York St Mary's

2014 Installation: Finding the Value

Finding the Value –  Contemporary artists explore aspects of the Madsen Collection

4 July – 2 November 2014

Andrew Bracey, Alison Erika Forde, Yvette Hawkins, Susie MacMurray and Simon Venus

In 2011 Peter Madsen left his estate, including his art collection, to York Museums Trust.  Five artists have made new work for this exhibition, using objects from his collection. We can never know what drew Peter Madsen to collect and keep these things, but each artist has found new ways to value them.

York Art Gallery is currently undergoing an £8 million redevelopment. This ambitious project was made possible by the bequest of £2 million by Peter Emil Madsen and his sister Karen Madsen, both from York. Their gift also included Peter’s diverse collection of paintings, books, prints, small sculptures and ethnographic objects.  York Art Gallery has been allowed to sell any pieces not taken into the City’s art collections.

Of course, the historical importance and artistic quality of some works meant they had to be kept. Other works were sold at auction, happily passing into the care of other collectors whilst adding to the monetary value of the gift.

To honour the Madsens’ generosity in a creative and innovative way, York Art Gallery invited five artists to make completely new artworks in response to what was left of the Madsen collection. Andrew Bracey, Alison Erika Forde, Yvette Hawkins, Susie MacMurray and Simon Venus have taken items from the collection, both images and objects, as the raw material for their work.

Finding the Value questions the concept of value; considering human values in relation to calculations of financial worth.