20 four 7 – Collecting The New Contemporary

“With the globalization of the art market and the ongoing proliferation of information over social networks on the Internet, new approaches to art production have emerged, posing new questions about collecting contemporary art. With the collectors’ forum 20 four 7 – Collecting The New Contemporary, Next Edition Partners would like to offer a supplementary program to VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary that addresses these questions, but above all focuses on the passion for art collecting,” says Rainald Schumacher, head of 20 four 7 – Collecting The New Contemporary.

The forum “20 four 7 – Collecting the New Contemporary” is a series of intimate conversations with some of the outstanding collectors of contemporary art of today. Facing the challenge of a global art market which circulates ideas, projects, and objects 24 hours, 7 days a week, the conversations focus on the personal enthusiasm for collecting contemporary art. The series of talks intends to highlight some different models of building up a collection and different concepts to work with a collection. The conversation partners will address their personal criteria and decisions to add an artwork to their collection. 20 four 7 will also consider the obligation for the collectors to make an artwork accessible for the public, if they want to fulfill their role as creators of contemporary culture in a responsible way. The following art collectors will speak at the collectors’ forum: Razvan Banescu, collector Bucharest; Saruhan Dogan, collector Istanbul; Tansa M. Eksioglu, SPOT Contemporary Art Projects, with Haro Cumbusyan, director of collectorspace Istanbul; Erling Kagge, Kagge Forlag AS, Oslo; Wolfgang Olbricht, Sammlung Olbricht, Essen and Me Collectors Room Stiftung Olbricht, Berlin; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Fondazione Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Gabriele and Wilhelm Schürmann, Schürmann Collection.

Location: VIENNA Talks booth, C23

Conversation with Prof. DDr. Thomas Olbricht

Thursday, October 10, 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Thomas Olbricht  Photo:

Thomas Olbricht

“I’d like to seize a piece of the world as I see it and perceive it. This is an important impulse.” Thomas Olbricht

Thomas Olbricht is one of the most multifaceted private collectors of fine art. The Olbricht collection comprises works from the Renaissance to today. Thanks to his personal selections for more than 30 years, it has also become one of the most important collections in the realm of contemporary art. With the exhibition program at me Collectors Room Berlin since May 2010 he has been playing an active role in the city’s cultural life. The Olbricht Foundation behind it also strives to generate public interest for art, especially among children and youth.

In his lecture and the accompanying conversation, Thomas Olbricht will provide insights into this exceptional private engagement for art and his motivations. What does Thomas Olbricht anticipate from art’s potential to shape social developments?

Conversation with Gabriele Schürmann and Prof. Wilhelm Schürmann

Thursday, October 10, 1:00 to 2:00 pm


Gabriele and Wilhelm Schürmann

“There are no rules, but art that catches me is rough, intractable, and succinct. Or the exact opposite. I never searched for art; art always came along. The collection has developed with the life we’ve lived. A strange cocoon. Since I do not want anything, I can’t miss something. By disapproval, emotions back. (MK).“ Wilhelm Schürmann

The Schürmann Collection, built up by Wilhelm Schürmann under the watchful eyes of his wife Gabriele since the beginning of the 1980s, is a constantly changing cosmos of works, ideas, and alternating interpretative contexts. Here, collecting art is obviously also a way to sensually capture and understand reality. The collector becomes a curator and someone who inherently reveals possible meanings of the works.

Gabriele and Wilhelm Schürmann will tell of their personal path to collecting contemporary art and critically reflect upon a collection’s prerogative of interpretation.

Conversation with Haro Cumbusyan(Director collectorspace, Istanbul) and Tansa M. Eksioglu (SPOT Contemporary Art Projects, Istanbul)

Friday, October 11, 12:00 to 1:00 pm

“What you collect is yourself.” from Owning Art, The Contemporary Art Collector’s Handbook, by Lousia Buck & Judith Greer

Tansa M. Eksioglu is one of the private collectors who have strongly contributed to the blossoming contemporary art scene in Istanbul and Turkey in the past years. Her collection includes works of international contemporary art, works by younger Turkish artists, as well as select historical positions in the art history of the Near East, which are gradually becoming recognized in the international scene and have considerably expanded the canon of art of the past 30 to 40 years. Since 2011 she has been the driving force behind SPOT contemporary art projects in Istanbul, an initiative that focuses on promoting the understanding and knowledge of contemporary art and helps Turkish artists in the realization of their projects. In the conversation Tansa M. Eksioglu will talk about her experiences and explain what  motivated her to be engaged with SPOT above and beyond her private collecting activities. How does such an initiative change the cultural climate of a metropolis and the local art scene?

Collectorspace is a non-profit organization based in New York. Their mission is to provide a public platform where private collections can present their works and to stimulate discourse on the topic of collecting. Since 2011 collectorspace has been running a small exhibition space in Istanbul close to Taksim Square. One work from a respective collection is presented there, accompanied with a video interview in which the collector introduces a part of his or her works in a private setting. Together with his wife, Haro Cumbusyan counts among the most important collectors of contemporary video and media artworks. In the conversation Haro Cumbusyan will provide an overview of the activities of collectorspace and talk about the important position a public platform can assume in the cultural landscape of Turkish society. What role do contemporary art and the numerous private initiatives in the realm of art play in the extremely tense social situation that evidently seems to prevail in Turkey today?

