BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Every Art Collection Needs Space

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Ten short texts, so-called Shorties, accompanied the 173 private collections presented in the first volume of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors. These texts discussed a number of topics ranging a collectors first loan to a museum to the meaning of architecture for private museums and the emotional return of collecting.

A number of new texts are being composed for the forthcoming second volume of the Art Guide but this does not mean that the original ten Shorties should be forgotten! Like the one below by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas about that moment when a collector realizes that he or she could fill a wall twice over with art. What to do then?

“Every art collection needs space. And whoever buys art for more than just a wall above the sofa will quickly run into the limits of displaying art at home. Moreover, many contemporary artists work with large-scale installations or sprawling archives, or they produce videos that can only be shown as complex multi-channel projections. What do you do if your available space becomes too small for your constantly growing collection?

Some collectors decide to hang part of their collection in the company office, whether at a business, law firm, or doctor’s office. This is how they take their first steps into semi-public. If that no longer suffices, some collectors seek to cooperate with public museums. If the quality of the collection and the conditions of the museum fit, then the collection is on permanent loan and mentioned in catalogs. This is how a collection earns institutional security. But a happy few—on which this book is focused—fulfill the dream of presenting their art collections in buildings perfectly tailored to their needs. The Munich collector Ingvild Goetz, for example, commissioned the Swiss star architects Herzog & de Meuron to construct a custom-made exhibition building to house her stellar collection.

And the works not on display? They often go into storage—anonymous warehouses usually on the outskirts of town. But it’s crucial to make sure that the facility is absolutely secure. Not doing so had tragic results in the famed case of the British art storage facility Momart. While one facility was secure and filled with art, an attached building filled with household electronics was burglarized in 2004. Upon leaving the scene, the burglars set a fire to cover their tracks, burning the whole facility and incinerating over £50 million worth of art, including over a hundred works from the Brit Art collection of Charles Saatchi, including pieces by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Jake & Dinos Chapman, and Chris Ofili.“

The journalist couple Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas have been writing freelance art journalism and art criticism since 1997 for a variety of national and international art magazines and newspapers.

Insiders (67)

Wilhelmina Jewell Strong - Sparks

Founder of BiTHOUSE Projects - BAAR Art Journey


Collector behind the ARNDT Collection

Sandra Guimarães

Director of Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear

Grazyna Kulczyk

Founder of Muzeum Susch


Interview with Georgie Pope and Eleonora Sutter, Co-founders

Kamiar Maleki

Director at VOLTA

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2022

Tokini Peterside

Founder and Director, ART X Lagos


Founding Director of the Athens Biennale

Boris Ondreička

Artistic Director of viennacontemporary

Maribel Lopez

Director of ARCO

David Gryn

Founder and Director of Daata

Fondation Beyeler Audiovisual Broadcast

Fondation Beyeler and Nordstern Basel present Dixon x Transmoderna

Gary Yeh

Founder of ArtDrunk and Young Collector

WATCH: The Best of the BMW Art Guide

Where will you travel next to explore art?

Maike Cruse

2020 Gallery Weekend Berlin

Touria El Glaoui

Founding Director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Johann König

Messe in St. Agnes

PArt - Producers Art Platform

A crisis initiative to help artists directly affected by the pandemic

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

Juliet Kothe and Julia Rust

Initiators of Collection Night, Berlin

Marie-Anne McQuay

Curator of Wales in Venice, 58th Venice Biennale 2019

Dorothy and Herb Vogel

Two extraordinary art collectors

Heather Hubbs

Director at NADA

Collecting Art with François Pinault

Rudolf Stingel at Palazzo Grassi

A Common Ground

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Caroline Vos

Director at Amsterdam Art Weekend

Hidden Collections

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Nicole Berry

Executive Director of The Armory Show

Daniel Hug

Fair Director at Art Cologne

The Role of the Art Fair

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

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