Nine works of art have been given to the Tate, including a David Hockney, a Lucian Freud and Rachel Whiteread’s maquette for her Trafalgar Square plinth.
Mercedes and Ian Stoutzker, a married couple who have been generous supporters of the arts over a number of years, announced they were to give works which fill gaps in the Tate collection.
“The gift was an initiative from the Stoutzkers,” said the Tate director, Nicholas Serota. “They don’t receive any tax benefit from this gift but in the current climate they were very keen to make it public because they wanted to encourage others to give works to the national collection.”
Many senior figures in the arts fear such acts of philanthropy will be fewer unless George Osborne rethinks the budget decision to end tax relief on philanthropic giving.
The arts minister, Ed Vaizey, said the government had done a lot to encourage philanthropy and the chancellor “has raised an important issue, addressed it in the budget and is listening to people making representations. Large donors have made important points about how any changes should be implemented and I’m sure the Treasury will listen to those.”
Serota said the Tate collection had benefited from major gifts from successive generations over the years including from Alistair McAlpine and Janet de Botton, and the Stoutzker gift was of a similar significance.
The works will go on display together in October and then gradually arrive in the Tate collection, with the last being on their deaths.
The Stoutzker gift essentially represents two generations of artists. There is a Jacob Epstein bust of Freud made in 1947; a small oil painting by Freud himself, Girl in a Striped Nightdress, or Celia 1983-5; RB Kitaj’s homage to Francis Bacon, Synchromy with FB – General of Hot Desire 1968-9; and a Hockney painting of the Savings and Loan Building in Los Angeles.
The later works are a Peter Doig snow scene from 2001-02; Whiteread’s maquette for her Trafalgar Square commission in 2001 which was a resin cast of the plinth itself; the Hurvin Anderson oil painting Maracus 111 from 2004; a Conrad Shawcross maquette for his large-scale work Continuum, a three-metre-high sculpture commissioned by the National Maritime Museum; and George Shaw’s Ash Wednesday, 8.30am from 2004-05, one of a number of Humbrol enamel paintings the artist has made over the years of the Coventry housing estate where he grew up.
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