artnet News Top 200 Art Collectors Worldwide for 2015, Part One
We did the research to bring you the names you need to know.
Today’s world is ever more globalized and increasingly interconnected—and that means the emergence of a new kind of multi-millionaire and billionaire with currency to spare (see The Top 10 Uber-Rich Art Collectors). Beyond their tendency to snap up properties of every shade, from penthouses to boats to businesses, this generation of tycoons, celebrities, and philanthropists are more regularly turning to another time-tested form of ritual consumption with a range of cultural benefits: art collecting. Be they heirs to Middle Eastern fortunes or young pioneers in the tech industry (see Meet 20 of the World’s Most Innovative Art Collectors), art collectors in the 21st century represent a demographic more widely varied than ever before.
To chronicle our times and these champions of the arts who hail from all corners of the planet and every possible background, artnet News has compiled the ultimate two-part list. Our roster of collectors features those who have been most active within the past 12 months and have shown a remarkable commitment to collecting.
We acknowledge that the lineup is heavily skewed toward male collectors based in the US, but beyond the usual suspects, we’ve done our best to cast a light on collectors you may not have yet heard about. We’re impressed by the number of influential women who made the cut (see The 100 Most Powerful Women in Art: Part One), as well as the marked contingent of younger Chinese men and women including Richard Chang, David Chau and Kelly Ying, Adrian Cheng, and Lin Han.
Some collectors are profiled in depth, while others, our “Collectors to Watch”—including emerging connoisseurs, those who are operating under the radar, and those who were once very active even if they’ve been quieter in recent years—are incorporated by name only.
Organized alphabetically, the index is the culmination of a three-month process that began with a poll of experts in the industry—including dealers, art advisers, and other insiders—and involved the efforts of staff and freelance writer Emily Nathan. (See Artnet News Top 200 Art Collectors Worldwide For 2015, Part Two).
We hope you find it useful!
Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova (Russia)
Moscow-born Dasha Zhukova opened the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in 2008 in Moscow (see Dasha Zhukova to Debut Moscow’s Rem Koolhaas–Designed Garage Museum June 12), and, with her partner Roman Abramovich (the owner of England’s Chelsea Football Club) she is now developing “New Holland,” a 19-acre island in Saint Petersburg, into a similar creative hub. Together, they recently bought the world’s largest collection of works by Ilya Kabakov (the priciest living Russian artist). Her collection is now legendary, containing thousands of mostly contemporary artworks. Her husband seems to prefer modern and Impressionist art, if auction records are any guide.
Robbie Antonio (Philippines)
Real estate developer Antonio’s Manila home was designed by Rem Koolhaas—the first residential commission the architect had taken on in 15 years—and it houses the Filipino collector’s private collection. His current obsession is a series of portraits of himself that he has commissioned from some of the world’s hottest contemporary artists (he has already paid $3 million for the two dozen that have been completed), including Julian Schnabel, Marilyn Minter, David Salle, Zhang Huan, the Bruce High Quality Foundation, and Takashi Murakami.
Hélène and Bernard Arnault (France)
Chairman and chief executive officer of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Arnault is the richest man in France. His newest creation, the Frank Gehry–designed Louis Vuitton Foundation, opened in the Bois de Boulogne this past October (see As a Museum, Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris Disappoints), with commissioned works by the likes of Olafur Eliasson, Ellsworth Kelly, Sarah Morris, and Taryn Simon. His collection spans many thousands of contemporary and modern artworks.
Bill and Maria Bell (United States)
Maria, the former head writer of CBS’s The Young and the Restless, a chair of the National Art Awards, and a former board co-chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), got her start collecting modestly priced George Hurrell photos, and has always favored the work of idiosyncratic contemporary producers like Francesco Vezzoli and Mark Ryden. Her husband Bill’s taste tends toward the more iconic, including works by Marcel Duchamp. Early in their collecting career together, the Bells were drawn to Andy Warhol, but, as they recently told the New York Observer, they wanted to look to more contemporary producers—and deemed Jeff Koons an appropriate choice. These days, they have amassed a substantial collection of works by Koons, along with many other mega names.
