The art of collecting, with Max Teicher of Gagosian Gallery
OBSESSION IS A VALUABLE TRAIT IN BOTH MAKING AND COLLECTING ART. WORKS WHICH COMMAND THE MOST CRITICAL AND COMMERCIAL ATTENTION ARE, TO A GREAT EXTENT, PRODUCED BY ARTISTS WHO ARE CONSUMED BY THE CREATIVE PROCESS, WHETHER FROM AN INTELLECTUAL, TECHNICAL OR EMOTIONAL PERSPECTIVE, BEST YET ALL THREE. FOR A COLLECTOR, OBSESSION INSURES THE ACQUISITION OF WORKS THAT WILL BE A SOURCE OF INTELLECTUAL AND EMOTIONAL PLEASURE FOR SOME TIME TO COME. AFTER IDENTIFYING ARTWORKS THAT INITIALLY CAPTIVATE ONE’S ATTENTION, THE ENSUING RESEARCH, DUE DILIGENCE AND CONTINUED DIALOGUE WITH ART EXPERTS, ILLUMINATE ONE’S FIRST VISCERAL REACTION.
THE LEGENDARY ART DEALER, LORD DUVEEN, WHEN STANDING IN FRONT OF JMW TURNER’S BRIDGE AND TOWER, FAMOUSLY DECLARED, “IF I OWNED THAT PICTURE, I SHOULD WANT NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD”. THAT STATEMENT PROVIDES THE GOLD STANDARD WHEN DECIDING ON ADDING A WORK OF ART TO A COLLECTION.
GAGOSIAN GALLERY, WITH 16 EXHIBITION SPACES AROUND THE WORLD, HAS A VIBRANT CONTEMPORARY PROGRAM AND OFFERS A VAST ROSTER OF ARTISTS AND MEDIUMS TO CONSIDER. THE GALLERY RECENTLY WELCOMED AN EXCEPTIONAL GERMAN ARTIST, KATHARINE GROSSE, INTO ITS FOLD. HER MOST RECENT OUTDOOR WORK WAS UNVEILED TO THE PUBLIC ON JULY 3rd, THE LATEST SITE SPECIFIC COMMISSION FOR ROCKAWAY! MoMA’S PS1’s PROGRAM THAT WAS INITIATED AFTER HURRICANE SANDY’S DESTRUCTION OF THE COASTAL AREA.
STARTING TO COLLECT CAN BE A MYSTERIOUS AND INTIMIDATING PROCESS. TODAY THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH MAX TEICHER AT GAGOSIAN GALLERY. MAX IS DEDICATED TO MAINTAINING A DIALOGUE WITH EMERGING ARTISTS AND COLLECTORS.
IN A LECTURE HE GAVE ON THE SUBJECT, HE COUNSELED:
We need to start thinking about what is in front of our eyes today. I want to see the artist really thinking through his process. He must have something to offer. It is a ten-year process to get to this moment. You can see how an artwork draws comparisons and references another, this is a way that we can make sense of the moment we are in.
You have to learn and dedicate time to it. You must read and not be afraid to ask questions.
MAX, WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN CONTEMPORARY ART AND WANTS TO BEGIN TO BUILD A COLLECTION?
I would suggest they start buying. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed and prefer to be overly patient and slow. However, I notice that too many people can beat around the bush and be hesitant. The only way to know what art you want to live with is to simply live with it.
WHAT KIND OF ART SHOULD THEY FOCUS ON AND HOW WOULD THEY GO ABOUT FAMILIARIZING THEMSELVES WITH ALL THE POSSIBILITIES?
Art to which they have a strong response! Part of the reason I love being with Gagosian Gallery is that every artist we work with is museum quality and their markets are very stable. Thinking about price and value when looking at art should always be the last thought and collecting with a gallery like Gagosian enables individuals to connect with art and not have to worry about the associated costs.
ARE YOU ASSIGNED SPECIFIC ARTISTS WITHIN THE GALLERY ROSTER FOR WHOM YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE IN TERMS OF STUDIO VISITS AND PLANNING EXHIBITIONS AND, IF SO, WHICH ARTISTS AND WHAT IS THE ASSIGNMENT PROCESS?
Everyone has a unique role here that is best suited for their personality and what is best for the gallery. These roles mean that we all wear many hats. Many of my colleagues are assigned specific artists; I definitely have specific responsibilities. I’ve been lucky enough to be included in many studio visits and exhibitions but there certainly isn’t one specific artist for whom I’m responsible.
IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG WITH MAX, HE WILL SHARE HIS INSIGHTS ON THE CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET. PLEASE JOIN US!