BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Claudio Cosma

Sensus – Luoghi per l’arte Contemporanea – Florence, Italy

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?

When I bought a Lorenzo Bonechi tempera in the early 80s, I didn’t know that it would become the first piece of my collection, although the surrounding context already fascinated me a lot. I knew Bonechi’s art dealer and we had visited his atelier together several times before I decided to purchase his work. First we had to transfer the work from paper onto canvas and create an adequate wooden frame, so we went to a carpenter who was also custodian of the Horne Museum in Florence, which hosts a collection of local art from the 15th century. He had his working space and apartment there in the attic. I had the chance to spend a lot of time in this place before it opened to the public and I also had the keys to the space for a short period of time. The contact with this high quality art and with the experimental artists I met during these years influenced and defined my personal taste.

Mitsunori Kimura, ’The bird’s blind spot’, 2013 (photo: Silvia Noferi)
Mitsunori Kimura, ’The bird’s blind spot’, 2013 (photo: Silvia Noferi)

Why do you collect?

The artworks I collect surround me in a material sense but open up a different kind of reality and dimension of life that stands for itself. In a way artworks have become my companions. I find it fascinating to live with art, also because I perceive the works and their materiality differently and with different senses. That’s why I own works made of camphor wood, spices, chocolate or wool. Others are just composed of sounds. I even own one that is formed of three big containers with eatable plants. Of course the search for art itself, the actual acquisition and consequently the intimacy I feel with the work, push me to collect.

Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?

I can define three criteria: The fragility of materials that is perceptible through time; light and its opposite element that makes it visible – the shadow; and, the border, the boundary line or the verge that defines tangible and immaterial elements. These themes build up the framework of the collection. I always find at least one of them within the pieces I look for.

Exhibition view with works by Maitree Siriboon, Mitsunora Kimura, Imhathai Suwatthanasilp and Marika Marchese (photo: Silvia Noferi)
Exhibition view with works by Maitree Siriboon, Mitsunora Kimura, Imhathai Suwatthanasilp and Marika Marchese (photo: Silvia Noferi)
Angelo Barone, ’Casta diva’, 1993 and ’Cumuli’, 1989 (photo: Martin Leon)
Angelo Barone, ’Casta diva’, 1993 and ’Cumuli’, 1989 (photo: Martin Leon)

Who are the artists you are currently following?

I have always followed Fabrizio Corneli who works with light and perceptual illusions, and a young Japanese artist called Mitsunori Kimura. He builds small sculptures made of oil paste and camphor wood.

Do you have a personal relationship with the artist you collect?

Yes, I consider a direct contact with artists as very important. Often it gives me the opportunity to visit their studio and to let them speak about their work. Sometimes I have even made long-lasting friendships. Artists often have an avant-garde view on life, which helps me to understand some indefinable sides of myself.

Lorenzo Pezzatini, ”Cosmatesca“, 2014. Foto dell’autore
Lorenzo Pezzatini, ”Cosmatesca“, 2014. Foto dell’autore
Claudio Cosma’s first artwork, ’Figura nel paesaggio’ by Lorenzo Bonechi, 1982 (detail)
Claudio Cosma’s first artwork, ’Figura nel paesaggio’ by Lorenzo Bonechi, 1982 (detail)

Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?

My dream of having the entire collection in a single location came true just two years ago – until then I had kept my works in a deposit. My dear friend Gualtiero Lombardini offered me a wide bright space in Florence, where I could exhibit what I bought over the years. The decision to make the collection public came as a natural consequence. I would describe Sensus as a foundation that collaborates with critics, curators, journalists, collectors and cultural institutions, as well as with foreign academies and universities that visit us outside of our opening hours.

Vitrine with works by Silvia Noferi, ”Ladro di caramelle“, 2013. Foto Claudio Cosma
Vitrine with works by Silvia Noferi, ”Ladro di caramelle“, 2013. Foto Claudio Cosma

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?

I really appreciate the Fondation Beyeler in Basel. It represents a perfect model that art lovers should strive for: a harmonious fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces that stand in an active dialogue with the works. It is a place where you can study or just sit for a while observing everything in peace.