Peter Benedek (United States)
Peter Benedek, co-founder of United Talent Agency and one of Hollywood’s most powerful agents, began collecting art some 20 years ago, and has since filled nearly all the walls of his Brentwood home and his Beverly Hills office with works by some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art—from David Hockney and Gerhard Richter to Alex Katz, Milton Avery, and even Francis Picabia and Giorgio Morandi. He is reported to have purchased a John Currin nude long before the painter was a hot name, and an Alice Neel portrait of dealer Robert Graham—which he purchased at auction—still hangs in his office: “It’s great to have an agent looking at me every day,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.
Debra and Leon Black (United States)
Owner of Apollo Global Management, Phaidon Books, and Artspace Marketplace, so-called “buyouts man” Black is reported to have a fortune of $5.4 billion. In 2012, he made waves when he purchased one of four existing versions of Edvard Munch‘s The Scream for $119.9 million—at the time, the highest price ever paid for a work of art at an auction.
Christian and Karen Boros (Germany)
In 2003, ad agency founder and publisher Christian Boros purchased a former Nazi air raid shelter in central Berlin, and transformed it into the Bunker, an 80-room exhibition space for contemporary art. Featured artists from Boros’s personal collection of some 700 works include contemporary stars like Elmgreen & Dragset, Sarah Lucas, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, classics like Olafur Eliasson (a Boros favorite, with 30 works in his collection), Franz Ackermann, Wolfgang Tillmans, Ed Ruscha, Damien Hirst, and Terence Koh, and even members of a new generation of Berlin-based artists, including Thea Djordjadze, Alicja Kwade, Klara Lidén, Michael Sailstorfer, and Danh Vo.
Irma and Norman Braman (United States)
Since they began collecting in 1979—they fell in love with sculptures by Alexander Calder and Joan Miró at the Maeght Foundation in southern France, as the story goes—auto-industry magnate Braman and his wife Irma have built a veritable empire of modern and contemporary art. Dividing their residences among France, Colorado, and Florida, the couple helped establish Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2002, and they are now single-handedly funding the design and construction of South Florida’s newest major museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.
Peter Brant (United States)
The owner of Interview magazine (which he bought directly from its founder, Andy Warhol), as well as Art in America and Antiques, and the creator of the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut (see Is the Brant Foundation a Tax Scam or an Art Investment Vehicle?), Brant is known for his blue-chip collection of primarily American art, though his recent acquisitions include Vancouver artist Steven Shearer. Brant made news recently when he purchased artist Walter de Maria’s 16,400-square-foot East Sixth Street studio and home for $27 million (see Peter Brant Paid $27 Million for Walter De Maria’s Old Studio); he has already hosted a show by Dan Colen in the space (see Peter Brant Hosts Dan Colen Show in Walter De Maria Studio), and many speculate that he will transform it into an exhibition venue.
Eli Broad (United States)
Widely considered one of Los Angeles’s leading art patrons, entrepreneur Broad and his wife Edythe have been collecting for over five decades, assembling one of the world’s most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art (see 10 Los Angeles Art Power Couples You Need To Know). They are currently building the Broad, a $140-million showcase designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro which will house their vast trove and is slated to open its doors in the fall of 2015 (see Broad Museum Director Opens Up About First Exhibition and Eli Broad Sues Museum Contractor for $20 Million Over Delays). Among the most recent acquisitions to the still-growing collection (see Kusama, Kentridge, and Kjartansson Among Eli Broad’s Latest Acquisitions) are Jordan Wolfson’s multimedia, animatronic sculpture Female figure (2014) (see Eli Broad Adds Jordan Wolfson’s Terrifying Robot to Collection), Yayoi Kusama’s immersive Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013); Ragnar Kjartansson’s video installation The Visitors (2012) (see Kara Walker, Ragnar Kjartansson, Henri Matisse, Robert Gober and More Win AICA Awards); and William Kentridge’s sculptural video work The Refusal of Time (2012).
