Ken Tyler prints and a sizable pop-art collection in the vaults of the Singapore government

Perhaps this is one of the best-kept public-art secrets in Singapore; sometime in the late 1990s, the Singapore government approved the purchase of a $15,000,000 (should be US$, I think) art-collection from a very prominent print-maker (click ‘here‘ for news of the purchase). This is a collection of 1,200 prints owned by Kenneth Tyler (click ‘here‘ to know more about him), who is acknowledged to be among the best print-makers around and who had worked with the most prominent artists since the 1960s, including pop-artists such as Lichtenstein, Hockney and Stella. I was privileged enough to have seen the entire collection in Singapore when it first came; one word…. “STUNNING”!

The funny thing is, since then, this collection – which would make most of the larger contemporary art museums in the world green with envy – has very seldom seen the light of day in Singapore.  I would’ve thought that this collection alone would be a great anchor for a permanent gallery – if not an entire museum – on pop-art; but I’m not the arts minister am I?

Instead, small numbers of these artworks are displayed from time to time at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (which was set-up with the help of Ken himself), located at Robertson Quay (click ‘here‘ to learn more about STPI), and also at the Singapore Art Museum (click ‘here‘ for a past exhibition in 2009). Currently (from 20 May 2011 to 30 Jul 2011), prints of David Hockney’s – one of Britain’s most prominent artists this century – artworks are on display. I’m go see them soon and report again.

But the point of this post is really one of bafflement. A $15million collection of some of the finest quality prints from the finest quality artists of the last 30-40 years, and once in a while, they show a few Hockneys for only 40 days????? THE TRAVESTY (ala Wonder Woman’s angst in Lichtenstein’s work above…) ! ! !  ! !! ! ! !  ! ! !!


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2 responses to “Ken Tyler prints and a sizable pop-art collection in the vaults of the Singapore government

  1. That is i-n-s-a-n-e. We should picket the NHB …

  2. tylercollection

    The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra also holds a large collection of prints from Ken Tyler’s workshops. We’re working to make accessible to everyone through our website, blog and Twitter accounts. If you have any questions about Tyler and his work we’d be happy to help!

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