The Exhibition - Collect Wisely
The Exhibition - Collect Wisely, is a virtual presentation. Like the Collect Wisely podcast, the exhibition exists outside the aegis of the gallery and the artists it represents. Instead, it is centered around artworks from the collections of our podcast participants, among them Marieluise Hessel Artzt, J. Tomilson Hill, Rodney Miller, Howard Rachofsky, Gary Yeh, and Tiffany Zabludowicz. The online exhibition includes images of work selected by each collector accompanied by comments explaining their choices.
Collect Wisely is a provocative media campaign launched by the gallery on May 2, 2018, designed to encourage lively conversation around topics of collecting and connoisseurship. Collect Wisely’s aim has been to question the art world status quo and its increasing preoccupation with short-term monetary interests, and to refocus the dialogue around core values central to artists and the art they create. It is a call to action, a far-reaching initiative bringing together individuals, institutions, and galleries interested in building a vital community as well as inspiring future generations to focus on a wide-ranging and meaningful investment in culture.
A cornerstone of this initiative is the Collect Wisely podcast, a series of interviews in which Sean Kelly discusses with collectors their passion for art, artists, and the core values of why they collect. Twenty-one episodes have been recorded to date, touching upon topics ranging from what it means to be a collector today; how that has changed over time; and where the future of collecting is headed, to what it means to live with and think about objects deeply and critically?
Two years on, the world as we once knew it has shifted irrevocably; the future uncertain. The good news is that the world—and by extension, the art world—will survive the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interregnum, we have paused to reflect and think more intently about not just what we value, but our own core values. With galleries, museums, cultural, performing, and visual arts institutions shuttered, we believe strongly that art will continue to inspire and sustain us, perhaps now more than ever.
To reflect upon and explore this conviction more widely, we have turned to the collectors featured in the podcast and asked them how recent conditions have affected their current thinking about art. In particular, is there one work of art in their own collection that they have been contemplating deeply in this moment of self-isolation and quarantine? Or is there a certain work in their collection through which they have discovered new meaning, or rediscovered passion, given the challenging and unfamiliar circumstances in which we find ourselves? Considering the extraordinary circumstances in which we now find ourselves, it seems that the moment for such an exhibition could not be more propitious. We hope it will provide encouragement and inspiration for the entire art world community.
J. TOMILSON HILL
The Hill Collection includes the personal art collection of J. Tomilson and Janine Hill, who have avidly collected over the past three decades, as well as works that the Hills have irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes.
"For the past weeks, each morning Noguchi’s Stone Embrace calls me to leave our bedroom and start another day in isolation in East Hampton with my wife and daughter. Other than walks on the beach, we have been confined to our house, which has afforded us the opportunity to look at the art in our home with an intensity and focus which we would never have in our “normal” routine.
This basalt sculpture by Noguchi always has something different to say . . . during a rainstorm when the wind is blowing at 80 knots . . . during bright clear days, as we see here, when the sun arcs over Stone Embrace and casts shadows on the stone at sunrise and sunset.
Working wholly from home, the hours seem to pass more quickly, and the days blend one into another with momentum. From my office, I look at the ocean, and I see what Noguchi sculpted in 1985 in his studio in the village of Mure, on the island of Shikoku, where there is a basalt quarry by the sea.
In our current confinement, I think about how Noguchi felt when he, as a Japanese American, voluntarily chose to enter the Poston War Relocation camp in the Arizona desert in May, 1942 after Pearl Harbor, even though he was exempt as a New York resident. A recent exhibition at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, Self-Interned, sheds some light on his feelings: “Thus, I willfully became part of humanity uprooted.” In many ways, what the world is now experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, where many of us are feeling that we are prisoners, is what Noguchi felt when he elected self-internment. The difference is that Noguchi chose this path with the aim of working with the government to improve camp conditions for those Japanese Americans interned involuntarily from the West Coast. We do not have a choice.
With museums closed and exhibitions such as Judd, Richter and Jordan Casteel only open for a few days before shutting down, we have a dearth of opportunities to look at and experience art in museums and galleries. We are left with images and a virtual experience, as well as what is in our homes. Now is the time to look carefully at what you have in your own backyard and ask the question: “Is this work living up to expectations, as I look at it continuously, non-stop every day as we operate in isolation?” Noguchi’s Stone Embrace has only grown better with more looking and more time."
