BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Joseph Awuah-Darko

THE TERRA COLLECTION OF AFRICAN CONTEMPORARY ART – Accra, Ghana | London, UK

Joseph captured at home in London. Got You by Richard Mensah in the background, Courtesy of The Terra Collection of African Contemporary Art
Joseph captured at home in London. Got You by Richard Mensah in the background, Courtesy of The Terra Collection of African Contemporary Art

What was your motivation to start a collection?

The motivation to start collecting was really organic in the sense that it was sparked through great friendships with really dynamic African contemporary artists. 5 years ago, one of my first studio visits was at the studio of Serge Attukwei Clottey - whose wife [Awo] is also an artist and dear friend. I got to immerse myself in the community within which Attukwei’s work was created, and it definitely enriched my understanding of his practice and ethos. In my earlier years of collecting intimate studio-visits have build the foundation for so many acquisitions I have made later down the line. I’ve been honored to visit many studios of great artist such as the likes of Gideon Appahi, Sir Isaac Julien, Salah El Murl, Foster Sakyiamahd, Zizipo and Maku Azu; all artists I would consider close to my heart whose works I am happy to live with.

Does your collection follow a specific theme or particular artists?

The collection primarily focuses on emerging to established Contemporary Artists working within the African continent and its diaspora. This has been very important to me especially in the lives of emerging artists working on the continent where I feel a sense of true responsibility. Gender parity is something that also means a lot to me within this context in ensuring that women artists are represented just as much as men. This has been something I have been very clear about from the beginning.

How has the attitude to collecting changed since you began?

Its definitely become more measured and more selective as the years have gone by. This has been due to the ‘muscle of experience’ that has been built over time and I have had to also gain a focused eye within our present world of sensory overload in the plethora of ways to access contemporary art. Much easier said than done, but the journey continues.

'Untitled' By Serge Attukwei Clottey, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
'Untitled' By Serge Attukwei Clottey, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
Courtesy of the Institute Museum of Ghana
Courtesy of the Institute Museum of Ghana
Courtesy of the Institute Museum of Ghana
Courtesy of the Institute Museum of Ghana
Courtesy of the Institute Museum of Ghana
Courtesy of the Institute Museum of Ghana

How important is having the title of being a “collector” to you?

To be honest, I am much more obsessed with the idea of being recognized as a ‘patron’ to the emerging artists I have actively supported - in t which collecting serves as an essential part of patronage. But holistically there is more that goes into my relationships with most of the artists in the collection than merely the transactional act. There’s a sense of mentorship, both of a personal and professional nature, that tends to occur within the dynamic of how I collect.

What has the reaction been like from visitors of your collection since making it publicly accessible? Does this reaction impact you and what you collect?

For the part of the collection that has been accessible for public view at the constantly developing Institute Museum of Ghana, it has been great to experience the documented reactions of both locals and international visitors. It has also been quite special to have local schools within the municipality engage in academic visits to preview the collection as part of their curriculum and this is what essentially brings me the most joy; the act of introducing possibilities.

Do you have a personal relationship with the artists you collect? And which artists are you currently following?

More often than not, I find it of a great importance [and of course a privilege] to build meaningful friendships with the artists I meaningfully collect. Elladj Lincy is a dear friend and artist who I first met in Dakar during his residency with Cecil Fakhoury after his well documented solo-exhibition in Paris. He is soft-spoken and relatively tall with a very genuine sense of curiosity about the world around him. I find my self very humbled to have him in my collection. During my time in Senegal we bonded over deep discussions surrounding mental health and shared our struggles [and triumphs] in navigating the reality of living with it. I look forward to his collaboration with YSL and his participation in his upcoming Group living with it. I look forward to his collaboration with YSL and his participation in his upcoming Group Exhibition at the Zeitz MOCAA.

What is your biggest hope for the future of art and collecting?

I think my biggest hope for the future of collecting is embedded in the word itself - “future”. My hope is that a discerning, curious and informed generation of younger collectors emerge with the understanding of the importance of nurturing long term careers. Young collectors that care about studio-visits and artist talks to encourage critical discourse, avoiding the type of collecting that is merely informed by a more speculative and trend-based approach.

