COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Sculpture. Courtesy of Antony Gormley.

Antony Gormley, a British artist whose work is currently on view at the new Sean Kelly Gallery on Tenth Avenue, creates through contradictions. He usually juxtaposes the monumental to the intimate, the complete to the fragmentary, the massive to the mobile. Gormley’ s production, which spans a career of about 40 years, is centered in […]

Lapis Lazuli Desk Box. Courtesy of A La Vielle Russie, New York.

The infinite, the mysterious, and the inaccessible have always fascinated us. When combined with the clarity and beauty of a deep blue sky they provoke feelings of awe and desire. At least, that’s what we learn about the color blue specifically and the origins of our enthrallment with it in an article by Natalie Angier in […]

Galerie Girardon. Courtesy of Christie's.

Henri Mattise, one of the initial fauve painters, collected photographs of erotica. Pablo Picasso, perhaps the most famous artist of the twentieth century, collected African art. Herb Ritts, self-taught fashion photographer, began collecting photographs as he discovered his own proclivity for the camera. Is collecting a pastime to be associated with masters of modern art? […]

Cameos from Catherine the Great collection.

  Even the mundane appears fascinating in large numbers. Think of collections of candy wrappers, coca cola bottles, or ticket stubs. Awe-inspiring and overwhelming, large collections speak of power. When the exotic or artistic is substituted for the mundane, the power of the collection increases exponentially. This Catherine the Great knew well. An avid reader […]

Depiction of a cabinet of curiosities on a print.

Is the epicenter of contemporary artistic creation shifting? New York City, a place of eternal social, creative, and urban renewal, seems to be losing its edge. Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum boasts a vast collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, one that evolved from a cabinet of curiosities annexed to the National Treasury to a modern museum […]

Glashutte Original movement. Courtesy of Glashutte.

Systematic collecting of art and decorative objects seems quite old-fashioned today, especially when juxtaposed to our inherently spatially-challenged urban existence. Add to that the transitory character of our relationship to countries, cities, or even neighborhoods—all deriving from ambitious travel schedules and constant relocating imposed by work demands—and it appears that building a collection befits only […]

Artisan working on a Saint-Louis crystal set by Hermès. © Thomaï Serdari

Known to have operated since at least 1586, and continuously in production since the late 18th century, the crystal manufacture of Saint-Louis in France is still one of the most prominent in the world. The tradition of crafting crystal into exquisite objects that both serve a function and appeal to the senses is maintained and […]

Courtesy of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires

From museum-quality paintings to precious objets d’art, the Biennale des Antiquaires continues to offer masterpieces to an international pool of collectors. Open from September 14 through 23, the Biennale is housed at the Grand Palais. The legendary iron-and-glass Parisian structure is getting a special treatment this year under the direction of designer Karl Lagerfeld who […]

Parviz Tanavoli. Heech in a Cage. ca. 1970. Courtesy of the Grey Art Gallery.

A heavy bronze sculpture rested on my windowsill, perched over Washington Square Park for about ten years. “Heech in a Cage” by Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli (b. 1937) was on loan to NYU’ s Department of Art History from the Grey Art Gallery, two academic departments that benefited from Abby Weed Grey’s generosity and artistic […]