I’ve often said that I look for a bloody nose, sometimes a punch in the stomach, but I think that’s the emotional reaction. It doesn’t have to be razors that are actually cutting you, it can be the emotional reaction. - A quote from J. Tomilson Hill's Collect Wisely podcast, #1 published May 3, 2018
Greg Miller serves as President of the Board of Directors of White Columns, New York’s oldest nonprofit alternative art space. He is a member of the Painting and Sculpture committee of the Whitney Museum and founded an eponymous art book publishing company in 2004. Greg and his husband, Michael Werner, have an extensive collection of contemporary art featuring work by Ghada Amer, Carroll Dunham, Wade Guyton, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Opie and Adrian Piper, amongst others.
"As we complete our second month of sheltering away from our home in New York City, I miss even more the daily up close and physical engagement that living with art makes possible. We recently installed this multi-part work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. While I cannot see it in person at the moment, it is vividly in my mind and a piece I continually come back to when I think of returning to some semblance of pre-pandemic life back in the city.
The five black-and-white photographs depict a gray sky with faint images of birds in flight. In some you can see traces of several birds; in others you can see just one or two. It is a somber piece but one that speaks to why Gonzalez-Torres is such a touchstone for me and the collection. Like his candy pieces or stacks, the work invites direct participation and rewards close viewing. The photographs convey the “natural” flow of time, an important dimension of the artist’s work across his career. Even though minimal, serial, and almost monochromatic, the photographs still contain elements of autobiography and point to emotion, togetherness, disappearance and loss.
I will let Gonzalez-Torres’s own words speak to my selection of "Untitled", 1994, at this time when disruption to our individual, social and cultural lives is so great and the outlook for the future is still so uncertain: 'I need the viewer, I need the public interaction. Without a public these works are nothing, nothing. I need the public to complete the work (1)…. As with all artistic practices, my work is related to the act of leaving one place for another, one which proves perhaps better than the first. (2)'"
1. Felix Gonzalez-Torres in an interview by Tim Rollins at his New York apartment on April 16 and June 12, 1993. Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Edited by Bill Bartman. New York: Art Resources Transfer, Inc., 1993: 5-31.
2. Spector, Nancy. Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Guggenheim Museum Publications, 1995: p 83.
The art world moves at hyper-speeds these days. Find your moments to slow down. Figure out where you can go deeply with art as opposed to trying to be everywhere at all times and know everything at all times. - A quote from Greg Miller's Collect Wisely podcast, #2 published May 5, 2018
MARIELUISE HESSEL ARTZT
Marieluise Hessel Artzt’s wide-ranging collection of over 2,000 works, featuring international artists, is housed at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York, which she co-founded in 1992. In 2006, CCS Bard inaugurated the Hessel Museum of Art where Marlies' collection is on view for students, scholars and visiting curators. Marlies also established the Library and Archives at the CCS, which contains over 25,000 volumes of art-related literature.
"I can feel the girl's worries and fears."
You have to be intuitive, but you also have to know history. I think you should know history far back, so you can actually trust your intuition. I truly believe people in art have to use their senses, too. - A quote from Marieluise Hessel Artzt's Collect Wisely podcast, #3 published May 8, 2018
Paul Marks' collection of contemporary art reflects his interest in themes involving Time, the Void, Appropriation, Replication, Multiplicity, White and Black amongst others. Paul has served on the Contemporary Curatorial Committee and Acquisitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Board of Directors for the Art Gallery of York University, the Power Plant, and the MOCCA Collections Committee. He is one of the founders of Art en Valise, an exhibition space in Toronto dedicated to introducing Canadian audiences to new ideas in contemporary visual arts.
"The work I have selected from our collection is an On Kawara Today or Date painting. This is a painting that I see each day, as it is installed across the hall upstairs from our bedroom. I see it in the morning when I wake up and at night after we put the children to sleep. The date is anonymous. It represents 24 hours. It reminds me to Carpe diem or “seize the day." What will each of us do to utilize that prescribed 24 hours. That which is good for our family, partner or spouse, community, self… we should not waste our time.
This work reminds me of Kawara’s I Am Still Alive telegrams. Indeed, we are still alive during the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. We are brought closer to family and friends via text, email or telephone calls. How old school to talk to people and hear their voices. What a gift.
