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Contemporary Arts Society Collections Fund at Frieze 2019

October 06 2019

The Contemporary Art Society at Frieze London for Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery have acquired 11 works from the photographs that commemorate and celebrate Black lesbians, trans and gender non-conforming individuals in South Africa

Entitled Faces and Phases, the portraits by South African artist Zanele Muholi are an act of activism in a country where LGBT people are often subject to violence and discrimination. Muholi’s process is empowering of the artist’s sitters, who are often friends. Muholi operates from inside the community they depict, positioning the work as a form of activism, an act of resistance that insists upon the presence of the black, queer and trans community in South Africa.

Muholi’s work was prominently featured at the 58th Venice Biennale and is receiving a major mid-career recognition at Tate Modern in April 2020 before being part of the Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery when it re-opens in Spring 2021.

Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society, said: “The Faces and Phases series of portraits has been widely seen internationally in recent years; this will be the most significant acquisition of Muholi’s work in the UK to date.  It gives audiences in Nottingham the opportunity to see one of the most talked-about bodies of work by one of the most exciting international artists working today. Muholi’s participation in Documenta 13 in 2012 and in the curated section of this year’s Venice Biennale have brought them to even wider recognition, so this acquisition feels both powerful and timely.”

Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs, also stated: “It is so meaningful for artists to enter museum collections and for their work to be seen by a broad public. We are thrilled that the CAS Fund continues at Frieze this year and that it has enabled The Nottingham Castle Museum to acquire Zanele Muholi’s powerful portraits from Stevenson Gallery.”