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Art Diary International 2013/2014
is now out, packed with contact information for galleries, museums, artists, curators, critics, and other professional arts services around the world.


WHAT IT FEELS LIKE FOR A GIRL


Heather Flow on “With You I Want to Live” at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Florida

 

What does it mean to collect? Even better — what does it mean to collect art?

With these questions in my mind I flew down to Florida to view an exhibition at the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale. On view were two collections: the collections of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, and Gordon Locksley and George T. Shea.

 

Irvin Lippman, Executive Director, Dr. George Hanbury, and Mike Jackson;

Irvin Lippman, Executive Director, Gordon Locksley, and Wayne Boeck.

 

I should begin by noting that I am not writing about a museum program that includes exclusively exhibiting collector’s work (or a collector’s foundation’s work because really they are one in the same)… from Eli Broad’s relationship with LACMA to the Rothschild’s with MoMA… we have seen how tricky it is even for two of the most established American museums.

In this economic environment, museums look to firm relationships with their large donors by exhibiting their collections and creating a lovely accompanying catalogue. Even galleries are starting to think similarly. Larry Gagosian is a brilliant businessman. He didn’t pull together the Manzoni and the late Picasso shows because they needed the art historical recognition. No, Larry knew that not only would he get the hard-assed Roberta Smith (I say that with admiration) on his side but he would also win over all the older collectors who have been out of the market for the past 5 years and had only worked with Larry occasionally or maybe even never. Okay, so now that we have established that everyone plays these games as ethical or unethical as they may be…. back to the art. 

 

Michael Maloney of Maloney Fine Art, Deborah McCloud of Gagosian Gallery, Irvin Lippman, Executive Director, Museum of Art _ Fort Lauderdale, Elizabeth Armstrong Curator Minneapolis Institute of Art, and David Francis;

Norman Braman, Ella Cisneros, Jorge Virguila, Eric Ghisels, and Sotheby's Axel Stein.

 

Francie Bishop Good is an artist. Her work explains the collection — full of a human touch and all taken in through a distinctly feminine eye. Most artists on view were women or the work had a feminine sensibility. From Sophie Calle’s Exquisite Pain (Day 7), 2000, to Tracey Emin’s I think it’s in my head, 2002; from to Jenny Holzer’s ARNO, 1996, to Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Belief + Doubt = Sanity), 2008, and Martha Rosler’s Gladiators, 2004. Francie notes, “When David and I really did start collecting, I didn’t realize that 90% of the work we had was by women. Like many things in my life, it happened by accident, without an obvious theme or focus.” A few pieces really stood out to me — the sign of a good collection. I fell in love with Cecily Brown’s Puce Moment from 1997. This early work reveals a delicate well-balanced play between abstraction and figuration. A smooth surface packed with action and full of layers. Louise Nevelson ‘s Mirror Shadow XXVI from 1986 has a similar aesthetic, both delicate and sturdy. The piece highlights Nevelson’s attention to detail both in her found objects and in her arrangement of them. The piece is inviting and daunting. The Brown and Nevelson reveal why Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz are good collectors; the two pieces come from different places art historically but when placed in the same collection and the same room speak to each other and inform each other.  

 

NSU President Ray Ferrero, Jr., Francie Bishop Good, Edith Stein and Millicent Duvall;

Sotheby’s David Rothschild and Gabriela Palmieri, Museum of Art Irvin Lippman and Sotheby's Axel Stein.

 

Gordon Locksley and George T. Shea’s collection reveals their longstanding commitment to contemporary art. Gordon explains his beginnings, “One Sunday morning during brunch with Jan van der Marck, curator at Walker Art Center, and his wife Ingeborg, I said that I was going to open an antiques shop. Jan looked at me in total disbelief and said, ‘Why on earth would you do that?’ I told him I always wanted to be an antiques dealer. He said, ‘Gordon, it’s 1964, Pop Art is happening. You’re a member of the Walker Art Center. Come to openings. You know everyone. Ingeborg and I are your closest friends, we’ll introduce you to anyone you don’t already know. Don’t go into antiques, deal contemporary American art’… And then I took some money, in fact all the money I had at the time, which was not a great sum, and I went to New York. I knocked on some doors and I bought some things and brought them back to Minneapolis and I sold them.” Gordon Locksley and George T. Shea came to love art through collecting and dealing. Their collection reflects its origin. They began collecting in the ’60s and continue to collect today. The exhibition reflects their history — Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Veronique), 1987; Raymond Hains, Sans Titre, 1960; Donald Judd Untitled, 1985, to Mark Bradford, I thought You Knew, 2001; Jack Pierson, Self-Portrait No. 4, 2003, and Takashi Murakami, Superflat Monogram, 2003. Brice Marden’s Benglis, 1971-72 is a decadently moving monochrome. Also, Jack Pierson’s Christ, 2003 struck me — the reflective quality, the depth and flatness, the color, and the word itself. Collecting for 4 decades, Gordon and George continue to have their hands on the contemporary art scene. 

To collect and to collect art specifically means to extend yourself. To constantly read, travel, talk, and see. An art collection both informs the collector and transforms the collector.

 
Dr. Wilma Bulkin Siegel and artist John Sonsini.
 
 


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