What can we do that helps us all? As we are fortunate, we each can find ways to help. Our family purchased thousands of surgical masks to help personnel at the hospitals. While asking our 13-year old son to help load the masks into the car for distribution to hospitals, I had the opportunity to tell him that these might save someone’s life—a positive action that teaches a child about responsibility and obligation to their community; something good to do with our day during this trying time of isolation in an altered world and its restrictions.
The pandemic will pass, hopefully sooner than later. We will have new perspectives, focused energy and important activities to participate in with each and every 24 hours we are granted. Thank you, On Kawara, for teaching me the value and blessing of each day.”
There have been pillars that have provided anchor to our collection that I have followed over time. But there are other times I allowed myself a "left-hand turn card." So, I may encounter something at a gallery, or a museum, or an art fair and I say, "Well I’m not sure how that fits, but let me explore that a little bit further." - A quote from Paul Marks' Collect Wisely podcast, #4 published May 11, 2018
Rodney Miller’s collection of contemporary art reflects his interest in modern and contemporary African American and African art of the diaspora. Rodney serves on the board of trustees at The Studio Museum in Harlem and is on the board of the University of Indiana’s business school. His collection of over 200 works features examples by artists such as Beauford Delaney, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, and Hale Woodruff alongside contemporary artists including Shinique Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, Glenn Ligon, Odili Donald Odita and Hank Willis Thomas.
"One of my most rewarding experiences as a collector is sharing works with others through loans to museums. It is gratifying to bring the works to a broader audience. In addition, seeing the work in a museum setting often changes my experience with it. Perhaps it is the larger physical space, compared to home, seeing the reactions of others, or seeing the work in conjunction with different art or artists, but there is no doubt that there is a change. Piedras Biancas is currently on loan to the DePaul Art Museum, in Chicago, Illinois. This may be one of the few times that I won’t be able to see a work of mine that is in a traveling show, as the museum is closed for the duration of the exhibition. However, the increased time spent online viewing art has renewed my affection for this work.
Frank Thiel is best known for his work photographing the architectural destruction and devastation of Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall, photographs that are as beautiful as they are revealing. Piedras Biancas is an expansion of his practice where he turned his camera on the glaciers of Argentine Patagonia. Frank’s work takes me back to my own first visit to Patagonia and the fact that it is happening on-line as opposed to in situ leads me to see new possibilities in how I’ll interact with my collection in the future."
One of the things that being a collector means to me is really an opportunity to, quite frankly, just be a steward. I view myself as temporarily owning these objects; I expect their utility, their value, their beauty, to outlive me. - A quote from Rodney Miller's Collect Wisely podcast, #5 published June 12, 2018
Ron Pizzuti serves on the board of trustees for the Wexner Center Foundation and is an honorary trustee of the Columbus Museum of Art. Ron and Ann Pizzuti’s collection of over 2,400 works is the foundation of the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, their non-profit organization, which features a rotating schedule of exhibitions ranging from painting and sculpture to film and photography. Promoting community involvement and open to the public, the organization is dedicated to fostering education and diversity through its programming.
“Titus Kaphar’s painting Time Travel is part of a series of works in which Titus has attempted to reconstruct accounts of American history. Specifically, he whitewashes a portrait of a black civil war soldier. The message he sends centers around how we fail to recognize the loss of black lives in service to America.
Black Americans are contracting coronavirus and dying at an alarming rate that is disproportionate to the percentage of deaths in the white community.
The racism that existed during the civil war still exists to a large degree today. The whitewashing that dominated this painting sends a message to our nation that we need to address the serious injustice that is caused by the lack of adequate health care coverage for black and brown people. Up front, service-oriented jobs do not come with the benefits that many in the white community take for granted.
Time Travel has a much different meaning to me that it did when I acquired the painting. I am sure that it has taken on new meaning for Titus as well.”
You can’t regret. You can’t look back. It’s like selling a stock and then seeing that it doubles in price the next day. You just move on. There are artists that I have passed, and I’ve regretted, but you can’t win them all. - A quote from Ron Pizzuti's Collect Wisely podcast, #6 published June 15, 2018
MONIQUE & MYRIAM VANNESCHI
Monique Vanneschi is a private collector based in The Netherlands.
