London Exhibition Spotlights Artists’ Collections of Curios

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Andy Warhol's collection of cookie jars.
Photo: Courtesy of Movado Group.
Arman's wall of Kota reliquary figures.
Photo: Courtesy of Arman Studio Archives.
Dr. Lakra's collection of album covers.
Photo: Courtesy of Rainer Bollinger.
Arman, Home Sweet Home (1960).
Photo: Courtesy of Arman Studio Archives.
Sir Peter Blake's collection of masks.
Photo: Courtesy of Hugo Glendinning.
"Picasso" or "Tower" room in Hanne Darboven's Hamburg studio.
Photo: Courtesy Rainer Bollinger.

Next year, London’s Barbican Centre will show “Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector,” an exhibition that showcases the personal effects of artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Sir Peter Blake, reports the BBC.

Items on view range from Damien Hirst’s skulls, taxidermy, and tribal masks, to Andy Warhol’s cookie jars. The exhibition examines how artists collect objects both for personal and artistic reasons. For instance, some of Warhol’s best known silkscreen prints were inspired by the trinkets he would find on his daily tours of antique and junk shops.

The show will juxtapose each artist’s collection with key artworks, drawing parallels between the objects they chose to surround themselves with and the objects they created. The exhibition aims to provide insight into how these pieces inspired, influenced, and at times obsessed the artists who owned them.

Among the especially odd sights and vast collections slated to be included in the show are: Sir Peter Blake’s wall of masks and elephant figurines; the wide array of curiosities that filled German artist Hanne Darboven’s studio; Martin Parr’s British postcards; Soviet space dog memorabilia and album covers collected by Mexican artist and tattooist Dr. Lakra; and French-born artist Arman’s collection of African art and Japanese armor.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector” will be on view at Barbican Gallery from February 12 to May 25, 2015.


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