Bequeathed estate inspires York art exhibition

York Press: The exhibition at York’s St Mary’s Church with Simon Venus, the kinetic artist whose mechanical sculptures create an engaging, often humorous, interactive dialogue with the viewer, and an example of his surreal work The exhibition at York’s St Mary’s Church with Simon Venus, the kinetic artist whose mechanical sculptures create an engaging, often humorous, interactive dialogue with the viewer, and an example of his surreal work

A York man who bequeathed his estate to York Museums Trust has inspired the latest art installation at St Mary’s church.

The exhibition entitled ‘Finding the Value’ displays the work of five commissioned artists – Andrew Bracey, Alison Erika Forde, Yvette Hawkins, Susie MacMurray and Simon Venus – whose pieces are influenced by the Madsen collection.

Peter Madsen and his sister Karen Madsen left their estates, worth £2 million, to the Trust in 2011.

Artist Simon Venus created ‘Passed On’ which uses an eclectic selection of objects and images drawn from the Madsen collection, arranged in three animated tableaux.

He said: “This is a eulogy to the Madsens and the church setting gave me the idea for a triptych.”

Alison Erika Forde took pieces from the collection and worked on top of them.

She said: “This collection is based on the idea of taking under-valued objects and breathing new life into them.

“It also looks at how Madsen might have installed the works in his own home.”

The exhibition explores the idea of inheritance of cultural values and the meaning of value.

The high value of this collection also provided the financial trigger to instigate the £8 million development of York Art Gallery, which is due to reopen in 2015. Included in Peter Madsen’s estate was his own varied collection, which is the stimulus for Finding the Value.

Dr Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “Peter Madsen was generous in leaving us his collection of paintings, prints, books and ethnographic and decorative art.”

The exhibition is open to the public until November 2, from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.

The majority of the new works will be for sale with proceeds going to the York Art Gallery redevelopment fund.

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