“The moment I was invited to participate in this exhibition, I started thinking of all the beautiful art pieces that I am surrounded with. I started walking around the house, realizing how lucky I am, almost taking it for granted that I can live the way I live. I enjoy all of my artworks every single minute of the day, I must say. But for some weeks now, I enjoy them even more intensely than before, when all was still hectic, and you were planning your next meeting or trip and didn’t have so much awareness of your direct surroundings. But life did come to an abrupt standstill and it took some time to change my mindset. I miss tremendously going to museums and art galleries, and although lots of art can be seen on Apps and in digital viewing rooms, it doesn’t come near to experiencing art in person.
I find it extremely difficult to pick just one work that is especially meaningful. There is a beautiful Edmund de Waal work in the kitchen which makes me smile whenever I go grab a coffee. Then there is the Rebecca Warren totem which I look at when having dinner, always discovering new colors in the bronze statue that I haven’t seen before. At my workplace, there is a Ger van Elk work on the wall, which shows a train driving into a station in a small tourist village in Switzerland which makes me long to go on vacation again. Then there is the work of Hugo McCloud in the former bedroom of our daughter, who is actually not allowed to visit us during the lockdown, which creates a big longing for her, but at the same time, the work gives me some solace.
If I must really pick one, my absolute favorite work would be a piece from Eva Rothschild. It is standing right outside on our porch. We can see it from our dining room and seating area. Spring has been extremely good to us, the sun is shining for weeks on an end. We take a coffee or we have lunch right in front of this beautiful piece. It is such a nice and tranquil work, but at the same time it gives me an uplifting feeling and makes me forget the difficult times we are in. When looking at it from the inside or when sitting right next to it outside, it is as if all is well in the world.
The Eva Rothschild work is also special because my sister and I bought it together, which makes the work a constant link to her. I miss seeing her and going to art fairs, museums and biennales together. The last time we met was at the Geneva art fair at the end of January this year, but it already feels as if it was years ago. I hope life will return to a sort of normal state soon, so that we can quickly go back to seeing and discussing art again together.”
My personal interests in artists are often those whose work simply isn’t for sale. They may be social practice artists, performance artists, or digital artists. So, for me, there is another thing in art and collecting which is not so much about me getting a piece of art, but it is about looking at an artist and badly wanting that artist to be able to continue working. - A quote from Monique and Myriam Vanneschi's Collect Wisely podcast, #7 published June 16, 2018
JILL & PETER KRAUS
Jill and Peter Kraus are active participants on the boards at a number of institutions; Jill is Chairman of the Board at the Public Art Fund, and a board member at the New Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. Peter chairs the Board of Overseers at CalArts and is an emeritus Trustee at Lincoln Center, where he chaired the public art program. The couple have gifted works from their collection to museums and institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
"Every time I pass these two works together, I think of the isolation and insanity that we are going through in this pandemic."
We have a very quirky collection. We’re not a trophy collection. We do have some trophies in the collection, mostly because we bought them before they became trophies. - A quote from Jill and Peter Kraus' Collect Wisely podcast, #8 published September 18, 2018
With a particular interest in emerging artists, Manuel DeSantaren’s collection also focuses on time-based works including video and performance, as well as photography. Manuel has been President of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami since 2017. He also co-chairs the Guggenheim Museum’s Photography Council and is on the advisory boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.
“I have selected a work that I keep in my studio. It is a very intimate and ancient roman marble sculpture, possibly a Goddess that might have been part of a temple in a private home. She has been dated to be from the 2nd Century CE. Her proportions are quite perfect for being a small work (45 cm. tall). Her marble dress form is fluid and elegant. Although not intact, there is a serenity about this work that clearly comes from having survived millennia.
She has been with me for decades and no matter where I go, she is there—one of the few constants in my life. I find that having her across from my worktable, I am reminded that classical forms are timeless and so I try to infuse my work with that knowledge in mind.
This beautiful piece has been paired with contemporary photography, painting, works on paper, and my main passion, time-based works. On each and every occasion, the union has been perfect. Quite a lesson. To think that something so ancient and serene can have a dialogue with a contemporary work is a wonderful revelation. I consider myself quite fortunate to have this gem in my collection.”
I have this instinctual rule that if the work makes me uncomfortable it’s probably really good. And if I walk away from it and I can’t stop thinking about it, then I need to bring that into my collection. - A quote from Manuel DeSantaren's Collect Wisely podcast, #9 published November 13, 2018
Tiffany runs and curates the Times Square Space, which hosts exhibitions within the rotating empty offices of 1500 Broadway in the heart of Times Square. She is chairwoman of the Young Collectors Council at the Guggenheim and a founding member of the New Museum’s Artemis Council. She has a particular interest in emerging and “post-internet” art. Her personal collection features work by artists such as Tracy Emin, Item Idem, Josephine Meckseper, Joel Holmberg, Puppies Puppies, and Artie Vierkant.
