The Colony Room: Masterpieces from Pallant House Gallery

Cadogan Tate are working in partnership with Bonhams to facilitate an art exhibition giving an exclusive insight into the Colony Room – the Soho private members club that counted some of Britain’s most important and significant artists amongst its regulars.
“The Colony Room: Masterpieces from Pallant House Gallery” is to be held at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London from 2nd to 11th October. The event coincides with the Frieze Art Fair that includes curated programme of projects and events culminating with the Frieze Artist Award.
Established in 1948 by Muriel Belcher, the Colony Room remained at the epicentre of bohemian London art scene up until 2008 when the club was closed due to issues related to the lease. Its heyday falls into the 1950s when the club was frequented by artists like John Minton, Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde, Francis Bacon, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach.
Although some describe the club as a dark and dingy room with green walls, decorated with bamboo and leopard skin, it was a place where its members felt comfortable and uninhibited, and decadent behaviour was actively encouraged at a time when Britain was a far more conservative place.
It wasn’t just artists that found the lure of the Colony Room difficult to resist. Here they mingled with writers, poets, socialites, actors and the occasional aristocrat and politician. The story of the club and its larger-than-life characters is conveyed through the selection of important artworks on temporary loan from Pallant House Gallery, Chichester– one of the UK’s most prestigious collections of Post-War British art
Paul Haynes, Managing Director of Cadogan Tate said, “it’s been a great experience collaborating with Bonhams on this project. The exhibition sheds light on an important institution that was supportive of and hugely inspirational to so many of Britain’s key artists and we are proud to be involved with such an exciting exhibition.”