In October 2014, selected works from the Danjuma Collection will be presented for the first time at 33 Fitzroy Square, to coincide with the 12th edition of Frieze London. Offering a unique opportunity to encounter works from the collection of young, London-based collector Theo Danjuma, the inaugural exhibition will be organised around two underlying themes; the use of found materials by contemporary artists and a focus on contemporary art from Africa.
The exhibition’s title One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, references the use of found, often discarded material in much of the work on display, as well as to the act of collecting and collections more generally.
Among the artists who, at times quite literally, employ ‘trash’ in their work are Matias Faldbakken, Gedi Sibony and Danh Vo. They are part of a generation that consciously positions itself in relation to the high production values that came to dominate contemporary art in the first decade of the 21st century, and in many ways form the core of the Danjuma Collection. Often, these artists are discussed and seen in relation to their conceptual strategies; the inaugural presentation of the collection, however, will highlight their work’s materiality and a multi-generational approach to found materials
A second aspect of the Danjuma Collection that will be evident in the exhibition is its particular interest in Contemporary African artists, including Ernest Mancoba, Julie Mehretu, Emeka Ogboh, Dineo Bopape and Nicholas Hlobo. In an interview shortly before his death in 2002, the South African painter Ernest Mancoba objected to the artificial distinction between abstraction and figuration, and said he was instead interested in ‘whether the form can bring to life and transmit, with the strongest effect and by the lightest means possible, the being, which has been in me and aspires to expression.’ Curated by Joost Bosland, the exhibition at Fitzroy Square will include a number of works that reflect Mancoba’s intention, and are marked by simplicity of gesture and lightness of touch.
33 Fitzroy Square
London, W1T 6EU
Established in 2008 by the young London collector Theo Danjuma, the Danjuma Collection includes over 400 works of art by emerging and established artists from around the world. At the heart of the collection lies a belief in contemporary art as a global, cross generational conversation. The collection has a firm focus on conceptual artists of Danjuma’s own generation, including Wade Guyton, Yngve Holen, Alex Israel, Matias Faldbakken, Simon Denny and Danh Vo. The collection also supports emerging artists from across the globe, with a particular focus on African contemporary art.
Fitzroy Square was commissioned by the Duke of Grafton in the 18th century, and designed by Robert Adam, considered one of the most significant architects of the period. Number 33, on the south-west corner of the square, was notably used by the art critic Roger Fry for his Omega Workshop from 1913 – 1919, during which many members of the artistic wing of the Bloomsbury Group worked in the house.