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  • Bleep

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  • 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

    The Artists

    Ann Elhott

    Doug Atl1eld

    Printed by

    Paragraph Graphics

    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

    copyright holders.

  • Contents

    7 Introduction by Eric and Jean Cass

    8 Bleep

    14 Gardens

    s2 Hall, Downstairs Cloakroom, Kitchen Corridor, Utility Room, Kitchen

    70 Eric's Study

    130 Lounge

    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

    338 Biographies

    368 Index

  • 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

    our home.

    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 .


    December 2003

  • 8 & 9 Bleep

  • 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

    steel mesh

    h 205cm


    D1fferent1ate, London


    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

    h 169.S

  • David Begbie Mixmatch 2000

    steel mesh

    h 50cm

    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


    21 May


    27 May

    Ken Pieper

    Marton Ful er

    Polly lonldos