“I have been thinking about Anj Smith’s work, The Combatant, during this moment. Anj’s beautiful, universal, melancholic work, set against a dystopian backdrop, encourages us all to bravely combat darkness from external and internal forces. The powerful work shows a person, looking with a direct gaze at the viewer, as creatures encroach on its mercurial body. Strength and defiance lie in the figure’s eyes, as they fight against the limits of their human flesh and against an internal psychological struggle; the challenge we face is both physical and mental. We are all united in this moment but also we are so alone and Anj’s work teaches us all bravery, power and defiance.”
Art is so crucial, always, especially in moments where the world's in a bit of a crisis. Art is a conversation, when I see artists who are making something that's pushing the conversation forward then that's what's exciting to me. – A quote from Tiffany Zabludowicz's Collect Wisely podcast, #10 published December 4, 2018
Based in Mexico City, Pablo Sepúlveda is a founding partner of the architecture firm Legorreta Sepúlveda Arquitectos. His family’s collection includes works on paper, photography and sculpture.
“To some extent, after this pandemic is over or in control, the world will never be the same as we know it, or at least as it used to be. During these last few weeks of quarantine, Viviana, the girls and I have had the opportunity to see and enjoy every piece of art we’ve ever owned from a different perspective. Art has helped a lot in coping with this difficult time.
In order to enjoy every piece of art, I came up with the idea of doing my daily routines in a different room. That gave me and everyone in the family the opportunity to sit in front of a different piece of art.
As we all know, our taste in art evolves and changes depending on the times we live in and in the different moments of our lives we are going through. The art of Idris Khan has always captivated us; we find his photo-based work to be profound because of the deepness of all its layers, intense but in a way subtle. The way he uses color and shapes gives us peace. All of the layers of information in this piece make me think of the complexity of the times in which we are living. A circumstance that is new to everyone and a time that forces us to be creative, in the same way Idris Khan had to be creative at the time he conceived this work of art.
Time has given all of us the gift to enjoy such a beautiful piece of art. As time passes by, Idris’s work has lived with us easily and has allowed us to endure life during quarantine. We are profoundly thankful for the opportunity to own this incredible piece.”
Buying names is very easy. You just have to open a book of the Art Basel Fair, and you can pick the names and go and buy them, but that would be incredibly absurd and boring. I like studying the artists that I like. I really don’t care If they are famous or not. - A quote from Pablo Sepúlveda's Collect Wisely podcast, #11 published February 6, 2019
Cindy and Howard Rachofsky have played a profound role in catapulting Dallas into a leading center for the collection and presentation of international contemporary art. The Rachofsky Collection has great depth in Post-War art, with particular strength in American and European Minimalism, Italian Arte Povera and Japanese Gutai, of which they’ve assembled the most extensive collection in the United States. In addition to serving on the Boards of many cultural institutions, Cindy and Howard have pledged their collections in its entirety to the Dallas Museum of Art.
“Sadly, the Coronavirus has radically reframed several of the more unsettling themes explored in our current exhibition at the Rachofsky Warehouse, Psychic Wounds: On Art & Trauma. Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s artworks were informed by the fact that he was a gay man living with HIV. The discovery of the AIDS virus in the early 1980s and the impact of the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s brought to the fore extreme societal prejudices against the gay community and those living with AIDS. Similarly, this new viral threat has quickly become entangled with other life-threatening realities such as systemic discrimination, domestic violence, climate change, economic inequality, homelessness and mental health—issues that are often hidden, obscured, misrepresented or marginalized. In times like these, Gonzalez-Torres’s work reminds Cindy and I of the lessons we learned from the HIV/AIDS pandemic and how those lessons can usefully be applied to the fight against COVID-19. That is, at all times, and to the best of our ability, act with kindness and display compassion and humanity.”
