bleep - masterful wire-mesh david... · eric had begun to plan and build bleep before he married...
Post on 28-Jul-2018
Embed Size (px)
l~. JbL ~ l ~-v-z_ C~
~"[ v v'-
Bleep The Eric and Jean Cass Collection
Catalogue and Texts
Ann Ell iott
Design Rupert Brown
Photography Doug Atfield
Edited by Angela Dyer
Private Publication Eric and Jean Cass
Published by Eric and Jean Cass
Copyright C 2003
Enc and Jean Cass
All rights reserved.
No part of this pubhcauon may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system
or transmmed, 1n any way or form. or
by any means. electronic. mechanical,
photocopying. recording or otherwise.
without prior permission from the
7 Introduction by Eric and Jean Cass
s2 Hall, Downstairs Cloakroom, Kitchen Corridor, Utility Room, Kitchen
70 Eric's Study
192 Corridor of Coloured Light
196 Sitting Room
220 Jean's Study
246 Dining Room
264 Stairs and Mezzanine
294 Corridor and Rooms on the First Floor
320 Niki de Saint Phalle
328 Pride and Spirit
336 List of Works in order of acquisition
6 & 7 ntroi'vrt1C"n
BLEEP - the name of the house I built in 1969. I was guided by a
young architect, Brian Sapseid, of Barber, Bundy and Greenfield .
The basic criterion was for a house with as much light and
uncluttered space as possible. I wanted large panes of glass so
that when sitting near the windows you felt you were sitt ing in
the garden too. The layout should be open plan w ithout giving a
barn-like feeling. I also wanted the roof space to be part of the
living space, and the roof void was to be just large enough to take
care of the services. Many ideas came from various houses and
hotel constructions I had seen. One such idea was the balcony
over the lounge.
After furnishing the house it became clear that there was
a requirement for some decoration. This gave me the incentive
to start looking for art. I had always enjoyed seeing modern and
contemporary art, so here was a good opportunity to acquire
interesting items .
I married Jean in December 1972 and she very quickly became
enthusiastic about art too. As a result we spend much of our
leisure time looking at and enjoying works of art . The extensions
to the house were carried out in 1985 and 1990 to al low us to
continue our passion for collecting.
The collect ion described in this book represents our collective
pleasure in acqu iring sculptures, paintings, prints. ceramics, and
other works of art. Each item is a piece we like living with, and
enjoy every day. We know when and w hy we bought it.
Whilst the col lection was conceived for our own enjoyment,
it is always a pleasure to share it w ith friends and visitors to
Over the years we have made many fr iends in the art world .
Galleries. museums and artists - too many to mention - have all
helped to brighten our lives. We say thank you to all the artists and
craftsmen whose work we have collected for allowing us to share
thei r enjoyment in the work they have created.
We are del ighted with this book and would like to express
our thanks to Ann Elliott for creating an interesting text out of
the mountain of information we provided. and for the additional
resea rch she carried out. We must also thank Doug Atfield for
some fine photography, undertaken with understanding of the
meaning of the various pieces. Last, but not least, we must say
thank you to Rupert Brown and his team at Borley Mill Studio for
the design and completion of the book .
ERIC AND JEAN CASS
8 & 9 Bleep
Why Bleep? It is a question asked by almost everyone v1sit1ng the home of Eric and Jean Cass for
the first time. Bleep is the word used to describe the high-pitched intermittent electronic sound
made by paging receivers. one of the products marketed by Eric's company, Cass Electronics. In
naming the house Bleep, the company and its products were acknowledged and remembered . The
sale of the company in 1985, and Eric and Jean's retirement. gave them the opportunity to increase
further their personal, highly individual, even idiosyncratic collection. Bleep 1s now home to some
three hundred works of art collected over thirty-three years and considered by Eric and Jean to
be part of their family. Repeatedly in the files that record purchases or commissions there are
references to welcoming this or that new work to their home, or to their family.
Eric had begun to plan and build Bleep before he married Jean. and on completion the
house was featured in the Daily Mail Book of House Plans (pp.72-74) and the Daily Mail Book of
Furnishing Decor and Kitchen Plans (pp.70-71). The first item to be hung in the hallway was a large
print. a black mage on rattan cane of a buxom female nude climbing a rope, taken from a drawing
by Aubrey Beards ey (see p.294). It has not been displayed 1n the house for many years. having
given way in 1988 to Emergency by Michael Craig-Martin. Carol singers were always bemused by
the Beardsley, straining to see it through the window. The Craig-Martin proved no less intriguing.
Donald Pass's The Mill at Acle Bridge was the first painting to be hung 1n the house. and
Barbara Hepworth's 'Three Forms' Opus 504 the first sculpture to be installed. 1n the rear garden.
Since Eric moved in and was joined by Jean 1n 1972 they have filled both gardens and house with
works of art that are wide ranging, colourful, amusing, sexy, loud, quiet and contemplative, historic,
modern and contemporary. The sculptures, paintings, drawings, graphics, ceramics, glass and
designed items such as furniture. lighting and carpets which now fill every available space are the
subject of this book.
Eclectic though their choices have been - and there are some very unlikely juxtapositions - the
collection works as a whole. There is enough space between items to enable the viewer to see
them individually, and close enough to observe telling comparisons. In choosing their works of art.
Eric and Jean had no rules. They would decide on some purchases immediately or intuitively, or
look for a number of years for works by artists they particularly liked. They patronsed a number of
different galleries. and returned again and again to those with whom they had exce lent relations.
and where they knew there would be works of art they would like. Some work was bought at
auction. and a number of charities benefited from such purchases. They listened to the artists
whose works they have collected. many of whom became friends and visit Bleep regularly. Where
possible artists oversaw the installation of their work. and they are often invited back if a piece
needs special attention, or just to visit.
26 & 27 Gardens
David Begbie Venus 1995
David Begbie. essay by John Russell
Taylor. Salama-Caro Gallery, London 1988
5 December 1995
Enc and Jean have several sculptures by
David Begb1e Havmg been introduced to
him by Lindy Kosh of Quinton Green Fine
Art. their first purchase was Standing
Figure 'Strtpper' 1992 lsee p.234). When
invited to an exhib1t1on of Begb1e's work
at Differentiate near Tower Bridge, they
were struck by two figures. male and
female, hung outside high agamst the
sky. Enc liked the way m which the
sculptures could be seen agamst the
light and decided to purchase the pair
David Begb1e brought them to Bleep
He and Eric tried hangmg them on the
trees, but nowhere m the garden were
they able to replicate the light of the
original location, even though Begbie
changed the colours of the sculptures 1n
an attempt to create the desired effect.
Eventually Eric decided to purchase only
Venus. which has been installed at the
front door of Bleep since 1996.
220 & 221 Jean's Study
234 & 235 Jean's Study
David Begbie Standing Figure 'Stripper' 1992
steel wire spray-painted black
David Begbie Mixmatch 2000
signed and dated on base Begb1e oo PROVENANCE
Plus One Plus Two Galleries. London
13 March 2002
336 & 339 Order of AoQuisouon
List of Works in order of acquisition
1962 Suzuki Harunobu
John Pper "'
Fol~te Heads 11953
1970 I July Donald Pass TheM,na1 Agle BrKlge 1970
12 November Barbara Hepw0t1h "" Three Forms Opus 504 1968 Hedegaard Red, Maroon and Blue Absllck AA
28 October Beryt Cock OAl 11 November N k1 de Saint Phalle
11 November N k1 de Saint Phalle 13 November Knut Steen
Oecembe Steven Gregory
1986 4 January
Marton Ful er