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Clockwise From Top Right: Courtesy of Alexandre Gallery, All Rights Reserved, Estate of Will Barnet/Licensed by Vaga, New York; Cheryl Laemmle; Richard Tuttle, Courtesy of Pace Gallery; Lucio Pozzi; Steve Keister Richard Tuttle, Courtesy of Pace Gallery; Lucio Pozzi; Steve Keiste
Collecting and investing have eclipsed many other aspects of art, particularly in recent weeks as auction prices soared to absurd levels. When one work sells for $142.4 million, as a Francis Bacon triptych did this month, it prompts questions not only about the cultural and monetary value of art, but also about the unequal distribution of wealth and how such wealth is acquired in the first place. This is why the collectors, and not just the works, in “Many Things Placed Here and There: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery” are important within the greater history of contemporary art.
New York Times
Imagine a museum that assaults every sense as you walk through its rooms. A museum where the rotting flesh from one work of art is fed to the mechanical digestive system of another so it can be processed and turned into excrement; where the mutilated bodies of suicide bombers are sculpted in chocolate and the Bible and Torah are displayed with bombs inside them.
Imagine a museum that overturns virtually every accepted notion of institutional practice: an underground museum with no natural light, with a deliberately confusing design so visitors get lost as they wander through its halls, and a museum which, in places, is incredibly noisy and very, very smelly.
This is the vision of David Walsh, mathematician, professional gambler, vineyard and brewery owner, who describes his Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) currently nearing completion outside the Tasmanian capital Hobart, as both an “unmuseum” and a “subversive Disneyland”.
Mona has been under construction for the past three-and-a-half years and, if all goes according to plan, it will open to the public in January free of charge. We recently visited Walsh and were given a rare interview as well as a first look at his new building and the art he has collected to go inside it.
The Art Newspaper
Andy Warhol (Photo credit: allposters.com)
Masterpieces of the Universe: The famous art owned by bailed-out banks
To view several art-rich banks, click here.
The Big Money
Insights from “Artoholic” in chief Charles Saatchi, on art collectors:
However suspect their motivation, however social-climbing their agenda, however vacuous their interest in decorating their walls, I am beguiled by the fact that rich folk everywhere now choose to collect contemporary art rather than racehorses, vintage cars, jewellery or yachts. Without them, the art world would be run by the state, in a utopian world of apparatchik-approved, culture ministry-sanctioned art. So if I had to choose between Mr and Mrs Goldfarb’s choice of art or some bureaucrat who would otherwise be producing Vat forms, I’ll take the Goldfarbs. Anyway, some collectors I’ve met are just plain delightful, bounding with enough energy and enthusiasm to brighten your day.
Herb and Dorothy Vogel at the National Gallery. They amassed a valuable collection of contemporary art over the years on a modest income. (Fine Line Media)
After-hours at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. A small group of significant donors seated around a conference table slip on print-handling gloves and then— with Christmas-morning-like anticipation—turn their attention to the large shipping crate that a curator is carefully unpacking. It’s a scene that has already taken or soon will be taking place at 49 other museums, one in each state: the opening of a gift of 50 works of art sent by Herb and Dorothy Vogel.
The backstory to the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection…New York-born Herb, a high-school dropout and aspiring artist who worked a day job as a postal clerk, married Dorothy Hoffman of Elmira, N.Y., a Brooklyn librarian who also became an aspiring painter. The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection is what resulted from their decision shortly thereafter, in the mid-1960s, to collect rather than make art. They earmarked Herb’s modest salary for that purpose, and for much of the next four decades the pair were Zelig-like presences on the New York art scene, easily attending as many as 25 shows a week. In 1990, it would take five full-size moving vans to empty their one-bedroom Upper East Side apartment of the 2,400 works—covering every inch of wall space, stacked in crates and under beds—that they’d so voraciously collected.
Ann S. Lewis
Wall Street Journal