Conversation with Erling Kagge

Friday, October 11, 1:00 to 2:00 pm


Erling Kagge
Photo: VG

In 1990 Erling Kagge and Borge Ousland reached the North Pole without any outside assistance. Two years later – after a good 1,300 kilometers in 51 days, likewise without any help – the South Pole would follow. In 1994 he climbed to the peak of Mount Everest. Today, Erling Kagge works as a publisher in Norway and counts among the most important and best-informed collectors of contemporary art. In addition to the international orientation of his collection, the collector is also highly engaged in Scandinavian and Norwegian art, which in comparison have a difficult position competing in the global art market.

What motivates this adventurer, who sought out and conquered such feats, to collect contemporary art? Might the encounter with present day art prove to be the real adventure in human life? Erling Kagge will give a personal account of his relationship to art and his enthusiasm for the adventure in contemporary art.

Conversation with Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Friday, October 11, 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Patrizia Sandretto  Photo: Courtesy Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
Photo: Courtesy Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin

Collecting is my way of exploring and mapping the world through the eyes of artists who connect the present and offer us a glimpse of the future.“ Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo has been engaged in contemporary art since the beginning of the 1990s. Her private collection has an international focus, generously produces projects and oeuvres of works, and supports young Italian artists. Parts of the collection are regularly on show in exhibitions around the world.

In 1995 the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo was founded. With its own museum in Turin, it has made a significant contribution to the Italian cultural landscape. The foundation is engaged in contemporary art in a variety of ways: international exhibitions in the museum, an artist-in-residence program, and a program for young curators. In the conversation Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo will reflect on the origins of her dedication to present day art and introduce the activities of the foundation. How have the foundation’s work and collecting activities influenced, above all, the local and Italian contemporary art scene?

Conversation with Razvan Banescu

Saturday, October 12, 1:00 to 2:00 pm

“I consider myself, an ‘amateur d’art’. In the meantime, I have to admit that I am a very, very curious one. This is why collecting represents for me only a consequence of the huge interest I have in this topic and not an objective in itself. I am mainly interested in the Romanian visual art scene of the last 50 years, and collecting is my way of understanding it better. And also of being a – very small – part of it…” Razvan Banescu

The situation for visual arts in Romania – as in other Eastern European countries – is extremely difficult because state support is largely lacking and private engagement is still underdeveloped. The few galleries are typically dependent on sales abroad and must be present at international fairs, which all to often involves substantial expenses. Sophisticated art that goes beyond simple decoration or representation rarely finds an enthusiast in Romania, only a few collectors have acquired works on a regular basis in the past years, thereby securing a basis for the preservation of the works for the future and for the financial livelihood of the artists.

Bucharest-based Razvan Banescu can be counted among these personalities who have built up a collection with their personal vision and passion for art and frequently loan the works for presentation in international exhibitions.
In the conversation Razvan Banescu will introduce parts of his private collection and reflect upon the importance of collecting art.

Is the future of visual art from countries without substantial state institutional structures above all in the hands of private collectors?

Conversation with Saruhan Dogan

Saturday, October 12, 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Saruhan Dogan

Saruhan Dogan

Collectors can be the guardians of a vital contemporary culture that has no home and little future prospects outside of public institutions, state art funding, museum collections, and private, profit-oriented galleries. Through his close personal contact with artists, the Turkish collector Saruhan Dogan has compiled an extremely distinguished collection of works, which to a great extent address and aim to influence society’s self-conception – works with meanings and intentions that quite definitely can be understood as being political.

In the conversation Saruhan Dogan will introduce a number of these works from the collection and explain their societal and personal relevance. Works that we seldom come across in the commercial art market – yet they exceptionally convey that art is not just a petty aesthetic-formal Glass Bead Game rather an important tool for a critical and informed understanding of reality and social circumstances.

Special Panel by departure “Abstraction and Economy”

Friday, October 11, 11:00 – 12:00 am  

Antony Hudek, Tate Liverpool
Thomas Trummer, Kunsthalle Mainz
Heinrich Dunst, Artist
Birgit Megerle, Artist
Eva Maria Stadler, Curator and Professor University of Applied Arts

Since the beginnings of abstract avant-garde art, abstract conceptions
have been embogged in contradictions that can hardly be resolved. Formal abstraction partly sprang from the economization caused by industrial production, the emerging abstract language of forms was exactly directed against this industrial materialism of modern society. In our discussion the relationship between abstract art and an increasingly abstract world will be the question of our interest. We do draw a parallel to the history of capitalism and regards the current strategies of finance capitalism as abstract operations that have developed a momentum of their own.

3 thoughts on “20 four 7 – Collecting The New Contemporary

  1. Pingback: Program Thursday, October 10 | The New Contemporary

  2. Pingback: Program Friday, October 11 | The New Contemporary

  3. Pingback: Program Saturday, October 12 | The New Contemporary

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