Art Diary Summer-Winter 2008
Art Basel 2008
Art Basel was very nice to visit but nothing spectacular sticks in my mind. I was checking out Brad Pitt who was annoying me a bit because he had reserved a painting at Stephen Friedman that I liked and I didn’t buy nor did he buy in the end by Wayne Gonzalez.
Anyway I thought Stephen Friedman looked great in front of the painting.
Then it was back to work on the collection
There is myself, Jimmy Baker, Lizzie and our new acquisition.
LONDON September 2008...
...and the best show so far at 176 I think is Material Presence.
It was wonderful and so enjoyable Lizzie and Ellen did the most incredible job. There were only seven artists and each one as strong as the next. Laura Buckley was just out of Chelsea finishing her MA. The artists were Graham Hudson James Ireland, Mark Titchner Miriam Holme Laura Buckley and Alex Meschtschanow. Katja Strunz did not make it to the opening due to impending birth.
A few pictures here– of Mark Titchner hanging the torture curtains in his amazing atmospheric installation and the first ever DIY sculpture in the world by Graham Hudson.
Cost £24.99 edition sold out in a minute. You received a £20 note and a leaflet sending you to Homebase. Nick Serota and Tony Blair are proud ow
ners of this 176 limited edition art work!
OCTOBER 2008– Frieze and Zoo Art Fair
A great day! I head of to the galleries. It was a memorable visit. I could not believe how I could get it so right! My first stop was to see Michael Landy and Thomas Dane Gallery. There was my lovely floating ghostly portrait quite fabulously placed in the room in the company of many of my friends.
My next stop was Michael Werner’s where I was met with a wonderful glass of wine with Aaron Curry and Thomas Houseago and they were total fans of each other. They spoke about swapping art and were bathing in satisfaction now their works had been installed to perfection.
In the evening the wonderful Ivor Braka hosted an evening in his sumptuous home for Michael where I bumped into Lucien Freud in the corridor. Ivor was having such a great time he managed to break his wrist while dancing. We have a good connection so I suggested to him he should sit for Michael, he told me he was too old and besides he had sat for his friend Francis Bacon thirteen times, I then told him he did not look a day over sixty five. I meant it he was looking really in good shape considering he is eighty five.
Then Modern Art where David Altjmed, the most incredible artist, was beavering away at his sculptures: he has so much energy, his work is vigorous and vital. I was once again amazed. Just as amazed as when I went to Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool. I was incredibly impressed.
Zoo was amazing. I picked up every Jack Strange work I could find: they were all so lovely and affordable. OK guess what the Collection is not for sale but our multiples - we nearly sold out of everything. Of course philanthropy is our priority so each artist received half the proceeds and the other half of the monies goes to 176 educational projects. Collectors’ were incredibly generous. Manuela Wirth picked up some bargains and the painter Jose Maria Cano all bought one of everything!
At Paradise Row Russian artist Gosha drew an amazing drawing in his book for my two daughters Tiffany and Olivia they were thrilled to bits.
I was so happy mission accomplished my friend Barry Angel bought his first ever piece of Contemporary art – An Alexandra Mir Concorde Collage - which ended up in his son’s bedroom because he like aeroplanes. I was furious so he promptly moved it to his main salon.
Juan Tessi from Argentina dropped by to see his work hung in situ at the house he was very happy. We had many museums come, visit the home hang which included Matt Greene, Robert Beck, Glenn Ligon, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gary Hume, Rita Ackerman, Kris Brodahl, Dan Attoe and many others. It was our best hang to date.
MOSCOW - OCTOBER 2008
In between it all we had time to visit the Garage in Moscow where the lovely Dasha Zukhova and Roman Abramovich hosted the most amazing party. My ‘big sister’ Yana Peel who heads Outset Foundation hosted me. We arrived in the afternoon with Roy, visited Red Square then ate amazing food with an incredible array of guests and then danced the night away in front of Amy who looked as though she was any minute going to fade away yet sang like a nightingale. Then we all merrily headed on to the night club with Harry Blain, Conrad Shawcross and Alex Hartley leading the way. Then we headed back to the airport
Our main entertainment whilst there was not Amy Winehouse but the chief Rabbi who showed us his latest piece of art some incredible sensory work that you apply your energy to by holding a metal bar and it lights up and takes all your blessings to heaven.
Larry and Shala were in full swing.
ARTFORUM – BERLIN - OCOTBER 2008
Lizzie and I headed off to Berlin and Anna-Catharina Gebbers was the perfect hostess.
We were hosted by Tjorg Douglas Beer and Maike Cruise in their beautiful studio where they managed to make dinner in a sylish candle lit way for over a hundred! We visited Andreas Golders studio: he has now joined White Cube and was happily showing his exciting but scary new work. We also visited the ArtForum and PREVIEW art fair’s which, as always were interesting and refreshing. Then we dropped by to Alun Rowlands and Matt Williams’ new show and publication – NOVEL - which was at Anna-Catharina’s space - Biblio
I should also mention there has been an art market crash which hardly anyone had realised. I dropped by to Damien Hirst’s Auction in Sothebys and it was a £115 million frenzy fest to buy the work or save the Damien Hirst fund. I don’t mind really cos I think Damien will use the money well and build the best collection in the world I probably will get even a little jealous.
In late October I headed of to New York I did not really have the best tr
ip. Lower East side was difficult to get grips with. However I fell in love with Banksy’s pet shop I thought it was totally brilliant.
Stuart Shave very kindly took me to View Nigel Cooks new painting the last of his latest series it is called “Writers Retreat” it is quite amazing and I think this is our new acquisition for the Collection. I cannot believe how detailed. He can change a painting a thousand times before he reaches his final work. He has cleverly documented his process and it is fascinating.