The Financial Wizard Who Helped Make Damien Hirst Filthy Rich Donates YBA Works to UK Gallery

Frank Dunphy's intended gift to the Pallant House Gallery of works by Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Tracey Emin, and Gavin Turk will be unveiled in February.

Michael Craig-Martin, Scissors (wallpaper pink) (2004). ©Michael Craig-Martin, courtesy Pallant House Gallery.

Damien Hirst supports numerous charities and is a generous lender of his art but now his legendary former business manager, the Irish-born entrepreneur/accountant Frank Dunphy, and Dunphy’s wife Lorna, have gone one step further, promising to donate works by Hirst and fellow former YBA artists Rachel Whiteread, Tracey Emin, and Gavin Turk, plus pieces by Peter Blake and Michael Craig-Martin, to Pallant House Gallery, a small art museum in the south east of England. 

The coup for the art museum, located in a picturesque cathedral town, is due to be revealed at the end of February, complementing Pallant House Gallery’s Pop art exhibition. Simon Martin, the artistic director of Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, tells artnet News: “We are hugely grateful to Frank and Lorna for this extraordinary gift.”

Damien Hirst, Bognor Blue (2008). ©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018. Courtesy Pallant House Gallery.

The Dunphys intend to gift Whiteread’s Untitled (For Frank) (1999), a work in three parts, and an edition of Tracey Emin’s first public art project, a bronze bird totem titled Roman Standard (2005). Their donation will also include Hirst’s Bognor Blue (2008), as well as Scissors (wallpaper pink) (2004) by the artist and Royal Academician Michael Craig-Martin, Hirst’s former Goldsmiths tutor.

The gift will be completed by Peter Blake’s Love (2007), and one of the editions of Gavin Turk’s bronze cast bin bag, Dump (2004), which have previously sold at Phillips London in 2016 for £28,750 ($38,216) and at Sotheby’s New York in 2015 for $62,500, according to the artnet Price Database.

“Pallant House Gallery is often described as a ‘collection of collections’ and this remarkable addition will go on display alongside the exhibition ‘POP! Art in a Changing Britain,’ enabling us to present the continuing history of British art from the 20th century to the present day,” Martin tells artnet News. He adds that the gift will help show the YBA’s debt to the Pop art aesthetic. 

Pallant House Gallery, “POP! Art in a Changing Britain,” is on February 24 through May 7, 2018.


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