*More Collectors To Watch:
Basma Al Sulaiman
Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Laura and John Arnold
Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft
Robert and Renée Belfer
Frieder Burda (Germany)
The son of a renowned German publisher and art collector, Burda bought his first picture, a Lucio Fontana, in his early 30s, and in 2004 he opened his Frieder Burda Museum in Baden-Baden. The collection has now grown to include more than 1,000 works of art. Like his father, Burda focuses on established modern movements such as German Expressionism (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Max Beckmann) and Abstract Expressionism (Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning), and he has acquired a substantial collection of works by his German contemporaries, among them Sigmar Polke, Georg Baselitz, and Gerhard Richter.
Richard Chang (United States)
American-Chinese investment professional Richard Chang, the founder of the Domus Collection, is a trustee of the Royal Academy in London, a member of Tate’s International Council and its Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee, and a trustee of MoMA PS1 and the Whitney Museum in New York, where he is also co-founder and chair of the performance committee. Dividing time between New York and Beijing, he is considered key in bridging Western and Asian art; he often sponsors special projects, such as Beijing-based artist Huang Ran’s feature film The Administration of Glory in 2013 (which was selected for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2014—see 31-Year-Old Artist Ran Huang Selected for Cannes’ Palmes d’Or), and Pipilotti Rist’s first exhibition in China, at the Times Museum in Guangzhou.
Kim Chang-il (Korea)
Founder of the recently launched Arario Museum, Kim Chang-il is one of Korea’s top gallerists as well as collectors, and is also an artist. His collection began with an interest in contemporary and modern Korean artists, but, as reported by the Huffington Post, a visit to MOCA in Los Angeles in 1981 inspired him to expand his collection. His holdings now number around 3,700 pieces, and include work from Korean contemporaries as well as YBAs, members of the Leipzig School, and young artists from China, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as respected big-name artists from the West.
David Chau and Kelly Ying (China)
Based in Shanghai, David Chau and his wife, Kelly Ying, acquired the bulk of their wealth from David’s fleet-management company, and estimate that they spend around $1.5 million annually on art acquisitions. Chau set up a $32-million art investment fund when he was 21, and is the financial backer of two galleries, Leo Xu’s and Simon Wang’s Antenna Space. He is also the co-founder, with Ying, of Shanghai’s newest art fair, Art021. Their personal collection is anchored by work by three young Chinese artists, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen, and Yang Fudong, as well as an extensive selection of video art.
Pierre T.M. Chen (Taiwan)
Chen made his first purchase in 1976 while still a student—a wooden sculpture by Chinese artist Cheung Yee. It took him a year and a half to save up the funds to do so. Today, the computer engineer’s extensive collection features hundreds of paintings and sculptures by blue-chip artists including Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Henry Moore, Les Lalanne, Antony Gormley, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Jeff Koons. He is currently most excited by Western contemporary art, and purchases rather emotionally: he is said to have bought an untitled Cy Twombly because it made him feel “calm” and a yellow Warhol Fright Wig because he found it “so fresh.”
Adrian Cheng (China)
One of the world’s youngest billionaires, Cheng is heir to a property-development fortune in Asia. He graduated from Harvard and has gone on to found the nonprofit K11 Art Foundation, which supports art villages in Wuhan and Guiyang, China; its collection focuses on international artists, such as Yoshitomo Nara and Olafur Eliasson, while Cheng’s own personal collection includes work by Chinese artists such as Zhang Enli. In 2012 Cheng was also invited to join Tate’s Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee.
