Contemporary art Exhibitions United Kingdom

Daskalopoulos Collection at the Whitechapel

The Greek entrepreneur's art gets its first major public display

The Whitechapel Gallery has announced that the next series of displays in its specially designated Collections Gallery will be devoted to key works from the Dimitris Daskalopoulos Collection. Built up over the last 15 years by the Athens-based business entrepreneur Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the collection is one of the most important in Europe, consisting of over four hundred works by such leading names as Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Damien Hirst, Paul McCarthy and Rosemarie Trockel, most of which have never been seen in the UK before.

The presentation will take the form of four thematic exhibitions curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, the Whitechapel’s chief curator, based on key works from the collection. Not only is it the first time that the Whitechapel has showcased a private collection (the galleries were inaugurated with four shows devoted to the British Council Collection) it is also the first time that the Daskalopoulos Collection has received full public exposure. “I am really gratified that the collection will have its first public presentation in an institution of this calibre” Daskalopoulos told The Art Newspaper. “The Whitechapel is an institution of world renown, with a rich tradition of being in the vanguard of artistic development. Achim is currently finalising the content of the four shows …and I personally revel in this fascinating creative process.” The fruits of this creative process will be unveiled when the first exhibition opens at the Whitechapel Gallery on 19 June.

Daskalopoulos was also this week elected to the board of trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The collector has a long-running relationship with the institution, having served as an executive committee member of its International Director’s Council for ten years and establishing a fund for the acquisition of work by emerging artists. Among the key works Daskalopoulos helped the Guggenheim acquire is Matthew Barney’s Chrysler Imperial (2002), shown at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection during the Venice Biennale in 2007 in the exhibition “All in the Present Must Be Transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys”.

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