in Frieze London | 12 OCT 23

CAS Collections Fund Acquires Grada Kilomba, Pamela Phatismo Sunstrum and Goshka Macuga

The works will be added to the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, reflecting its increasing diversity of voices and post-colonial perspectives

in Frieze London | 12 OCT 23

Works by three women artists have been acquired through the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze for The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge. All three works explore global histories from post-colonial perspectives that speak to the Fitzwilliam’s wide-ranging collection.

The acquisition will be the first time that two of the artists, Grada Kilomba and Pamela Phatismo Sunstrum (Goodman Gallery), will be represented in the collection of a British institution. The depiction of Ragandranath Tagore by Goshka Macuga (Kate MacGarry) disrupts genres of art. 

Haba Rashid, Senior Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art at The Fitzwilliam Museum, said:

I am deeply thankful to the CAS Collections Fund at Frieze and the CAS patrons for supporting the acquisition of works by three outstanding international women artists, whose poetic and powerful art making can resonate across the collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum. I can see many opportunities in which we can display these pieces in both our fine art and object-based galleries to create inspiring visual and material connections as well as stimulate important conversations that examine the past to speak about now.’


Grada Kilomba Untitled Poem (one sorrow, one revolution) 2022 Charcoaled piece, engraved poem, hand painted with gold leaf Work: 24 x 24 x 86 cm (9.4 x 9.4 x 33.9 in.)
Grada Kilomba, Untitled Poem (one sorrow, one revolution), 2022. Charcoaled piece, engraved poem, hand painted with gold leaf, 24 x 24 x 86 cm

Grada Kilomba (b. 1968, Portugal) is a Berlin-based artist, whose works draws on memory, trauma, gender and post-colonialism, interrogating concepts of knowledge, power and violence. Performance, staged reading, video, sculptural installation and sound pieces all become conduits for Kilomba’s unique practice of decolonial storytelling. 

Untitled Poem (one sorrow, one revolution) (2023) has been extracted from the installation 18 Verses (2023) that consists of 18 charcoaled wood blocks engraved with poems by the artist in gold leaf, written in Yoruba, Kimbundu, Cape Verde Creole, Portuguese, Syrian Arabic and English, to further explore cyclical violence and the relationship between narrative, power and repetition.


Goshka Macuga Rabindranath Tagore (Blue), 2022 jesmonite and plaster 62 x 25 x 30 cm Edition of 5
Goshka Macuga, Rabindranath Tagore (Blue), 2022. Jesmonite and plaster, 62 x 25 x 30 cm, edition of five. Courtesy the artist and Kate MacGarry

Goshka Macuga (b. 1967, Warsaw, Poland) is a London-based artist whose practice is based on historical and archival research, which informs her installations, sculptures, tapestries and collages. As an artist, she simultaneously assumes the role of curator, historian and designer. 

Rabindranath Tagore (Blue) (2022) includes a plaster head of Indian polymath and Noble laureate, Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) as a flower vase. Tagore was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of early 20th-century India, with a particular sense of ecological philosophy and ethics, influenced by ancient Indic thought. For Macuga, Tagore’s partial colour-vision deficiency is of central interest.


Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum The Dream II (mae) 2023 Crayon, pencil, and oil on linen Work: 127 x 133 cm (50 x 52.4 in.) Streched: 117 x 123 cm (46.1 x 48.4 in.) Unique
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, The Dream II (mae), 2023. Crayon, pencil and oil on linen, 127 x 133 cm (stretched 117 x 123 cm) 

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (b. 1980, Botswana) is based in The Hague. Her multidisciplinary practice encompasses drawing, painting, installation and animation. Sunstrum’s drawings take the form of narrative landscapes that appear simultaneously futuristic and ancient, shifting between representational and fantastical depictions of volcanic, subterranean, cosmological and precipitous. Her work ‘The Pavilion’ (2023) is the latest commission by London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE and is on view until January 2024. It marks Sunstrum’s first UK solo exhibition at a public institution.

The Dream II (mae) is a double portrait of the artist’s alter ego Asme, who has become a constant figure in her work, representing a testing ground for ideas, in the absence of representation of the black female body in art history. The double figure in the painting are each depicted cradling eggs in the palms of their hands, speaking to fertility and unhatched potential.

Luke Syson, Director and Marlay Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, said:

‘At The Fitzwilliam, we are radically rethinking our contemporary collecting and it has been truly wonderful to collaborate with CAS and the Collections Fund at Frieze. CAS’s generous support enables us this year to add three works to our collection that respect the Fitzwilliam’s tradition of outstanding quality and simultaneously help us to expand and enrich the stories we tell.’

Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society said:

‘In this seventh year of our collaboration with Frieze London, and its 20th anniversary year, I am delighted that we have been able to make these purchases for one of our most important institutions outside London. We are proud of a track record of acquiring works by major international artists, who bring global discourses into the heart of UK regional museums with works that engage, delight and challenge.’


Further Information

Frieze London and Frieze Masters take place concurrently from 11–15 October 2023 in The Regent’s Park, London.

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Main image: Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, The Dream II (mae), 2023 (cropped)

Crayon, pencil, and oil on linen

Work: 127 x 133 cm (50 x 52.4 in.) Stretched: 117 x 123 cm (46.1 x 48.4 in.) 

Thumbnail: Grada Kilomba, Untitled Poem (one sorrow, one revolution), 2022

Charcoaled piece, engraved poem, hand painted with gold leaf Work

24 x 24 x 86 cm (9.4 x 9.4 x 33.9 in.)