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Monday, July 25th, 2011

Pirovino KAWS Collection

Hypebeast and HighSnobiety recently unveiled a view into the KAWS collection I’ve been focused on building for the past several years, including an interview that covers a bit of the journey up to this point. Shot by Brandon Shigeta, the photos present works in a variety of mediums including ink, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, bronze, resin, wood, and vinyl. Here are some exclusive photos that were reserved for this space:

Posted by pirovino | Filed in Collections, Los Angeles, Sculpture, TACVault | 1 Comment »


Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

American Art Collecting…

Sir Gerald Kelly (English, 1879-1972), Portrait of Mr. Frick in the West Gallery, 1925, oil on canvas. 48 x 40 in. Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

In this LA Times article, American art collectors are singled out as emerging in scholarly significance. Contrasted to older traditions, American collecting has evolved briskly, though failing to reach a mainstream level of visibility amongst the popular culture. In the last decade, the Internet has made it possible for young collectors to hone their taste and create highly-personalized art collections. Speaking from experience, the web has facilitated many aspects of serious collecting, including creation and utilization of channels like this blog and our forum. As American collectors begin to be studied, it’s a certainty to expect that there will be vast differences among us, yet astounding commonalities may also come as a surprise. With new forms of art such as ‘toys’ by KAWS and more galleries bravely appealing to nascent collectors, it’s an exciting time for art. As collectors, American or not, we each share a passion for art; a heritage that is established in the most classical notion of holding something beautiful, or at least endlessly fascinating, in our possession.

Posted by pirovino | Filed in Collections | Comment now »


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Amidst Controversy, Brandeis Weighs Renting Rose Collection

A sign erected by protesters on the night of a public hearing at the Rose Art Museum in February of last year. (Sarah Ewick via Bostonist)

Nearly a year and a half after Brandeis came under attack for voting to shore up university funds by closing down and selling off the Rose’s collection, the future of the museum still remains in question. After flip-flopping under pressure on its initial decision, Brandeis’ board is now considering renting out works from the Rose to generate income for the university.

In a press release dated May 28 and first reported by the Boston Globe, Brandeis announced that it was taking steps to “explore a range of alternatives to the sale of art from the Rose Art Museum in an effort to generate value from a portion of the collection while still maintaining ownership of the artwork.” More specifically, University President, Jehuda Reinharz, revealed that Brandeis was already “in discussions with Sotheby’s to solicit advice on non-sale partnerships, lending agreements and other creative solutions in the fundraising arena.”

To be clear, “lending” is less than upfront terminology to describe the potential plan. Simply put, Brandeis may be close to renting out portions of the 7,000+ piece Rose collection for profit.

Though the recent announcement makes sure to clarify that “Brandeis is committed to using a portion of any proceeds it realizes from art in the Rose Art Museum to directly benefit both the museum and the university’s Department of Fine Arts,” this really seems like lip service. It is abundantly clear that the universities’ motivation remains unchanged  – to offset the economic troubles of Brandeis (not the Rose) by leveraging its control over the Rose’s collection as a cash-asset. No one who has been following these developments since last January has any doubt where the majority of any such revenue would end up – with the financially burdened university, and not with the Rose.

Furhtermore, while the university emphasizes that it would “Ideally…continue to own the art but find an innovative way to get value from it,” and that they have “not sold any art since that vote, and will not do so while it examines non-sale alternatives,” no guarantees have been given. In fact, Brandies has already cut a deal with Christies to put works on the auction block, if it ultimately decides to permanently shutter the Rose and deassess the collection.

Lee Rosenbaum (who has been diligently shedding light on the story since its beginning) makes some insightful new suggestions over on CultureGrrl – that preference should be given to Boston-area museums or educational institutions, that under no circumstances should Rose works be lent for private use by collectors or corporations, and that the core collection of important works from the collection should remain on campus, with the right to borrow back works from renters for educational or exhibition purposes.

For those who haven’t been following, the battle over the Rose began in January of last year, after Brandeis’ trustees announced it would close the museum and sell off its $350 million collection to insulate an increasingly threatened university endowment (see our previous reports here and here) which was hit hard by the global recession and Madoff scheme. With the support of every major museum association, The Rose’s board fired back on the grounds that the museum was not a university asset and such action would be in violation of the intentions of the museum’s founders, donors and established ethical codes. Controversy escalated further in July when museum overseers filed a lawsuit (read the full transcript here) to halt Brandeis from moving forward with its plans. While Brandeis has held off selling any art or closing the museum, they did fire the majority of the Rose’s staff, including the museum’s director, who has been outspoken against the university’s actions.

The proposed rental plan is certainly less egregious than the initial move to close the museum and toss its important public collection to the highest bidder. Moving forward, if Brandeis were willing to adhere to some ethical guidelines, like those proposed by Rosenbaum, at least it would allow for the Rose to remain a vital and active public institution, and carry out its original mission, as envisioned by its founders and early benefactors when it opened its doors in 1961.


Thursday, February 11th, 2010

MOCA Cleveland Hosts Major Survey of Contemporary African American Art

Romare Bearden, Conjur Woman, (Image: © Romare Bearden / R.T. Miller Jr. Fund, 2001 Collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum)

In a critical event, MOCA Cleveland is currently playing host to the first ever public survey of contemporary African American art in the Ohio region. From Then to Now : Masterworks of Contemporary African American Art, features 27 artists, sourced from important regional collections – The Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, the Akron Art Museum, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Progressive Corporation, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Kara Walker, Untitled, 1998, (Image © Kara Walker / Collection of the Progressive Corporation)

Beginning with works from pioneering figures of the 1970s and 80s, such as Romare Bearden and Alma Thomas, From Then to Now continues to the present, with prime examples of works by artists including Lenardo Drew, Alison Saar, Willie Cole, David Hammons, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, René Green, Kara Walker and Kehinde Wiley.  TAC applauds MOCA Cleveland and curator Margo Ann Crutchfiel for presenting this unprecedented exhibition.

