Monday, October 20, 2014


How interesting is it to get a look inside the homes of art collectors? #rhetoricalquestion For a start it's a chance to see art, possibly for the first time, outside the context of the good old neutral white space that's still endorsed almost unanimously by both art dealers and art museums. We're talking Space Odyssey rather than home-sweet-home. Occasionally public art museums have a swing at re-creating the domestic art experience but it's always awkward. The Auckland Art Gallery made an effort once with a patrons' exhibition (Present Company: Works Presented by the Patrons) but the result was an uneasy hybrid.

At this year’s Frieze art fair in London one gallerist (the HellyNahmad Gallery) has jumped the shark and created a set of rooms (living room and study) supposedly owned by a fictitious collector of the pack-rat archivist variety and set in Paris, 1968. According to Art Market Monitor it's “a statement against art as an asset” so who knows which planet they're living on. Still, it's a nice idea and one that has been done before by at least one artist (Elmgreen & Dragset, Death of a Collector, 2009). So now that we have dealers who clearly feel they can also make art. Oh well, there's another old and respected division of labour all shot to hell.

Images: the  HellyNahmad Gallery's installation at Freize