LONDON – As Sotheby’s and Paddle8 offer works in aid of the British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel (BFAMI), one of their patrons London-based philanthropist and art aficionado Anita Zabludowicz opens her home and spells out the ABCs of her collecting.
COLLECTOR AND CONTEMPORARY ART PATRON ANITA ZABLUDOWICZ IN HER LONDON HOME, IN FRONT OF
ANTHONY GREEN'S MIXED-MEDIA WORK CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, 2011. PORTRAIT BY DAVID BEBBER.
At this point, Anita Zabludowicz should probably receive an attendance award for her clockwork — but hardly rote or jaded — appearances at key art events around the globe: Miami, Basel, Venice, and more. Then there's the meetings of the Tate’s International Council, the discussions surrounding the proposed Guggenheim Helsinki — not to mention Sarvisalo, the artist residency she has hosted in Loviisa, Finland, for the past five years. It's part and parcel of a lifestyle of art patronage she and her husband, Poju, head of global equity firm Tamares, have devoted themselves to since being bitten by the bug after purchasing their first artwork, a small oil, Box and Cox, 1942, by Ben Nicholson, at auction in 1994.
WORKS BY WALEAD BESHTY, LEFT, AND ALBERT OEHLEN, CENTER, DOMINATE A SKYLIT LANDING IN THE ZABLUDOWICZ HOME. PHOTOGRAPHY
AND PAINTING PLAY KEY ROLES IN THE COLLECTION. PHOTO BY THIERRY BAL, COURTESY THE ARTISTS.
Since then, their holdings have grown to warrant a second home: the open-to-the-public Zabludowicz Collection, housed in a 19th-century former Methodist chapel in North London, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past spring. Starting with giants of contemporary German painting (Sigmar Polke and Albert Oehlen, moving on to the YBAs and several Turner Prize nominees (Michael Landy, Tracey Emin, and more recently to younger talents with a multifarious, encyclopaedic scope (Matthew Day Jackson, Samara Golden, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, and more), the collection is an expression of Zabludowicz’s commitment to making sure that through her support, artists, particularly young ones (who she thinks of as her “art family),” are given space to grow and mature.
ROCKDISPENSER, 2010, BY NICOLE WERMERS, INSTALLED OUTSIDE. PHOTO BY THIERRY BAL, COURTESY THE ARTIST.
What has expanded as much the collection itself, however, are Zabludowicz’s philanthropic commitments, which range from regional non-profits such as Artangel, to local partners like Camden Arts Centre and Whitechapel Gallery, plus the Zoo and Sunday art fairs during Frieze, as well as graduate programs in curatorial studies at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths. The Zabludowiczes are also deeply involved with the British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel, which Poju co-chairs, and whose benefit auction is on view at Sotheby's New Bond Street from November 13 through 17 and currently live on Paddle8, through November 22.
A SITE-SPECIFIC INSTALLATION BY JIM LAMBIE, FEATURED IN 20 YEARS.
Whatever the art docket du jour, Zabludowicz brings to it a trademark infectious enthusiasm whether she’s exhorting her dinner guests to jump in the pool or unexpectedly entering you in a marathon. Here, the patron describes her collecting journey using the alphabet as a prompt.
A. is for Art. Of course—but also for Anita's Art Diary and @anitazart. I have been writing my Art Diary for eight years and using Instagram for four. Both have become amazing tools for collecting and research.
B. is for Basel. Art Basel is the best art fair in the world—it is just awesome.
C. is for Collection. I live and dream it 24/7.
D. is for Thomas Dane. Thomas was the original architect of the collection and is a great friend and advisor of Zabludowicz Collection's program.
E. is for Energy. I need loads of it to keep up!
F. is for Finland. Finland has been a way to slow down, create residencies and work with artists.
G. is for Galleries. The ones that commit themselves and support their artists.
H. is for Husband. Without Poju's support there would be no collection.
I. is for Internet. Giving and taking information.
J. is for Jay Jopling. One of the most interesting people in the British art scene.
K. is for Per Kirkeby. One of the key artists in our collection.
L. is for London. A wonderful base for the Zabludowicz Collection.
M. is for Miami. Art Basel Miami is one of my favorite art fairs.
N. is for New York. Many of the collection artists are from the East Coast, which has led us to show the Collection there, at 1500 Broadway. And the Armory Show and Frieze are in New York.
O. is for Albert Oehlen. Another of the key artists in our collection.
P. is for photography, but also for Painting. Two of the main threads of the collection.
Q. is for Qs and As. The collection and showcasing of emerging art is forever questioned and explored.
R. is for Residency. Expanding artists’ practices.
S. is for Shows. We have made over 30 of them and love each one.
T. is for Tate. The Tate was the inspiration to set up a collection in London—we support Tate in as many ways as we can.
U. is for University. Art schools are important—we support them for the future generations.
V. is for Venice Bienniale. The highlight of everything!
W. is for Art World. It keeps on growing and is often overwhelming.
X. is for the kisses.
Y. is for Young. Many of artists in the collection, when we discovered them, were just out of school or under the age of 30.
Z. is for Team Zab. Led by our director, Elizabeth Neilson, we could not do it without them!
Works are being sold in aid of BAFMI by Sotheby’s and Paddle 8.