Magnificent Obsessions – Barbican Art Gallery

I thought that Magnificent Obsessons would be an insightful look into the mind of artists by way of their collections. I have to say though I was very disappointed, it all just felt a little unsurprising.

Some were intriguing and did make me want to research the artist, for example the collection of Hiroshi Sugimoto, who’s collection includes medical illustration as well as medical instruments and objects.

Some were unsurprising for example Damian Hurst who’s collection included taxidermy and other artworks from his peers Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas.

Others just felt like a collection of tat. Martin Wong seems to collect endless repeats of the same thing. Lots of kitsch cookie jars, donald ducks… which is fine and may be interesting to yuorself but doesn’t in my mind make for a great or insightful viewing experience.

Pae White’s collection of a huge quantity of Vera Neumann scarves displayed as an installation was one part that did engage me. Her collection is a recollection of her past from childhood, with memories attached to each of the scarves and where or how they were purchased.

Martin Parr’s collection of kitsch postcards made me laugh and had a real resonance with his work. Both a social commentary on our holidaying habits.

Overall though I didn’t feel that this exhibition was worth the entrance fee sadly.



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