BRISTOL, UK.- The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery presents The Fine Art of Collecting: Tom Bendhem: A Twentieth Century Art Collector. The late Tom Bendhems generosity and friendship was spread widely throughout the arts, and a celebratory touring exhibition launches in London. 2004 Turner Prize nominees Langlands & Bell feature in the Art Collection of Tom Bendhem, which was bequeathed to the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) on his death in 2002. This diverse group of contemporary works of art was amassed at his London home since the late 1960s, and reflects the collectors passion for painting, drawing, sculpture and photography.
More than this, the collection records lasting friendships forged between artist and benefactor throughout the last thirty years of the twentieth century. Many of the works bear personal inscriptions from the artists. A number of significant artists have now given CAS more recent works in memory of Tom Bendhem, and the support he gave them at earlier and crucial stages of their careers. This includes works by Stephen Buckley, Judith Cowan, John Gibbons, Nigel Hall RA, Phillip King CBE PRA, Langlands & Bell, Bruce McLean, Bridget Riley CH DBE, Lee Tribe, William Tucker RA and Manijeh Yadegar.
The CAS touring exhibition and its catalogue pay tribute to Tom Bendhem as a collector of contemporary art. He bought early works from artists such as Peter Sedgley and David Mach sometimes the first piece the artist had sold. He bought repeatedly from artists who he loved and admired. His house was a treasure trove that also reflected an artists eye, for Tom Bendhem was a painter after his retirement from business. He trained as an associate student at the Slade School, benefiting from the advice and tuition of artists who were also his friends.