Kemal Has Cingillioglu (United Kingdom)
Son of Turkish financier Halit Cingillioglu, Kemal Has Cingillioglu serves as a member of the European advisory board at Christie’s. He made headlines this past year when he purchased Cy Twombly’s 1960s work Untitled (Rome) for $4.4 million at Christie’s.
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (Venezuela and Dominican Republic)
Phelps de Cisneros is one of the world’s most prominent collectors of Latin American art, and her trove contains some 2,000 works ranging across colonial, modern, and contemporary periods, along with ethnographic objects from the Americas. She sits on the board of MoMA, and London’s Royal Academy recently presented an exhibition of 90 works in geometric abstraction that were drawn from her holdings.
Steven Cohen (United States)
Billionaire former hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, who is reportedly worth some $11.1 billion, is said to spend 20 percent of his income on art, with a collection that famously includes a Pollock drip painting and Damien Hirst’s iconic shark piece, which he bought from Charles Saatchi for $8 million in 2004. In 2006, he offered to buy Picasso’s Le Rêve from Steve Wynn for $139 million, but Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the painting and the deal was off until last year, when Cohen finally purchased the painting, now repaired, for $155 million. He was also the secret buyer of the Alberto Giacometti sculpture Chariot in November, which he bought at Sotheby’s for a near-record $100,965,000.
Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz (United States)
Carlos de la Cruz is the chairman of a $1 billion-per-year business empire that includes Coca-Cola bottling plants in Trinidad and Tobago and Puerto Rico. Along with his wife Rosa, he is known for staging state-of-the-art annual exhibitions that coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach. These were initially held in their private Miami residence, but are now staged at their eponymous three-story, 30,000-square-foot art space, which they opened in 2009. The couple is keen on acquiring works from across the wide range of contemporary American production, most recently purchasing pieces by Dan Colen and Nate Lowman.
*More Collectors To Watch:
Jill and Jay Bernstein
Monique and Max Burger
Valentino D. Carlotti
Trudy and Paul Cejas
Dimitris Daskalopoulos (Greece)
Beyond his vast collection of contemporary art, Greek food and beverage entrepreneur Daskalopoulos is a member of the board of trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Tate International Council, the Director’s Vision Council of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Leadership Council of New York’s New Museum. He is also a founding partner of the Whitechapel Gallery’s Future Fund. In 2014 he was honored by Independent Curators International (ICI) with the Leo Award, which celebrates a “visionary” approach to collecting. He is also a champion of the contemporary art scene in his home country, and recently founded a nonprofit, NEON, committed to bringing contemporary culture to everyone in Greece.
Zöe and Joel Dictrow (United States)
These long-time West Village residents, Zoe a former magazine advertising manager and Joel a former Citigroup executive, have lived in the same apartment for four decades, though they eventually purchased two neighboring apartments to accommodate their expanding art collection. They are known for their support of emerging artists, but their holdings include work by established producers like Gerhard Richter, Robert Gober, Cindy Sherman and Sarah Sze.
George Economou (Greece)
The Greek shipping magnate has a predilection for paintings and drawings, particularly of the 20th-century German and Austrian persuasion, and he frequently purchases work by lesser-known artists, or minor works by big-name producers, from Picasso, Twombly and Magritte to Kees van Dongen. A prolific collector, he acquires between 150 to 200 works a year, and usually chooses to go through smaller auction houses and galleries based in Germany and Austria rather than Sotheby’s or Christie’s.
Alan Faena (Argentina)
Argentina’s most successful hotelier and real estate developer, Faena is an avid collector of Latin American art. In December of 2015, he aims to debut his new exhibition space, a Rem Koolhaas–designed structure called the Faena Forum, opening in Miami.
Harald Falckenberg (Germany)
One of the world’s most respected art collectors, Falckenberg has received the Art Cologne Prize and the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, and published numerous books on art. Known for his ability to stay ahead of the art market, he was among the first collectors to purchase works by now-major figures like Martin Kippenberger, Richard Prince, and Jonathan Meese, and his collection comprises over 2,000 pieces, shown in a 65,000-square-foot former factory building in Hamburg in collaboration with Deichtorhallen/Hamburg.
Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss (United States)
Real-estate developer Falcone and his wife Ellen Bruss live next door to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in a home designed for them by architect David Adjaye. In recent years they have become avid collectors of Mexican art, and their collection now includes works by Gonzalo Lebrija, Eduardo Sarabia, and Federico Solmi, as well as Denver artists Stephen Batura, David Zimmer, Adam Milner, Bill Stockman, and Mary Erhin.
Amy and Vernon Faulconer (United States)
Founded by oil and gas magnate Vernon Faulconer and his wife Amy, the Amy and Vernon Faulconer Collection contains painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation works made from 1945 to the present, with notable contributions by such artists as Cecily Brown, John Chamberlain, Francesco Clemente, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger, Bridget Riley, James Turell, and Kara Walker, among many others. Together with his friends and fellow Texan super-collectors the Rachofskys, the Falconers opened the Warehouse in 2012, in part to accommodate works that were too large for the Faulconer’s private home.
Howard and Patricia Farber (United States)
The Farbers fell in love with the art of Cuba during a visit to the island in 2001, and have since created a stunning collection of some 200 pieces by artists including Belkis Ayón, Abel Barroso, Tania Bruguera, Los Carpinteros, Sandra Ramos, Duvier del Dago, Carlos Garaicoa, René Peña, and Rocío García.
Larry and Marilyn Fields (United States)
Lawyer and former commodities trader Larry and his wife Marilyn, one of Chicago’s most prominent collecting couples, have amassed an array of some 500 objects from almost 300 living artists, 150 of which are installed in their private residence, and many of which have a political bent. The collection includes many pieces by African-American artists such as Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon, Mark Bradford, and Theaster Gates, whom they have been collecting in depth. Recent acquisitions include works by David Hammons, Jim Hodges, and Christopher Wool.
*More Collectors To Watch
Michael and Eva Chow
Michael and Eileen Cohen
Isabel and Agustín Coppel
Hélène and Michel David-Weill
Antoine de Galbert
Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman (United States)
Fuhrman, co-managing partner of MSD Capital, studied art history and was recently listed by Business Insider among the most serious art collectors on Wall Street. He is a trustee of the MoMA, is a trustee of Tate Americas Foundation, is a board member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and is founder of The FLAG Art Foundation in New York.
Danielle and David Ganek (United States)
A former equity trader for SAC Capital and a trustee of the Guggenheim, Ganek and his wife, editor and novelist Danielle, have a sprawling art collection that includes work by Richard Prince, Diane Arbus, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, John Currin, and Mike Kelley. David bought his first work of art at the age of 17, and has since gone on to commission work from mega-hot contemporary artists such as Ed Ruscha, whom he hired to create a painting incorporating the word “Level” for the walls of his firm’s Greenwich headquarters in 2003.
Ingvild Goetz (Germany)
Former gallerist Ingvild Goetz began to collect media art in the 1990s, and today she owns one of the largest private collections of video art and media works in the world. Her Goetz Collection, housed in a private museum designed by Herzog & de Meuron in Munich, is said to contain around 5,000 works of contemporary art—many of them by emerging artists and nearly half of them by women.
Ken Griffin (United States)
Chicago-based Griffin, who recently divorced his wife Anne Dias (a board member at the Museum of Modern Art, a trustee of the Foundation for Contemporary Art and the Whitney Museum), has reportedly only ever sold one artwork from his collection. Head of the $20 billion investment firm Citadel, Griffin is extremely particular when it comes to acquisitions, and only buys masterpieces that he feels can hold their own alongside the few dozen pieces he already owns by Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Jasper Johns. (In 2006, he paid David Geffen $80 million for Jasper Johns‘s 1959 painting False Start—a record price at the time for a living artist.)
