Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Pendulum Polaroids, 2000

In 2003, the South London Gallery’s art collection was divided into the contemporary collection comprising approximately 145 works from post 1970, and the historic collection, embracing all earlier pieces.

Much of the contemporary collection was acquired in the 1990s when the SLG began to collect contemporary works mainly relating to south London. Works by Gilbert & George, Anselm Kiefer and Sherrie Levine, as well as younger artists such as Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk and Ann Sofi-Sidén, also entered the collection at this time.

In 1999, the Gallery joined the CAS’s Special Collection Scheme, and purchased works by Sarah Lucas, Keith Coventry, Christian Boltanski and others. This became the foundation of today’s contemporary collection which includes self-portraits by a range of artists, works relating to the local area and the SLG’s exhibitions programme.

Similarly to the historic collection, the contemporary collection is managed by Southwark Council as part of the Southwark Art Collection. The South London Gallery draws on the contemporary collection as a resource for education and outreach projects, and occasionally for the exhibition programme.

You can see highlights from the SLG’s contemporary collection here.