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London – Berlin – Monte Carlo
18 May 2017
I find myself back in London which is a hive of energy. I head straight to the talk with Mark Godfrey and Jordan Wolfson for RA Students. They talked wildly and widely about his work – and even touched upon the new VR work ‘real violence’ that can only be seen on a VR head set. This makes so much sense as it is a horrific work showing a terrible act of violence in a very almost surreal way to remind the audience that this scenario is play acting.
Then I nipped across the road to Thaddaeus Ropac’s new gallery - he has opened an incredible space. I walked into the first room and there on show was the vintage Gilbert & George 'Drinking Pieces & Video Sculpture' film and groups of photographs. And Gilbert and George were there to greet us. This was a very unusual situation but Lizzie and I were amused and in awe at the same time.
We had our Invites opening of Elliot Dodd’s new work ‘The Manbody’, it’s a new take on male body image via Plato and Virtual Reality. The film is totally fascinating and magically presented. The more I see of this work the more I submerged into it. The bass gets you very physically involved in the work.
The next morning we were on our way to Berlin for one night. I did not last too long but managed to see a few great shows. Toby Ziegler’s show at Max Hetzler was a big success and I joined them for dinner to celebrate the show. Albert Oehlen and his lovely wife Esther were around to show support to Toby and his work.
I had time to visit Daniel Wichelhaus at Société and discovered there a vibrant and bright art star - Lu Yang - the show was called “Welcome to LuYang Hell” Again the artist is dealing with the human body, technology and identity. We acquired this great video for the collection.
We had time to visit Julia Stoscheck Collection, which was fantastic. I loved the work by James Richards (who is representing Wales in the current Venice Biennale). We are hugely looking forward to working with the Stoschek Collection and to celebrating their ten years anniversary later in the year.
We were the last to leave and politely ushered out so the Gallery Assistants who could not wait to go home – or more likely to one of the hundreds of exhibition openings that night. Quite understandable!
We headed out to the galleries: Barbara Wein was showing Ian Kiaer - he really is a master. The show was superb, sensitive delicate and full of narrative. I loved the work ‘Endnote, tooth (shadow)’. A simple work made of rubber and plastic.
Then it was straight to the Charline von Heyl show at CapitainPetzel, it was a great and very rigorous show – each painting as intense as the next and as a whole a dizzying plethora of responses to the act of painting. For me it is impossible to really understand her work but I so admire her practice.
I headed off to Monte Carlo because I am very interested to see what an art fair looks like in such wonderful surroundings. I tell all my girlfriends to dress in their best clothes and diamonds - if they have any, because after all this is Monte Carlo! There we all were, decked out in our finest, waiting for the crowd to turn up – but unknown to us fashionably late in Monte Carlo is at least one hour late! So first, all the poor gallerists emerge from the depths dressed in their black crumpled work clothes, my girlfriends want to kill me, but right on cue - one hour late - the Monte Carlo crowd turn up - dressed to the nines! Our first stop was helping ourselves to a frozen yogurt courtesy of Alex Israel, and in an instant the crowd is matching his sculptures.
Dinner was a unique experience, a first time in all my years as a collector, eating dinner amongst the works in the art fair! I was perfectly positioned with this magnificent photo ‘Morning Rain’ by Wolfgang Tillmans at Chantal Crousel’s Gallery and we were entertained by the wonderful Maria and Martin from Baró Gallery in San Paolo.
There were many goodies to acquire, good art I mean, such as this Annette Messager at Marion Goodman.
The next day we discovered the institutions which were really interesting, Nicoletta Fiorucci and the Fiorucci Art Trust was showing, as was the Izolyatsia Cultural Initiative from Ukraine. Here is Nicoletta with work by Zhanna Kadyrova - selling her homemade fruit and vegetables.
Our lovely girl trip ended with a trip to Villa Santo Sospir, where in 1949 Jean Cocteau visited the villa and decided to decorate the walls. The villa is preserved this way to this day and these walls must have witnessed many fascinating goings on!
Once again, I limped back to London but this time am very excited about going to the Venice Biennale.
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Zabludowicz Collection is principally owned by Zabludowicz Art Trust.