BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Reflection and Speculation

Sammlung von Kelterborn – Frankfurt, Germany

The von Kelterborn Collection isn’t for the faint of heart—although that’s not to say the works are visually jarring. Rather, the artists in Mario and Julia von Kelterborn’s collection draw in viewers with their objectively beautiful and intriguing aesthetics only to give way to a much deeper, often intellectually challenging, message. Take, for example, Richard Mosse’s The Enclave (2013), a multi-channel video installation. Made with 16mm infrared film, the six videos playing in the darkened space at first appear like something from a fairytale (brilliant crimson, lavender and pink flora; stretching, mountainous landscapes populated by only a few roaming figures), however, during the work’s nearly forty minutes, unsightly scenes and sounds reveal themselves: bombs explode; soldiers march with guns; a man is found dead—or at least severely injured—on the ground. Mosse’s films, despite their radiant coloring, are documentary footage of the Congo’s ongoing humanitarian disaster in which, since 1998, more than 5.4 million people have died. “As Mosse and other people say,” Mario reminds us when we speak over the phone, “Beauty is the sharpest tool in the box.’ If you show people something beautiful, they react.”

Henrike Naumann,’ Four Word’, 2015. Courtesy the artist
Henrike Naumann,’ Four Word’, 2015. Courtesy the artist
Hito Steyerl, ’Factory of the Sun’, 2015 (installation view La Biennale di Venezia, German Pavilion, 2015). Courtesy the artist. Photo: Manuel Reinartz
Hito Steyerl, ’Factory of the Sun’, 2015 (installation view La Biennale di Venezia, German Pavilion, 2015). Courtesy the artist. Photo: Manuel Reinartz
Richard Mosse, ’The Enclave’, 2013. Courtesy the artist
Richard Mosse, ’The Enclave’, 2013. Courtesy the artist

Mario, who was born in what was East Berlin and has lived in Frankfurt for more than twenty years, first saw Mosse’s installation during its debut at the 2013 Venice Biennale, where he immediately knew he had to leave the Giardini and, if he could afford it, buy the work. “The same happened with Hito Steyerl’s Factory of the Sun at the German Pavilion,” he admits. This instinctual, guttural reaction—what some might deem an irrational decision-making process—is precisely the way he and his wife have developed their collection, which now comprises an impressive array of works by contemporary international artists who often deal with political topics and work in photography and video, such as Mosse, Steyerl, Harun Farocki, Tobias Zielony, Barbara Klemm and Taryn Simon. Mario explains that his specific interest in filmic works may stem from his intense relationship to television and cinema while growing up in the GDR, but also that video works are easily democratized. Single-channel videos are, he notes, essentially free to send to an exhibition and require little more than a projector and screen for display. And while works like The Enclave and Factory of the Sun are much costlier to install, they can be exhibited in more than one place at the same time.

Yves Netzhammer, Björn Melhus, ’Die umgekehrte Rüstung’, 2002. Courtesy the artists
Yves Netzhammer, Björn Melhus, ’Die umgekehrte Rüstung’, 2002. Courtesy the artists
Tatsumi Orimoto, ’Art Mama: Small Mama and Big Shoes’, 1997. Courtesy the artist
Tatsumi Orimoto, ’Art Mama: Small Mama and Big Shoes’, 1997. Courtesy the artist

“As a collector, you’re taking on a big responsibility, especially with video or video installations. You need to show these pieces,” Mario says. “So I’m not thinking about whether or not an artwork would work at home. I think of it in an institutional context, and that is the biggest pleasure of all: To think about putting the artworks together and making an exhibition.”

Although one must wait to exhibit until a collection is large and strong enough to tell a story, the von Kelterborns didn’t find this difficult. After Julia introduced Mario to the worlds of modern and contemporary art in the 90s, collecting came naturally, because, as a child, Mario was an avid stamp collector focused on the era of German hyperinflation in the 1920s. He researched and discovered mistakes, amassing a stamp collection that eventually told a historical story and could be exhibited. This dedication and specificity, as well as the ability to see the bigger picture, now reflects his approach toward art. To Mario, art and stamps are both kinds of time capsules. “The only difference is that stamps were mostly for history and while art teaches you about history, it also teaches you about how people interact and what is happening today,” he says.