Agnes Gund (United States)
Beloved art patron Agnes Gund is practically New York’s philanthropist-in-chief; she once told the New York Times that she gives away “more money than I really have,” not only to art organizations but also to causes like sex trafficking and abortion rights. Her 2,000-work collection includes works by artists like Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella, but she’s also known to collect female and black artists, including Lynda Benglis, Teresita Fernandez, and Kara Walker, and lesser-known artists like the Scottish Richard Wright, from whom she commissioned a mural on her dining room ceiling. Among her causes, too, is one that might groom the next generation of aspiring artists and collectors: Studio in a School, which she founded in the ’70s and which teaches art in under-resourced New York City schools.
Steven and Kathy Guttman (United States)
Real-estate magnate Guttman’s collecting bug started when he would take his dog on walks in Washington, D.C., and check out the furniture in his neighbors’ houses—a practice which soon grew to include a penchant for buying everything from dressers, sofas, chairs, cabinets, and tables crafted by British and American folk artists to contemporary paintings and photographs. Today, he and his wife Kathy have a more than 500-piece collection of art including conceptual, LED, and wooden works by Andreas Eriksson, Jim Campbell, Analia Saban and Cheyney Thompson, among many others, stored among houses and storage spaces in Paris, New York and Maryland—including his $70-million, state-of-the-art storage facility in Long Island City, named “UOVO,” Italian for “egg,” in reference to the fragility of the space’s precious cargo.
Andrew and Christine Hall (United States)
The British-born Hall, a former Citigroup trader and hedge fund manager who also dabbles in organic farming, and his wife, Christine, have a collection of postwar and contemporary art that includes works by Eric Fischl, A. R. Penck, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Franz West and Malcolm Morley. In 2012, they opened the Hall Art Foundation in Vermont, in exhibition partnership with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and they are working to organize a long-term installation of artworks by Anselm Kiefer from their collection. Most recently, the Halls have been busy converting a castle in Germany, the former home and studio of Georg Baselitz, into a museum that will open next year.
Lin Han (China)
Although he has only been collecting for a few years, Han—who studied at a secondary school in Singapore before pursuing a degree in animation design at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom —recently opened the M Woods Museum with his wife Wanwan Lei, in the middle of Beijing’s art district, to show off his personal collection of over 200 artworks. Lei studied arts administration at China’s Central Art Academy and Columbia University in New York; Han’s first art purchase was a Zeng Fanzhi painting in 2013, and he has recently purchased work by such artists as Tracey Emin, Kader Attia and Chen Fei.
Henk and Victoria de Heus-Zomer (Holland)
Henk and Victoria de Heus-Zomer, who made their fortune in the cattle-food industry, began collecting art in 1989, when they moved into a new home and reportedly needed something “to fill the empty walls.” They have since anticipated many trends in the market—acquiring works by such artists as Zhang Xiaogang and Ai Weiwei long before the international art world took notice of them—and they have become avid collectors of other contemporary Chinese artists as well. Theirs is now one of the largest contemporary art collections in the Netherlands.
Grant Hill (United States)
Seven time NBA All-Star Grant Hill was first introduced to art by his father. For years he has been considered one of the world’s leading collectors of African American fine art, with a collection that includes work by Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Hughie Lee-Smith, John T. Biggers, Phoebe Beasely, Malcolm Brown, Edward Jackson, John Coleman and Arthello Beck, Jr. His collection was the source of a multi-city touring show “Something All Our Own,”which was seen in seven cities, including at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, his alma mater. Hill, who has amassed a major collection, remains an active collector and philanthropist.
Maja Hoffmann (Switzerland)
Founder of the LUMA Foundation and daughter of Luc Hoffmann of the Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical fortune, Hoffmann is a Tate trustee, and she sits on the boards of the Palais de Tokyo, New York’s New Museum and CCS Bard, to name just a few. In July of 2013, her Foundation was granted permission to transform a 20-acre former train station in Arles, France, into a new art campus, designed by Frank Gehry and slated for completion in 2018.
