04 November 2009

University reunites Light Music

Twilight by Jorge Luis Macchi

The University of Essex has successfully secured a significant artwork for its collection of Latin American Art, reuniting a pair of companion installations.

The acquisition of Twilight, by acclaimed Argentinean artist Jorge Luis Macchi in collaboration with Argentinean composer Edgardo Rudnitzky, means that the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA) has the best holdings of work by the artist in the UK.

Twilight was created in 2006 for an exhibition at firstsite@the minories and will now return to Colchester thanks to a grant of £17,556 from The Art Fund, the UK’s leading independent art charity, and a private donation. Twilight’s partner piece, Singers’ Room, which was shown at the University Gallery at the same time in 2006, has recently been offered to UECLAA by Macchi and Rudnitzky. Together, they form Light Music.

Assistant Director of UECLAA, Dr Joanne Harwood, said: ‘Twilight is a work of great importance both to the University and to firstsite, as a symbol of our long-standing collaboration. It also made a big impact locally when it premiered at the minories with the live performance of Rudnitzky’s composition played on the glass harmonium by BBC Concert Orchestra musician Alisdair Malloy. As Malloy played, the notes were transferred electronically from one corner of the room to the other and a light bulb, travelling along a wire, gradually faded to complete darkness. Members of the audience described the experience as “mesmerising” and “transformational.”

‘The amazing response to this artwork inspired us to try to bring it back and make it available for future generations to enjoy.

‘We are enormously grateful to The Art Fund for enabling the Collection to make its first major assisted purchase. We were shortlisted in 2007 for The Art Fund’s acquisition scheme Art Fund International and, although we were ultimately unsuccessful, it encouraged us to apply under the regular grant scheme for Twilight. Following this success, our aim is to establish an acquisitions fund that we can use as matched funding for grants such as those offered by The Art Fund.’

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: ‘This subtle yet beautiful work, which appeals to all the senses, belongs at the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art where it was first commissioned, and The Art Fund is pleased to have helped make this happen. We are also delighted that receiving funding from us has spurred on the Collection to continue to enrich its holdings with new and exciting works by international artists.’

Ends

Notes to editors

For further information, or an image of Twilight, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

The University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA) is the only public collection in Europe dedicated exclusively to modern and contemporary Art from Latin America. Founded in 1993 with the donation of an artwork by a former student, the Collection now comprises more than 600 artworks. For further information see: www.ueclaa.org.

The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. Recent achievements include: helping secure Titain’s Diana and Actaeon for the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London in February 2009 with a grant of £1 million; helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1 million; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £500,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK. For more information contact the Press Office, telephone: 020 7225 4888 or visit: www.artfund.org.

The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174.

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