The 50 Most Exciting Art Collectors Under 50 (Part 2): Page 6 of 6
The 50 Most Exciting Art Collectors Under 50 (Part 2)
Head of the international marketing agency Dorten, Schwarm is more recognizable as founder and managing director of Independent Collectors, a social network site for contemporary art enthusiasts. As the largest online resource of privately owned art, the free-to-join Web site has grown to about 4,000 collectors from almost 90 countries since its inception in 2008. Schwarm himself began collecting in 1995 with the acquisition of works by Fiona Banner and Peter Piller, whom he continues to follow. Today his collection includes about 200 works by artists such as Haegue Yang, Jonathan Monk, and Fiete Stolte.
A director at the art-focused public relations firm Fitz & Co, Tanzilli is building a private collection while acting as cochair of the Guggenheim’s Young Collectors Council (YCC). “I have a lot of really great drawings and works on paper, which are clearly more accessible and work well in my small Union Square co-op,” he says. “I have an incredible painting by Angel Otero and a great geometric abstraction by Marc Swanson that I just love; they’re real focal points.” Tanzilli’s collection also includes works from Klara Kristalova, Alex Da Corte, Michael Velliquette, Sam Durant, and Jim Hodges. At the moment, he’s gearing up for the YCC’s Guggenheim International Gala after-party this fall.
Maurice van Valen
In 2011 Van Valen made headlines when he donated 63 artworks to the Stedelijk Museum, including pieces by Atelier Van Lieshout, Isa Genzken, and Rachel Harrison. The gift was a godsend for an institution that had been heavily criticized in the press since the arrival of MOCA veteran Ann Goldstein as director. It was also a declaration of local support from the lawyer and encouragement for others to follow suit in a country where philanthropic gifts are not a major part of the cultural landscape.
Van Valen bought his first artwork — a series, actually, of lithographs by the Dutch artist Corneille — when he was only 15, with money he had saved from Christmases and birthdays. “I had this awareness: This is the beginning of something beautiful, of something big,” he remembers. The budding collector then moved on to Pop art: He bought a series of Keith Haring screen prints that he sold at Christie’s before turning 18 and began collecting in earnest. Today his collection, he says, is “a mixture of artists from all ages,” with a particular focus on “artists’ artists” and the lesser-known figures. Dutch artists like Johan Lennarts feature prominently, as do artists from Los Angeles — such as Eric Wesley, Yutaka Sone, Morgan Fisher, and William Leavitt — where Van Valen lived for a while. He also keeps a close eye on U.K.-based Michael Dean, Andy Holden, and Andrea Büttner. In 2003 Van Valen opened a commercially successful but short-lived gallery. “I strongly disliked the activity of selling art,” he says. Yet he’s not against renewing his holdings. “For me collecting is not working on a static thing, it is always fluid.” — CM
Christiane zu Salm
Founder and CEO of the private equity fund About Change Ventures (ACV), zu Salm developed an interest in contemporary art during her 15-year career in the media industry. After revamping MTV Central Europe and founding two TV channels while CEO of Euvia Media AG, she founded ACV and an accompanying exhibition initiative, “About Change, Collection,” at Berlin’s Am Kupfergraben 10, in 2007. Since then, zu Salm has organized a number of shows and projects around her collection, which has grown out of an initial focus on the collages and assemblages of artists like Kurt Schwitters and Picasso to include works by Arnulf Rainer, Carsten Nicolai, Cy Twombly, Franz West, Hanne Darboven, Jon Kessler, Jörg Herold, Josh Smith, Karl Holmqvist, Lee Friedlander, Martha Rosler, Nam June Paik, Pae White, Thomas Hirschhorn, Tobias Rehberger, and Yves Klein. — Tracy Stuber