Erika Hoffmann-Koenige (Germany)
Collecting since the 1960s, Erika Hoffmann-Koenig moved to Berlin with her late husband Rolf, a property developer, shortly after German unification in 1990, and installed their collection of largely conceptual contemporary art in their private residence, which they set up in a former sewing machine factory. Occasionally open to the public, their international collection ranges across all mediums; it was founded with works from the Italian Arte Povera movement and the Zero group (their first purchase, in 1968, was a sculpture by the Greek artist Vlassilakis Takis), and also features a substantial collection of Soviet Constructivist works, as well as works by Blinky Palermo, John Bock, Lawrence Wiener, and Andy Warhol, among many others.
*More Collectors to Watch
Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian
Beth Rudin DeWoody
Mandy and Cliff Einstein
Eric Diefenbach and JK Brown
David C. Driskell
Mandy and Cliff Einstein
Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg,
Tim and Gina Fairfax
Michael and Susan Hort (United States)
One of New York’s most respected collecting couples (see Five Major Art Collectors Reveal Their Holiday Wish Lists)—with a reputation as bold patrons of young and emerging artists, some of whom do not even have gallery representation when the Horts begin buying—Susan and Michael Hort continue to install selections from their holdings of some 3,000 works between their four-floor Tribeca home and their rural New Jersey abode. For the past 13 years, they have opened their Tribeca space to a select crowd of VIPs and art aficionados during Armory Week (see Want a Peek Inside the Exclusive Hort Family Collection?); curated by Jamie Cohen Hort, their daughter-in-law (married to their son, Peter Hort, who together are a notable young collecting couple), the viewings feature works by artists ranging from the likes of Cindy Sherman, Thomas Houseago, and John Currin to practically unknown talents, and can bring up to 3,000 visitors per day. The Horts continue to champion the arts through their own personal collecting and through their Rema Hort Mann Foundation, a nonprofit they set up in honor of their late daughter.
Guillaume Houzé (France)
Heir to his family’s chain of Galeries Lafayette department stores, Guillaume Houzé has been presenting artwork in La Galerie des Galeries, a space within the flagship branch, since 2005, along with his grandmother. His own collection includes works by Cyprien Gaillard, Wade Guyton, Tatiana Trouvé, Ugo Rondinone and David Noonan, and he is planning to open a permanent art foundation in Paris’s Marais district in 2016.
Wang Jianlin (China)
The president of the Dalian Wanda Group, one of China’s largest real-estate developers—with a reported fortune of some $18 billion—Jianlin is currently battling entrepreneur Jack Ma for the title of richest man in China. He recently purchased a Picasso painting, Claude and Paloma, for $28.2 million (see Are Chinese Collectors Driving Global Art Market Rebound?).
Dakis Joannou (Greece)
Greek-Cypriot billionaire industrialist and founder of the DESTE Foundation of Contemporary Art in Athens (as well as its outpost on the island of Hydra), Joannou has been assembling a blue-chip collection of contemporary art since the mid-1980s. Although his enormous holdings cross genres, periods, and geographies, including Baroque figurines, Cypriot antiquities, couture, drawings, and modernist furniture, his more contemporary interests include the work of such artists as Andro Wekua, Seth Price, Tauba Auerbach, Haim Steinbach, William Kentridge, and Pawel Althamer, among others.
Alan Lau (China)
A member of the Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee at Tate London and of the board at nonprofit art space Para Site in Hong Kong—and a fixture on the art-conference circuit—Lau is one of the most influential Asian art collectors active today. He started collecting under 10 years ago, and his vast collection of Asian and Western art includes names like Nam June Paik, Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Lee Kit, Tsang Kin-Wah, Kwan Sheung Chi, Chow Chun Fai, Tozer Pak, and Olafur Eliasson, among others. (Lau also made the cut for artnet News’ 2014 list of Most Innovative Art Collectors.)