All images via Sensus – Luoghi per l'arte Contemporanea

More Information on Sensus – Luoghi per l’Arte Contemporanea

Collectors (77)

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Rashid Al Khalifa


Olivier Chow

The Olivier Chow Collection – Lausanne, Switzerland

Valeria Napoleone

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Matteo Novarese

SOF:ART – Bologna, Italy

Martin Steppacher

Gallery Durchgang – Basel, Switzerland

Carmelo Graci

Graci Collection – Mantova, Italy

Dr. William Lim

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Nicola Erni Collection – Steinhausen, Switzerland

Lukas Jakob

Jakob Collection – Gundelfingen, Germany

Claus Busch Risvig

Bech Risvig Collection – Silkeborg, Denmark

Joseph Awuah-Darko

The Terra Collection Of African Contemporary Art – Accra, Ghana | London, UK


Ingrid and Thomas Jochheim Collection – Berlin, Germany

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Bernardo Paz

Instituto Inhotim – Centro de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico – Brumadinho, Brazil

Tony Salamé

Aïshti Foundation – Beirut, Lebanon

Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani

Samdani Art Foundation (SAF), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Lord David Cholmondeley

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn, Great Britain

Galila Barzilaï-Hollander

Galila's P.O.C., Brussels, Belgium

Martin Margulies

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse – Miami, United States of America

Christine and Andrew Hall

Hall Art Foundation - Reading, USA & Derneburg, Germany

Qiao Zhibing

TANK Shanghai and Qiao Space - Shanghai, China

Christen Sveaas

Kistefos Museet, Jevnaker, Norway

Noemi Givon

Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Michael Buxton

Buxton Contemporary - Melbourne, Australia

Seth Stolbun

The Stolbun Collection – Houston, USA

Jochen Zeitz

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) - Cape Town, Africa

Dominique & Sylvain Levy

DSLCollection – Paris, France

Andrea von Goetz

Sammlung Blankenburg – Hamburg, Germany

Gordon Elliott

The Elliott Eyes Collection - Sydney, Australia

The Vague Space

Christian Kaspar Schwarm on the first solo presentation of his collection at the Weserburg Bremen

Anita Zabludowicz

Zabludowicz Collection – London, United Kingdom

Anastasios A. Gkekas

The Office Collection - Nicosia, Cyprus

Rik Reinking

WAI - Woods Art Institute, Wentorf bei Hamburg, Germany

Maria Didrichsen

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

João Carlos de Figueiredo Ferraz

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz (IFF) - São Paulo, Brazil

Julia Stoschek

Julia Stoschek Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Maurizio Morra Greco

Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy

Christian & Karen Boros

Sammlung Boros – Berlin, Germany

Timo Miettinen

Salon Dahlmann – Berlin, Germany

Marli Hoppe-Ritter

Sammlung Marli Hoppe-Ritter – Waldenbuch, Germany

Désiré Feuerle

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Gudrun & Bernd Wurlitzer

Wurlitzer Pied A Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Corbett Lyon

Lyon Housemuseum – Melbourne, Australia

Geert Verbeke-Lens

Verbeke Foundation – Kemzeke, Belgium

László Vass

Vass Collection – Veszprém, Hungary

Daisuke Miyatsu

Dream House – Ichikawa, Japan

Samara Walbohm & Joe Shlesinger

Scrap Metal Gallery – Toronto, Canada

Charles Riva

Charles Riva Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Venke & Rolf Hoff

KaviarFactory – Lofoten, Norway

Alain Servais

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Ivo Wessel

Sammlung Ivo Wessel - Berlin, Germany

Ramin Salsali

Salsali Private Museum – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Vittorio Gaddi

Collezione Nunzia e Vittorio Gaddi – Lucca, Italy

Miguel Leal Rios

Fundação Leal Rios – Lisbon, Portugal

Gertraud and Dieter Bogner

Kunstraum Buchberg – Gars am Kamp, Austria

Bob Rennie

Rennie Collection at Wing Sang – Vancouver, Canada

Heiner Wemhöner

Sammlung Wemhöner – Herford, Germany

Lin Han

M WOODS – Beijing, China

Kenny Goss

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, USA

Karsten Schmitz

Arbeitswohnung Federkiel – Leipzig, Germany

Devon Dikeou

The Dikeou Collection - Denver, USA

Thomas Olbricht

ME Collectors Room Berlin/Stiftung Olbricht – Berlin, Germany

Mera & Donald Rubell

Rubell Family Collection – Miami, USA

Pétur Arason

Safn – Berlin, Germany / Reykjavík, Iceland

Steffen Hildebrand

G2 Kunsthalle – Leipzig, Germany

Frédéric de Goldschmidt

Frédéric de Goldschmidt – Brussels, Belgium

Daniel Teo

The Private Museum – Singapore, Singapore

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Herbert Gerisch

Herbert-Gerisch-Stiftung - Neumünster, Germany

José Berardo

Museu Coleção Berardo – Lisbon, Portugal

Bärbel Grässlin and Karola Kraus

Sammlung Grässlin - St. Georgen, Germany

Joëlle and Eric Romba

Rocca Stiftung – Berlin, Germany

Myriam and Amaury de Solages

Maison Particulière – Brussels, Belgium

Friedrich Gräfling

Sammlung Fiede - Aschaffenburg, Germany