What I Buy and Why: Interior Designer Andrew Sheinman on the Lyrical Cy Twombly That Ignited His Collecting Journey
The collector talks coveting George Condo, and the Keith Haring that got away.
Interior designer Andrew Sheinman got his first taste of the art world as a teenager in England while working for an art dealer, who opened his eyes to the talents of contemporary U.S. artists working at the time, including Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly.
Now a seasoned collector and a gallery and museum regular, the founder of prominent New York-based interior design firm Pembrooke & Ives often has his eyes trained on artworks that would suit a room. His taste, however, extends far beyond the purely decorative. In fact, for Sheinman, finding the right work can lead to whole spaces being created around it.
Immersed in the New York art and design world, Sheinman often gets tipped off to new talents, both from his art collecting clients and from his own trusted art advisor. He buys work for himself as well as picking out art and design for others, and is inspired by creatives from Max Lamb to Vincenzo de Cotiis to the Haas Brothers.
We caught up with the collector at his 2,415-square-foot Milanese Modern-inflected apartment in the historical Apthorp building on New York’s Upper West Side.
What was your first purchase?
Cy Twombly, Roman Notes. I had seen the piece as a teenager and fell in love with the lyrical nature of the art, but was not in a financial position to buy it at that time. When I was 28, I was still thinking about it and used all my savings to make the purchase. To this day it sits front and center in my home.
What was your most recent purchase?
A client of mine is a great art collector with a spectacular collection. I learned about the work of Derrick Adams through her, and have since bought one of his collages for my own collection. I also recently purchased a coffee table by Sean Gerstley after seeing his work at the Superhouse show in New York.
Which works or artists are you hoping to add to your collection this year?
I have my eye on a photo collage by my friend and neighbor, Jonas Fredwall Karlsson. It is a collage of David Hockney in his studio.
What work do you wish you had bought when you had the chance?
A Keith Haring sculpture. I saw it at Art Basel a few years ago. I found myself thinking only about that piece as I continued walking around the fair—but by the time I went back to inquire further, it had already been sold.
Where do you buy art most frequently?
Michael Steinberg of Michael Steinberg Fine Art is my trusted friend and advisor. Michael vets artwork that I find of interest. He also presents new works to me that may not already be on my radar.
Is there a work you regret purchasing?
I purchased a series of etchings by Francesco Clementi from the late 1980s that, over time, I found to be too dark and I didn’t enjoy living with.
What work do you have hanging above your sofa? What about in your bathroom?
Above the family room sofa is a Tina Barney photograph, and in my powder room, there is a Richard Serra poster from a 2007 MoMa show.
What is the most impractical work of art you own?
I am not sure I own anything so impractical. In fact, quite the opposite. Many of the artists I collect toggle the line between art and design. So much of it serves a very practical purpose in my home—whether as a coffee table, a bookshelf, or a light fixture.
If you could steal one work of art without getting caught, what would it be?
I saw a significant body of George Condo’s work in a magnificent show in Athens a few years ago. I would love to live with a piece of his work. He is a real talent.
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