Harun Farocki, ’Parallel II’, 2014. Courtesy the artist
Harun Farocki, ’Parallel II’, 2014. Courtesy the artist
Korakrit Arunanondchai, ’Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3’, 2015. Courtesy the artist
Korakrit Arunanondchai, ’Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3’, 2015. Courtesy the artist
Richard Mosse, ’Tombstone Blues’, 2012. Courtesy the artist
Richard Mosse, ’Tombstone Blues’, 2012. Courtesy the artist

A piece like Henrike Naumann’s Four Words (2015), which spells out “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the people), for example, simultaneously reflects German history and allows this specific phrase to infiltrate new contexts, thus creating a narrative of its own. With works that almost all act in this manner, The von Kelterborn Collection reflects, teaches and speculates about tangible and intangible histories, and, perhaps more importantly, histories-to-come.

Emily Mcdermott is a writer and editor based in Berlin.

Collections (90)

Kloster Schoenthal

Nature-inspired sculptures in a pristine landscape

Pinchuk Art Centre

Blue-chip contemporary in the first private museum in the former USSR

Kunst(Zeug)Haus

An extensive private collection of Swiss contemporary art of the last fifty years

Mathaf—Arab Museum of Modern Art

A Royal Collection Spanning 200 Years of Arab Art – Doha, Qatar

Sara Piccinini

Senior Coordinator, Collezione Maramotti - Reggio Emilia, Italy

KaviarFactory

DJ Cassy and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Venke and Rolf A. Hoff in Henningsvær, Norway

Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg

Positions of social criticism in German and American contemporary art – Hamburg, Germany

Houghton Hall

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Lord David Cholmondeley in King’s Lynn, Norfolk

The Walther Collection

Inside and Outside the Frame – Neu Ulm, Germany

Peter Ibsen Collection

Minimalist Works That Hone Your Sense for Detail – Copenhagen, Denmark

Initiating Dialogues

Sammlung Hoffmann – Berlin, Germany

The Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

Andrea Denver and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Sherry and Joel Mallin in Upstate New York

The Agah Uğur Collection

One of the Largest Video Art Collections in Istanbul, Turkey

KA Modern and Contemporary Art Space

900 Square Meters Dedicated to Lebanon’s Most Significant Artists – Beirut, Lebanon

Art About Beauty and Infirmity

Collezione De Iorio – Trento, Italy

Living Collection

Gary Yeh and Francesca Gavin meet with architect and collector William Lim in Hong Kong

Early Passions

Z Collection – Hong Kong, China

Infinite Interiors

Philara Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Papko Art Collection

Works of Turkish Modernism at the legendary Ralli Apartment in Istanbul

Risky Business

Astrup Fearnley Museet – Oslo, Norway

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Patricia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy

Something Special, Something Sacred

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, United States of America

JAHM – Justin Art House Museum

Digital and Abstract Art — Melbourne, Australia

A More Democratic Art

MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Embracing the Accidental

Trajković Collection – Belgrade, Serbia

Galila's P.O.C.

A Collection Made up of Thematic Collections – Brussels, Belgium

Establishing Roots and Creating Links

The Ovidiu Șandor Collection – Timișoara, Romania

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz

Abstract painting and concept art in Brazil’s interior – São Paulo

Conversation Pieces

KUNSTSAELE Berlin – Berlin, Germany

Magazzino Italian Art

Contemporary Italian Art on the Hudson River – New York

Slow Learning

de la Cruz Collection – Miami, United States of America

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

A venue for contemporary African art – Cape Town

The Elliott Eyes Collection

Engaging With the Collectors – Sydney

Foundation Francès

A French roadtrip reaching the radical reflections of artist Kader Attia

The Sublime Hyacinth Collection

Czech Art Meets Czech Design – Prague, Czech Republic

Marciano Art Foundation

Contemporary art at the Masonic temple – Los Angeles

Time Stamps

Julia Stoschek Collection – Berlin, Germany

Generative Grammars

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Chasing the Future

dslcollection – Paris, France

Charged Atmospheres

Transformer Station – Cleveland, United States of America

Places in, and out of, Time

Adrastus Collection – Arévalo, Spain

Eloquent Silences

The Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Counting to Ten

Ten Cubed – Melbourne, Australia

Dispersing Narratives

The Wedge Collection – Toronto, Canada

Dialogues in Nature

Chatsworth – Bakewell, Great Britain

Present Pasts

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Space for the Future

The Vanhaerents Art Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Colección Contemporánea