The best way to see an artist's work is quietly in a gallery where you can actually have a conversation around that work and with a gallerist. Maybe it’s a little old school, but it’s the way I learned and discovered what was challenging and stimulating to me. – A quote from Howard Rachofsky's Collect Wisely podcast, #12 published February 8, 2019
Gary discovered his passion for art whilst in high school and pursued it throughout college. Whilst studying at Duke University, he served as a co-chair of the student advisory board at the Nasher Museum of Art and launched a virtual art gallery. Gary is the founder of ArtDrunk, an art media company he launched on Instagram that aims to break down barriers to connect a new generation of art enthusiasts.
“Jonathan Monk’s Restaurant Drawing hangs between two windows in my parents’ home. I glance at it when the sun breaks through every morning and every evening when I turn to switch off the lights. Although Monk’s drawing takes after the work of Peter Halley, all I can see in this moment of quarantine is Robert Gober’s Prison Window, 1992. As we inch into another week of this, I find myself reflecting on my past year of travel, clinging on to the world beyond those windows.
I’m lucky in that we live in the suburbs. I get out of the house to take my dog on walks or to call and catch up with friends out of earshot of my parents. Getting in the car to grab groceries is the closest I get to being on a plane. I’ve picked up a new hobby in making pasta. Much trickier than the recipes will have you believe. And I’m thinking of adding a Middle Eastern flare to dinner tomorrow night. I miss the cultures that hugged me wherever I went. Trying to replicate their food is all I can do now.
But once the flour and eggs have been devoured, the vegetables digested, and any unnecessary snacks munched through, all that’s left from the grocery run is the receipt. I prop up those receipts in my mind much in the way Monk’s drawing is encased in glass and hung up high. They’re my last physical link to the broader world and the last semblance of normalcy.”
I’m not wedded to one particular medium because even though I studied art history, I come from a very personal standpoint. Take minimalism, for example. My parents are so boggled why I would like something so 'plain.' But for me it has its beauty being minimal, and it is a very personal reaction to it and I just love it. - A quote from Gary Yeh's Collect Wisely podcast, #15 published May 1, 2019
Tiqui Atencio is a passionate collector of pre-Columbian, Latin American and Contemporary Art. She founded and chairs the Tate’s Latin American Acquisitions Committee and is chairwoman of the Guggenheim Museum’s International Director’s Council. Her collection of mostly contemporary art includes over 500 works ranging from painting, photography, film and sculpture. Her recent book, Could Have, Would Have, Should Have includes interviews with many of the world’s top collectors.
“I have found the work that signifies the most to me in these troubled and heart wrenching times. It is a work of art by Tomás Saraceno, an Argentinian artist that lives and works in Berlin, that I recently bought on my last trip to China. This piece resonates very profoundly with my state of mind in these days of seclusion. It’s a spider web in a glass box.
When I look at this work, it is not only art that I am admiring; it is also teaching me something. It is making me feel more conscious of how immensely connected we are as human beings. How spiders—these amazing creatures, this ancient species that preceded us on this earth by millions of years—have learned to adapt to their environment without doing any harm to nature, in fact, quite the contrary.
It makes me feel more aware of the importance of science and medicine and the people that take care of us, that sacrifice so much for us. It makes me think about how actions have such a great impact on our families, our friends, our lives, and everything that surrounds us.
For me, this work represents the perfect metaphor for how society should live and adapt and connect with the environment and mankind. I have always thought of spider webs as a symbol of how I like to collect, and I have more spider webs in my collection, but living with this one has given me a whole new dimension of appreciation.”
The best advice is to study, study, and study. The more you look at art, the more you visit museums and fairs, and galleries, the more you're involved in seeing, watching, actually living. The more you create your own opinion, and that's what, I think, at the end of the day is important. Know yourself, take a position. - A quote from Tiqui Atencio's Collect Wisely podcast, #17 published July 3, 2019
Based in Belgium, The Servais Family Collection features several hundred works from international artists working in a variety of mediums with one notable distinction, there are no paintings. The collection is housed in a converted factory in Belgium, called The Loft.
“I like the following statement, which I read once and from which I am now quoting freely: ‘A museum collection tends to be representing as thoroughly as possible a period in time whereas a private collection is a snapshot’
I care for the historical, social, political and cultural context of a work of art. It often has a universal power, but it is better understood in the context of the time in which it was created. This original context does not change with new events. If my perception of a work of art changes, it is probably more often because I understand better or differently the context in which it has been created.
It is again the case for this COVID-19 crisis, which is for me a brutal reminder of our fragility after decades of feelings of invincibility. I am looking forward to the world which will emerge from this breakup and the art which will follow it, or interpret it, or question it.