Kehinde Wiley, Passing/Posing, (Image: Collection of the Progressive Corporation, Mayfield Village, OH.)

From Then to Now : Masterworks of Contemporary African American Art
Jan 29 – May 9, 2010
MOCA Cleveland
8501 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Collections, Exhibition, Museums, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Monday, October 12th, 2009

Wild Things Arrives

maurice- sendak-wild-things
Final Drawing for Where the Wild Things Are. (Image: © Maurice Sendak, 1963. All rights reserved.)

There’s lots going on in anticipation of this week’s theatrical release of Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are. While much of the spotlight is on MoMA’s survey of Jonze’s accomplishments in film, several other events focus on Maurice Sendak, the story’s creator.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is hosting There’s a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak, on view now through Jan. 19, 2010. The exhibit features watercolors, preliminary sketches, drawings, and dummy books from more than 40 of Sendak’s books. All works are on loan from the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, which holds the world’s largest collection of Sendak’s art, including some ten thousand items including drawings and manuscripts for over one hundred books, as well as prints, paintings, hand-made books, and a wide range of other ephemera.

Bruno, 1979. Concept Drawing for Where the Wild Things Are Opera (Image: via Animazing Gallery, © Maurice Sendak. All rights reserved.

The Rosenbach Museum has aslo lent twelve drawings and two manuscript pages for Where the Wild Things Are: Original Drawings by Maurice Sendak, taking place at the Morgan Library in New York.

Coinciding with these exhibits is Sendak in Soho, the largest ever sale of original art directly from the artist’s collection, including over 200 works, as well as a limited edition bronze sculpture. The show is currently on view at Animazing Gallery and runs till Nov. 8.

Lastly, The Rosenbach is currently holding two of their own Sendak exhibits. While And It’s Still Hot: Where The Wild Things Are focuses on the popular book, Too Many Thoughts to Chew: A Sendak Stew presents a refreshing curatorial approach that does not focus on Wild Things, and instead explores the reoccurring themes of food, eating, and being eaten in Sendak’s books.


Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Forbes Top Billionaire Art Collectors

Forbes has released their list of art collectors with holdings worth at least $700 Million. Notable names include LA’s Eli Broad, who helped keep the doors of MOCA open when they spiralled into financial uncertainty. The clip above profiles Broad in Forbes’ Collector series.

Posted by pirovino | Filed in Collections | Comment now »


Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

TAC VAULT :: Barry McGee

It’s been quite a while since we’ve posted from the TACVault, featuring images from our members’ private collections. As collectors, while we do enjoy seeing art in museums and gallery spaces, there’s another level of excitement and joy that comes from experiencing the living spaces of fellow art ethusaists, and works of art that are otherwise gone from public view. Through TACVault, we hope to provide some insight into the collecting process, and an intimate look at the passionate and dedicated pursuits of art collectors. 

The above Barry McGee installation comes to us from one of our TACForum members. The individual pieces were acquired separately over a span of a few years. Two notable works include the man with tanktop, 2001 (upper left), which is featured in the Fondazione Prada museum calatog, and the torso man (bottom left), exhibited as part of a larger installation at the 2007 Watari-um Museum show in Tokyo.

We welcome images for inclusion in the TACVault. Please send images and relevant information to info@theartcollectors.com  If posted, we will keep your identity anonymous or credit you, depending on personal preference.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Collections, TACVault | 1 Comment »


Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

The Rubell + Margulies Collections, Miami

Jean Michel Basquiat, Rubell Family Collection

It’s easy to get exhausted walking the aisles of numerous Miami art fairs, where an artist’s output primarily functions as commodity.  More often than not, Art Basel and its offshoot fairs have more in common with a trade-show than art exhibition. With this in mind, the few prominent private collections open to the public during Basel week offer a rare escape from the massive commercial enterprise that consumes Miami each year. 

This year, the Rubell Family Collection unveiled 30 Americans, a massive exhibition joining several new African American voices with their influences from the past. The show’s title intentionally disregards racial connotations, in an effort to comment on personal issues of racial identity each artist explores in their work. 30 Americans depicts a hugely influential group including Jean Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, Rashid Johnson, and Lorna Simpson, jusxtapozed alongside the newer voices they have influence, such as Kehinde Wiley, Noah Davis, and Jeff Sonhouse.

The Margulies Collection continues to display one of the most significant single collections of installation, sculpture, photography, and video art in the world, including seminal works by Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, George Segal, Donald Judd, and Andy Warhol. Recent additions include a new visual and auditory installation by Brazilian twins Os Gemeos (acquired from their show with Deitch Projects this past summer) and a video piece by Isaac Julien.

Read on for more images – click pics for larger views.

All Images: Jeff Newman / The Art Collectors

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Collections, Fairs, Uncategorized | Comment now »


Friday, October 17th, 2008

Cheryl Dunn Has a Fantastic Collection

The Selby just posted an intimate look inside the New York home of photographer/director, Cheryl Dunn, and director/producer, Michael Karbelnikoff.  The photos also give us a glimpse of a fantastic art collection, including works by Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Steve Powers (ESPO), Chris Johanson, Clare Rojas, Scott Campbell, and Matt Leines. Check out the three ESPO gems in the shot above, including a rare jar and can from the influential Street Market exhibit, circa 2000.  We’ve identified the rest of our favorites here….so read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Collections, New York City | Comment now »