A Global Collection from a Seasoned Art Collector In Mexico City

Adrastus Collection

A Collection That Shows the Diversity of Art in the Age of Globalization – Arevalo, Spain

Masters and Romantics

Collection Lambert – Avignon, France

Fondazione Rolla

A Collection of Modern and Contemporary Photography in Ticino

Finnish Rhapsody

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

Cranford Collection

One of Europe’s Most Important Collections with Renowned Contemporaries in Regent’s Park – London

Broad Minded

Artist Tomasz Kobialka on The Broad – Los Angeles, USA

Jean-Paul Najar Foundation

European-American Post-Minimalist Art in a Bauhaus-inspired building – Dubai

Treasure Hunt

The Wanås Foundation/Wanås Konst – Knislinge, Sweden

AMC Collezione Coppola

A Curious Collector Acquiring Art to Broaden his Understanding of the World

A Home for Light and Color

MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

Newport Street Gallery

Damien Hirst’s ‘Murderme’ Collection finds a permanent home – London

Franks Suss Collection

A Duo Investing in Artists and Not Cashing In – Hong Kong, London and Sydney

Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

A Magic Sculpture Garden in Westchester County – Pound Ridge, New York

Shine On

Wurlitzer – Berlin-Pied-à-Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn

Lavish 18th Century interiors juxtaposed with contemporary outdoor sculpture

Venet Foundation

An Artist’s Take on Collecting in the South of France

G2 Kunsthalle

Large-scale paintings of the New Leipzig School in dialogue

The Immaculate Collection

Igal Ahouvi Art Collection – Tel Aviv, Israel

dslcollection

The best of Chinese contemporary art, available 24/7/365

Thoma Foundation

Two intimate art spaces in Chicago and Santa Fe encourage dialogue between work and viewer

Lyon Housemuseum

Located near Melbourne, Australia, collector Corbett Lyon designed the Housemuseum to share it with the public

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Inhotim – Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico

Portraiture Confronting a Land’s Traumatic Past

The Walther Collection – Project Space New York – New York City

Conceptual Authenticity

Sammlung Barbara und Axel Haubrok - haubrok projects - Berlin, Germany

A Self-taught Collector

Vass Collection - Veszprém, Hungary

Roots in Rotterdam

Concordia Collection - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Louvre goes Lens – and Pinault follows

How France’s most established museum and collector are redeveloping forgotten places

History Reinvented

Insights into the influential collection of Martin Parr

A Collection Which Never Sleeps

David Roberts Art Foundation – Great Britain, London

Get Lucky

David Walsh and his MONA

An Eye into a Secret World

SIP Shpilman Institute for Photography – Tel Aviv, Israel

Gifts for Philadelphia

Private collectors with a generous heart

A New Home for Miami’s Art Scene

On the opening of the Jorge M. Pérez Museum

Prima Materia at Punta Della Dogana

François Pinault Foundation - Venice, Italy

Eric and Jean Cass Collection

A private collection goes public

Bernardo Paz’s Transformative Museum

A closer look at Inhotim in Brazil

The Open Road to Jupiter

Robert & Nicky Wilson - Jupiter Artland

Collecting with an Impact

Dakis Joannou - Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art

Menil Collection Makeover

Starting with the parking lot

White Rabbit Collection

Chinese Contemporary Art – Australia, Sydney

Museo James Turrell — The Hess Art Collection, Colomé

Turrell’s largest Skyspace and additional light rooms in breathtaking surroundings