But COVID-19 is not changing my perception of the works in my collection. One work that I am happy to highlight today for its universal timeliness is this 1988 work by Barbara Kruger. We are at a time when we have to remember that behind every good, there is evil and behind every evil, some good.”
Collect meaningfully doesn't mean making money out of it, it's about preserving what I think is an important moment of the culture of today, and if you want to collect meaningfully you must go in places where people are feeling uncomfortable. I'm feeling very comfortable being uncomfortable. - A quote from Alain Servais' Collect Wisely podcast, #18 published September 19, 2019
Leo Shih began collecting in the 1990s and features artworks ranging from first-generation Chinese oil painters to contemporary work, with a focus on Chinese and Taiwanese artists.
"Sanyu painted this marriage bouquet in the 1930s, when he had just gotten married and was also probably thinking that his artistic career was going to continue to bloom. Unfortunately, that did not happen in his lifetime. Like a number of artists, his work did not receive wide recognition until well after his death.
In Marriage Bouquet, flowers are blooming inside the glass cover, even though there are a few leaves falling down to the ground. In a similar way, just as we are forced to isolate and quarantine ourselves to fight the coronavirus, illness and death, we should keep a positive mind and maintain happiness to face to the bright future which will be coming soon."
I just trusted my instincts and love of painting. I did not plan to have this kind of collection or that kind of collection. It just happened. So all these paintings, they can speak with you. You can really feel and be touched by paintings. - A quote from Leo Shih's Collect Wisely podcast, #19 published October 17, 2019
Based in Oslo, Norway, Erling Kagge is a lawyer, publisher, writer, and explorer and has been an art collector for over 30 years. He is the first person to ever surmount the Three Poles; the North Pole, the South Pole, and the Summit of Mount Everest. His collection champions young emerging artists, focusing on individuals who are just starting out. In 2015, he published A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art and his most recent publication is Silence: In the Age of Noise and Walking.
"I need optimism, laughter, beauty, creativity, generosity and to see my girlfriend smile from ear to ear. Franz’ idea was to change Passtücke every working day."
You have to follow your own path, but obviously also, when you collect, you are not collecting only with your eyes, you are also collecting with your ears and your nose. So I talk to a lot of people about art, I listen to people, I read quite a bit, and I see a lot of art, and then I make up my own mind. - A quote from Erling Kagge's Collect Wisely podcast, #20 published December 18, 2019
Dan is a founding partner of Subject Matter, a creative advocacy firm based in Washington, D.C. He is the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
“At a time of distance and despair, it’s worth looking for the silver linings in our lives. I’ve found a few over the last weeks, among them more uninterrupted time with my wife and three kids — and a new lens on many artworks we have owned for years.
Before the novel coronavirus upended the planet — and our world — we would speed past artworks in the blur of activity that consumed our days: work, school, socializing and, well, living our lives. Today we find ourselves spending time in rooms where the lights would normally be off. With our world narrowed, we also now have time to stand in front of artworks we’ve owned for a while and have taken for granted during “normal” times, when collecting was very focused on the next new thing. What were we thinking?
For my submission, I chose a work we commissioned about five years ago for our living room , by the iconic English artist Richard Long. Made from white china clay sourced near the artist’s home and applied by his own hand on linen, the piece has an organic, personal feel that seems intimate, despite its massive scale. In this moment that feels dark and uncertain, this artwork has a relentless positive energy that refuses to bow to the moment. It radiates and welcomes you to each day — allowing you to draw on its dynamic nature to help power through the most surreal moments of this crisis.
For me, this piece represents timeless, natural movement and force. Somehow, I look at it and believe everything is going to be OK. I also feel grateful. It reminds me what I love most about collecting art, which is drawing inspiration from the genius and creativity of artists. I will remember that feeling and cherish my newfound appreciation for the art among us long after we move beyond this crisis”
Once you start to get a little bit more confidence in your choices you can step out of the box that you’ve created for yourself, and once you do that once, it becomes sort of an addiction to keep trying to do that and keep trying to make these things that shouldn’t make sense together, really play well together. The other thing that is interesting too, is that you start to realize that three-dimensional objects become really exciting in a collection too, especially outdoors, and then you start to think about your entire environment as being a place to experience art. - A quote from Dan Sallick's Collect Wisely podcast, #21 published May 29, 2020