BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Juliet Kothe and Julia Rust

Initiators of Collection Night, Berlin

Collection Night, Berlin, 2019.
Collection Night, Berlin, 2019.

This year on the evening of August 23, will be the very first Collection Night, tell us a little bit about how the idea came about.

Juliet: The private collections in Berlin have a supportive and friendly relationship with each other yet they never really have bundled their programs in a common initiative. Through a regular exchange with various Directors of these participating private institutions, the idea came along to manifest the contribution of the private collections to the vivid Berlin art field in a specific happening. As well as the fantastic gallery scene, public spaces and institutions, the collections truly widen the range of possibilities in order to engage with art.

Juliet Kothe, Director, Boros Collection.
Juliet Kothe, Director, Boros Collection.
Julia Rust, Director, me Collectors Room.
Julia Rust, Director, me Collectors Room.

Please explain the concept of this new initiation. What differentiates it from the collections programme during Berlin Gallery Weekend or Berlin’s upcoming Art Week?

Julia: The COLLECTION NIGHT purely focuses on the different concepts of collecting or the various possibilities of making private collections accessible to the public. Every collector or collectors-couple does not have to make any compromises. They are absolutely free in their choices. So often a collection is far more extreme and radical. Look at Ulrich Seibert’s collection focusing on Pop-Surrealism and Pop-Comic-Surrealism. This art is colourful, figurative, bizarre and unique. He and other participants will allow an insight into their collectors approach for the first time. We think Berlin as a city should celebrate the fact that it actually is home of so many publicly accessible art collections.

Is there something particularly special as part of this year’s program to mark the inauguration of the event?

Julia: The Wemhöner Collection just acquired a historic ballroom from 1899 in Kreuzberg. Incredible that you still find these architectural jewels in Berlin. They will allow access to the collection for only this one night screening of the monumental film Deep Gold by Julian Rosefeldt. After it will be architecturally transformed - only for this one night you can sneak inside and get an idea of its original purpose as a dance hall.

Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014. Courtesy Sammlung Wemhöner. © Julian Rosefeldt und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014. Courtesy Sammlung Wemhöner. © Julian Rosefeldt und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Installation view of The Feuerle Collection. Khmer Deities from 10th to 13th century with Chinese Platform, Han Dynasty, China, 2nd century BC – 2nd century AD. © The Feuerle Collection. Photo: def image
Installation view of The Feuerle Collection. Khmer Deities from 10th to 13th century with Chinese Platform, Han Dynasty, China, 2nd century BC – 2nd century AD. © The Feuerle Collection. Photo: def image
Joyce Pensato’s studio 2018 (detail). Courtesy Haubrok Collection. Photo: Haubrok Collection
Joyce Pensato’s studio 2018 (detail). Courtesy Haubrok Collection. Photo: Haubrok Collection
He Xiangyu (installatiion view), The Boros Collection. Photo: © NOSHE
He Xiangyu (installatiion view), The Boros Collection. Photo: © NOSHE

As Directors of private collections in your regular work, which therefore results in intimate insights into their workings, have you observed a shift in the attitude towards collecting?

Juliet: I think there are certain collectors that are more globally orientated and not so much regionally. I recently visited the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, which is a good example of an international art hub, because the principles of showcasing and collecting are following certain international principles – it doesn’t really resonate with the fantastic local art scene or community. This white cube-style-museum, which is stunning and impressive and comprises fantastic works, could be located anywhere. It really could grab on the chance of interacting with the people in Beirut. That is what a strong art mediation program could do.

Do you find that other collectors regularly visit the spaces of which you direct?

Juliet & Julia: Definitely. We have collectors from all over the world, some even ask for advice as to how we are running our Foundations – and we are always happy to share experiences and our perspectives.

View of the Olbricht Wonder Cabinet © me Collectors Room Berlin, Stiftung Olbricht. Photo: Daisy Loewl
View of the Olbricht Wonder Cabinet © me Collectors Room Berlin, Stiftung Olbricht. Photo: Daisy Loewl
The Feuerle Collection. © The Feuerle Collection Photo: def image
The Feuerle Collection. © The Feuerle Collection Photo: def image
BEYOND (installation view), 2019 © me Collectors Room Berlin, Stiftung Olbricht. Photo Eric Bell
BEYOND (installation view), 2019 © me Collectors Room Berlin, Stiftung Olbricht. Photo Eric Bell

Which publicly accessible private collections would you recommend visiting outside of Berlin and Germany?

Juliet: For me it is Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght. Just 25 kilometres away from Nizza it is located right at the most beautiful village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. In the garden you discover dozens of sculptures, mosaiks and installations by artists like Giacometti, Miró or Braque.

Julia: I admire the work of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino. It is always worth a visit because of their very contemporary and wonderfully curated programme. The Collector, Patricia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is not only showing her beautiful collection but she has a strong focus on supporting young artists and curators and she is always trying to involve as many audiences as possible. Not only the art professionals and cultural tourists, but also children, youngsters and neighbours.

More Information on Collection Night

Insiders (49)

Barbara Moore

CEO of Biennale of Sydney

Unique Collector’s Item

by Independent Collectors

Alix Dana

Fair Director at Independent

When Collectors are Able to Commission

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Marie-Anne McQuay

Curator of Wales in Venice, 58th Venice Biennale 2019

Dorothy and Herb Vogel

Two extraordinary art collectors

Collecting Art with François Pinault

Rudolf Stingel at Palazzo Grassi

Heather Hubbs

Director at NADA

Every Art Collection Needs Space

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

A Common Ground

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Touria El Glaoui

Founding Director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Caroline Vos

Director at Amsterdam Art Weekend

Hidden Collections

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Daniel Hug

Fair Director at Art Cologne

The Role of the Art Fair

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Nicole Berry

Executive Director of The Armory Show

Peter Bläuer

Director at LISTE

A Brush Against Nature

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Ilaria Bonacossa

Director of Artissima

Excessiveness, the Latent Danger of Collecting Art

by Independent Collectors

Jo Stella-Sawicka

Artistic Director at Frieze

Florence Bourgeois

Director at Paris Photo

Where Artists Can Work More Playfully

by Christiane Meixner

Specifically Commissioned

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Manuela Mozo

Executive Director of UNTITLED, ART Miami and San Francisco

Important Museums and Private Collections

by Christiane Meixner

Susanna Corchia

Director of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend

Emilia van Lynden

Artistic Director at Unseen, Amsterdam

Carlos Urroz

Director at ARCOmadrid

Shoe Smudges Streaked Across the White Walls

by Christiane Meixner

Amanda Coulson

Director at VOLTA Basel

Douwe Cramer

Director at Singapore Contemporary

Art and Architecture – Attractive Allies

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Jo Baring

Curator of Sculpture Series, Masterpiece London

Bidders and Buyers

by Christiane Meixner

Anne Vierstraete

Managing Director at Art Brussels

Nanna Hjortenberg

Director at CHART

The Crucial Role of the New

by Independent Collectors

Makers and Believers

On Art History’s Most Famous Patrons

The Past is Back

And collectors are buying it up

Are Artists the Better Curators?

On the diminishing boundary between professions in the art world

The Digital Museum

On the importance of the museum’s web presence

The Man in the Middle

On the curator’s private and public engagements

A Private Matter?

On the importance of physical space for the value of art

Off the Wall

How museums contribute to the worth of artworks

Where to Go Next?

The fragmentation of Manhattan’s gallery scene

To Buy or Not to Buy

Collectors on their experiences of letting an artwork slip away

How to Pass On a Passion

On long-term challenges for new private museums