Joseph Lau (China)
With a fortune recently estimated by Forbes at $4.3 billion, Chinese real-estate investor Joseph Lau started collecting more than 30 years ago, and is celebrated for his collection of modern and contemporary art, especially for his Warhols. He is best known for having purchased a 1972 iconic portrait of Mao by Warhol for $17.3 million at Christie’s New York in 2006; and Paul Gauguin’s Te poipoi (Le matin) (1892), which he bought for $39.2 million at Sotheby’s in November 2007.
Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy (United States)
Washington, D.C.–born Bucksbaum—who originally wanted to be an artist—and her second husband, former commodities trader Raymond J. Learsy, are best known for collecting contemporary art, but their collection includes everything from Peter Paul Rubens to James Rosenquist. The couple recently purchased The Hunting Party by Rosa Loy and Neo Rauch, and they are always adding to their collection of works by Laurie Simmons, a shared favorite. Bucksbaum is the patron behind the Whitney Museum’s Bucksbaum Award, which gives a $100,000 grant and a Whitney solo show to one lucky winner in each Whitney Biennial (see Zoe Leonard Wins Whitney’s Bucksbaum Award With Her Giant Camera Obscura).
Agnes and Edward Lee (United Kingdom)
A principal in the London-based real-estate portfolio Princeton Investments, which has an estimated worth of $96 million, Edward Lee and his wife are quiet but avid collectors who like to take risks. They tend to favor edgy contemporary work by international producers such as Wilhelm Sasnal and Jim Hodges.
Aaron and Barbara Levine (United States)
“A lot of people think conceptual art is a bunch of baloney,” Barbara recently told the Wall Street Journal, confessing that her taste has always been for more minimal art, while her husband, Aaron, has a predilection for Abstract Expressionists and Social Realism. Barbara and Mr. Levine, a personal-injury lawyer, live among four floors of photographs, books, drawings, sculptures, videos of performances and other creations by the likes of Robert Barry, On Kawara, Christopher Williams, and Marcel Duchamp, of whom they own 25 works.
Adam Lindemann (United States)
New York collector and entrepreneur Adam Lindemann, known for the sassy insider column he penned for the New York Observer, has said that his introduction to the art world came through a former girlfriend, Cornelia Guest, who was a close friend of Andy Warhol. He founded uptown gallery Venus over Manhattan (see Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan To Open in Los Angeles) and his wife, Amalia Dayan, co-founder of Upper East Side gallery Luxembourg & Dayan, live in a house designed by David Adjaye.
Eugenio López (Mexico)
Mexican fruit-juice heir López—a trustee and vice chair of MOCA in Los Angeles—founded the largest private museum in Latin America, the Museo Jumex, in 2013, as a place to house selections from his personal collection (see Museo Júmex Appoints Julieta González Chief Curator and Interim Director in Aftermath of Hermann Nitsch Fiasco). He began to collect 20 years ago, initially buying historical pieces of 1960s art, then concentrating on Mexican and international work of his own generation, the ’90s. Designed by David Chipperfield, the museum houses some 2,000 works of López’s 2,700-piece collection, including many by American and European masters ranging from Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg to Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.
Jho Low (China)
Malaysian financier Jho Low—who bought a penthouse on the 76th floor of the Time Warner Center for $30.55 million—was recently revealed as the purchaser of Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s $49 million Dustheads (1982) (see Malaysian Financier Jho Low Revealed as Purchaser of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s $49 Million Dustheads). As reported to the New York Times, Low is said by a source close to him to buy “pictures over $20 million, $30 million, $40 million.”
*More Collectors To Watch:
Susan and Leonard Feinstein
Friedrich Christian (“Mick”) Flick
Josée and Marc Gensollen
Alan and Jenny Gibbs
Florence and Daniel Guerlain
Barbara and Axel Haubrok
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