A collection reflects the collector: their visual eye, specific interests and tastes, even their humour and preferred colour – but most importantly their over-arching vision and exactly what they like. It is an intensely revealing insight into the collector’s personality and taste. Exploring a collection is therefore a joyful experience, as by engaging with each individual work, we discover more about the collection as a whole and how all the different items within it interact and imbue each other with meaning.
This interesting and considered collection of contemporary art and photography, was purchased for a traditional Amsterdam canal house, but then seamlessly transitioned to a new location, a contemporarily re-modelled Georgian flat in Edinburgh’s West End. As the collector moves again and life changes, the time has come for the collection to be dispersed, to new homes and enthusiasts.
Joyfully put together, by someone with a keen and considered eye, the artworks were purchased from contemporary galleries across the world. Wide-ranging but coherent, there is a strong section of photography within the collection from striking visual feasts of monochromatic silver gelatin prints by Machial Botman and Miyako Ischiuchi, to depictions of musical and Hollywood idols – Bowie, Bono and two iconic views of Marilyn Monroe by Lawrence Schiller. The sleek, visual strength of these works is complemented by the black leather and chrome furniture from B&B Italia and Alias, a cool and fitting combination.
The true focal point of the collection is Gavin Turk’s striking ‘Holy Egg (Blue), 2015’ – a bold splash of colour in a fun yet iconic piece, visually striking but with many deeper meanings and interpretations. Around this constellate a selection of strong graphic work, both works on paper and artist’s prints, from Lichtenstein’s immediately recognisable cartoon strip lithographic triptych to less well-known names such as Tadao Cern’s humorous take on beach-goers, ‘Comfort Zone.’ The collector’s particular interest in the conceptual is also well-reflected, from the ‘Flash’ chair fix, a printed cardboard chair that was sold as one flat, perforated sheet, to be built by the buyer – a nod to contemporary spending habits in places like Ikea, but also an engagement with the notion of production – who is the maker here, the artist or the buyer, to Guy LeClef’s re-working of cardboard, newspaper and magazines into visually engaging works – ecologically-engaged art for our time.
A great collection should be full of personality, interest and variety yet somehow still convey a coherence and an overall vision and meaning. In this striking collection of contemporary art and photography, this has been gracefully achieved.