She Rides, 2021 by Dr Aba Otoo, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
She Rides, 2021 by Dr Aba Otoo, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
La Croix, 2019 by Abdoulaye Konate, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
La Croix, 2019 by Abdoulaye Konate, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
Resolution 2021 by Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana
Resolution 2021 by Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, Courtesy of The Institute Museum of Ghana

Collectors (67)

Claus Busch Risvig

Bech Risvig Collection – Silkeborg, Denmark

INGRID AND THOMAS JOCHHEIM

Ingrid and Thomas Jochheim Collection – Berlin, Germany

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Bernardo Paz

Instituto Inhotim – Centro de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico – Brumadinho, Brazil

Tony Salamé

Aïshti Foundation – Beirut, Lebanon

Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani

Samdani Art Foundation (SAF), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Lord David Cholmondeley

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn, Great Britain

Galila Barzilaï-Hollander

Galila's P.O.C., Brussels, Belgium

Martin Margulies

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse – Miami, United States of America

Christine and Andrew Hall

Hall Art Foundation - Reading, USA & Derneburg, Germany

Qiao Zhibing

TANK Shanghai and Qiao Space - Shanghai, China

Christen Sveaas

Kistefos Museet, Jevnaker, Norway

Noemi Givon

Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Michael Buxton

Buxton Contemporary - Melbourne, Australia

Seth Stolbun

The Stolbun Collection – Houston, USA

Jochen Zeitz

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) - Cape Town, Africa

Dominique & Sylvain Levy

DSLCollection – Paris, France

Andrea von Goetz

Sammlung Blankenburg – Hamburg, Germany

Gordon Elliott

The Elliott Eyes Collection - Sydney, Australia

The Vague Space

Christian Kaspar Schwarm on the first solo presentation of his collection at the Weserburg Bremen

Anita Zabludowicz

Zabludowicz Collection – London, United Kingdom

Anastasios A. Gkekas

The Office Collection - Nicosia, Cyprus

Rik Reinking

WAI - Woods Art Institute, Wentorf bei Hamburg, Germany

Maria Didrichsen

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

João Carlos de Figueiredo Ferraz

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz (IFF) - São Paulo, Brazil

Julia Stoschek

Julia Stoschek Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Maurizio Morra Greco

Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy

Christian & Karen Boros

Sammlung Boros – Berlin, Germany

Timo Miettinen

Salon Dahlmann – Berlin, Germany

Marli Hoppe-Ritter

Sammlung Marli Hoppe-Ritter – Waldenbuch, Germany

Désiré Feuerle

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Gudrun & Bernd Wurlitzer

Wurlitzer Pied A Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Corbett Lyon

Lyon Housemuseum – Melbourne, Australia

Geert Verbeke-Lens

Verbeke Foundation – Kemzeke, Belgium

László Vass

Vass Collection – Veszprém, Hungary

Daisuke Miyatsu

Dream House – Ichikawa, Japan

Samara Walbohm & Joe Shlesinger

Scrap Metal Gallery – Toronto, Canada

Charles Riva

Charles Riva Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Venke & Rolf Hoff

KaviarFactory – Lofoten, Norway

Alain Servais

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Ivo Wessel

Sammlung Ivo Wessel - Berlin, Germany

Ramin Salsali

Salsali Private Museum – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Vittorio Gaddi

Collezione Nunzia e Vittorio Gaddi – Lucca, Italy

Miguel Leal Rios

Fundação Leal Rios – Lisbon, Portugal

Gertraud and Dieter Bogner

Kunstraum Buchberg – Gars am Kamp, Austria

Bob Rennie

Rennie Collection at Wing Sang – Vancouver, Canada

Heiner Wemhöner

Sammlung Wemhöner – Herford, Germany

Lin Han

M WOODS – Beijing, China

Kenny Goss

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, USA

Karsten Schmitz

Arbeitswohnung Federkiel – Leipzig, Germany

Devon Dikeou

The Dikeou Collection - Denver, USA

Thomas Olbricht

ME Collectors Room Berlin/Stiftung Olbricht – Berlin, Germany

Mera & Donald Rubell

Rubell Family Collection – Miami, USA

Pétur Arason

Safn – Berlin, Germany / Reykjavík, Iceland

Steffen Hildebrand

G2 Kunsthalle – Leipzig, Germany

Frédéric de Goldschmidt

Frédéric de Goldschmidt – Brussels, Belgium

Daniel Teo

The Private Museum – Singapore, Singapore

Claudio Cosma

Sensus – Luoghi per l’arte Contemporanea – Florence, Italy

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Herbert Gerisch

Herbert-Gerisch-Stiftung - Neumünster, Germany

José Berardo

Museu Coleção Berardo – Lisbon, Portugal

Bärbel Grässlin and Karola Kraus

Sammlung Grässlin - St. Georgen, Germany

Joëlle and Eric Romba

Rocca Stiftung – Berlin, Germany

Myriam and Amaury de Solages

Maison Particulière – Brussels, Belgium

Friedrich Gräfling

Sammlung Fiede - Aschaffenburg, Germany