Friday, April 13, 2018

A collector follows his nose through the maze of modern srt

By Arthur Lubow
The art collector Sylvio Perlstein at home in Paris. Works from his vast selection of modern art will be on view in New York this month. (The photographer shot through gels and glass to achieve the effects shown in the portraits.)
The collection of Sylvio Perlstein is a relic of a recent time that already feels remote. For more than five decades he has bought avant-garde 20th- and 21st-century art, comprising both iconic masterpieces and recondite curiosities. Mr. Perlstein’s assemblage of paintings, sculptures and photographs fills every wall, niche and corner of his large house on the outskirts of Paris. The collector, who is in his 80s, accumulated his art gradually, like a snail extruding a shell. “Money was not interfering,” Mr. Perlstein said on a recent visit to New York, where he maintains an apartment on the Upper East Side. “It was not a business. In the ’80s, everything was almost free. Today it is all about money.” [More]
Mr. Perlstein in his Paris home with his Duane Hanson sculpture “Young Shopper” (1973). Credit 2018 Duane Hanson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Paul Rousteau for The New York Times
A selection of 380 pieces from the Perlstein collection will fill all three floors of the Hauser & Wirth Chelsea gallery in New York from April 26 through July 27. (Nothing is for sale.) Unlike the leading collectors of our day, who hire professionals to track the market as assiduously as hedge fund managers, Mr. Perlstein follows his nose through the bewildering maze of modern art. He says that he pounces when he sees “something not normal.” His collection includes Dada and Surrealism (Max Ernst, Man Ray, Dora Maar, René Magritte, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle); American minimalism and post-minimalism (Donald Judd, Ad Reinhardt, Brice Marden, Fred Sandback); and land art (Richard Long, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Gordon Matta-Clark).