COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
French carpet of the period of Louis XIII. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Luxury is best understood as an exercise in technical prowess, imagination, and conceptual adeptness. These three active ingredients are present in any effort that is showcased as what a specific group of people, or culture can produce. This is probably why the most luxurious products throughout history were developed to provoke the admiration, awe, and […]

Dan Flavin Installation view at Joni Weyl. Courtesy of GEMINI G.E.L.

We often view works of art as individual strokes of genius. This naïve interpretation of what art is stems from our lack of understanding of the artistic process, one that involves countless attempts at experimentation, countless drawings and preparatory sketches of the very idea we admire, even multiples of the same scene in the same […]

Gustave Baumann. Road to Town, 1917. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Working with younger collectors presents a great challenge and a fantastic opportunity for growth—and that applies to all parties involved. The challenge comes from stricter guidelines in terms of budget allocation. This leads to a narrower field that meets the collectors’ investment tolerance and this, in turn, to more difficult choices in terms of stylistic […]

Lucio Fontana. Concetto spaziale--Teatrino, 1965. Courtesy of Dorotheum.

Argentine by birth and Italian by choice, Lucio Fontana made the crossing of the Atlantic a habitual occurrence, sometimes out of necessity (on the occasion of the WWII) and others out of conviction. His reinstatements in Argentina focused on his own development as an artist and transmitter of ideas. In 1924, he established his own […]

R. Venturi & D. Scott Brown. Spots. 1993. Courtesy of V'SOSKE.

Cherry blossoms are long gone but the 28 flower buds, irregularly spread on a woolen “midnight navy” rug appeared for the first time today on La Guardia Place.  The rug, designed in a flat style derivative of Japanese art by American architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (1993, 6’x8’, 100% wool), is one of […]

Schiaparelli and Prada at the Met, general view

or “An Impossible conversation with Thomas P. Campbell” Rather than give another descriptive review of the “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” exhibit (currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) I will focus on the following quote by the museum’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, to identify the faults in his reasoning: “Given the role […]

April Gornik, Halong Bay. 2004. Courtesy of the artist.

Can we associate luxury with something as mundane, fragile, and inexpensive as paper? That’s a question ridden with assumptions. Paper is delicate but not necessarily perishable. It is usually mass-produced but not always. In fact, the process by which paper is produced may still be mechanical but the materials used to produce good quality paper […]

Centaur collection by Pierre Hardy. Courtesy of Hermès.

According to Greek poet and astronomer Eratosthenes, Centaur, a constellation of stars situated under Scorpio and Virgo, and whose hooves bathe in the Milky Way, has his head turned over to Sagittarius and rests his legs, it seems, on the Antarctic Circle while supporting the Tropic on his shoulders. Legend has it that before becoming […]