exhibition Magnificent Obsessions proves to be. Bursting at the seams with bizarre and beautiful objects...‘
Daily Telegraph
‘The exhibition is, by its nature, compelling and confounding‘
Wall Street International
‘A fabulous gallimaufry of an exhibition… the result is a glorious mix of nostalgia, eccentricity, kitsch and downright weirdness‘
Gulf News
‘There has never been a London art show like it‘
Crafts Magazine
‘Magnificent Obsessions is a fantastic and innovative exhibition‘
It's Nice That
‘Truly worthy of its title‘
‘There is an eclectic mix on display, prompting the question of what and why we collect...‘
London Magazine


Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector went on to tour to:

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
12 September - 24 January 2016

With thanks