Q&A with Chris Ingram

Posted in In the Studio by Ruth Reyes on 12th June 2014

The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art is one of this country's foremost and most significant collections of Modern British Art. It contains almost 600 paintings and sculptures of which 450 are by the most important artists of the Modern British era, amongst these Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth and Eduardo Paolozzi. It has been put together since 2002 by media entrepreneur and philanthropist Chris Ingram. A new and growing element to The Collection is Chris' interest in contemporary art and emerging artists. We ask Chris a few questions about his collection and art in general.

 

Far left: Billy Childish's self portrait with Gallows Tattoo, middle: Colin Brown's King Kenny, and far right: Dame Elisabeth Frink, Easter Head 1 (©The Estate of Elisabeth Frink)

 

 

What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting their own art collection? 
 
The golden rule is only buy what you like and enjoy. Regardless of what people tell you and what’s fashionable. Always start with what you like! As in any walk of life you need to study and learn - practice makes perfect! So build up a bit of expertise. Of course you can have an eclectic collection, but if you focus in, you become more of an expert, you learn the ins and outs more. It really becomes a collection then.
 
You started collecting Modern British in 2002. Why did you choose this particular field?
 
I discovered Modern British Art quite late in the day. I was just starting to attend auction house viewings and soon realised I really liked Modern British. It was undervalued (at the time!) and I found out that I would be able to build a very good collection. It was also fortuitous timing because I had just sold my business for a good price so I was able to make the idea happen. I got on with it!
 
What are our favourite three pieces in the collection?
 
I’m delighted to say that I don’t have three favourite pieces! If I did I should be selling the other 568 pieces in the collection! Seriously though, I’d say my favourites depend on my mood, and also those which are beautiful to look at again and again. It also depends on where I am - if I am in my storeroom then I come across pieces which I think Wow! And if I think of those I bought most recently they would certainly be in my top ten. I use the collection to put on themed exhibitions - so if I’m thinking about Sea Pictures I could pick out my favourite Sea Pictures, and the same with a theme I called ‘Dreams and Nightmares’. 
 
Top 5 artists from Rise Art?
 

(featured images at the top courtesy of The Ingram Collection)

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