BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

When Collectors are Able to Commission

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

The second volume of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors features besides 217 private collections also 17 Shorties. These short texts concern themselves with all aspects of art and in particular art collecting.

This time we selected a Shorty by our authors Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas in which they mention a collectors’ ideal situation: being able to commission a favorite architect. Different architectural qualities of several other exhibition spaces used by private collectors to display their collection are also touched upon.

"It doesn’t have to be the big-star architects. But many private collectors pay a lot of attention to the right architectural frame for their collections. Some have historical buildings renovated to house their art. Like Carl-Jürgen Schroth, for example, who converted a former school building in Soest, Germany, to accommodate his works. The young collector Friedrich Gräfling, who was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany, and now studies architecture in London, likes things a bit more rough around the edges. His Fiede Collection is presented in the tiled rooms of a former slaughterhouse. And the Norwegian collector-couple Hoff discovered a former caviar factory, enveloped in ocean mist at the Lofoten, for their collection. They commissioned the Oslo architecture firm Element, which has an affinity for art, for their striking remodeling. Some collectors open their private homes and apartments by appointment. For visitors, it’s interesting to see how the living environment engages in a dialogue with art. Munich-based collector Karsten Schmitz, of Stiftung Federkiel, commissioned the artist group Famed to transform the former working-class apartment on the grounds of the famed Leipzig Baumwollspinnerei into a habitable Gesamtkunstwerk—and with minimal intervention. Art collectors frequently have a clear preference for good design. Berliner Giovanni Springmeier, for example, combines art and select design pieces in his generously sized apartment. And Rotterdam-based collector Alexander Ramselaar lives with his avant-garde furniture collection in a historic townhouse. Well-stocked bookshelves serve as a room divider, as they do in the space belonging to art collector and book lover Ivo Wessel in Berlin. The ideal situation is when collectors are able to commission their favorite architects to create new spaces for their works. Wiel Arets, for example, designed the modern pavilion The Hedge House, in the Dutch province of Limburg, for the collectors Jo and Marlies Eyck, which blends perfectly into the natural surroundings of this castle park."

The journalist couple Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas have been writing freelance art journalism and art criticism since 1997 for a variety of national and international art magazines and newspapers.

Insiders (67)

Wilhelmina Jewell Strong - Sparks

Founder of BiTHOUSE Projects - BAAR Art Journey


Collector behind the ARNDT Collection

Sandra Guimarães

Director of Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear

Grazyna Kulczyk

Founder of Muzeum Susch


Interview with Georgie Pope and Eleonora Sutter, Co-founders

Kamiar Maleki

Director at VOLTA

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2022

Tokini Peterside

Founder and Director, ART X Lagos


Founding Director of the Athens Biennale

Boris Ondreička

Artistic Director of viennacontemporary

Maribel Lopez

Director of ARCO

David Gryn

Founder and Director of Daata

Fondation Beyeler Audiovisual Broadcast

Fondation Beyeler and Nordstern Basel present Dixon x Transmoderna

Gary Yeh

Founder of ArtDrunk and Young Collector

WATCH: The Best of the BMW Art Guide

Where will you travel next to explore art?

Maike Cruse

2020 Gallery Weekend Berlin

Touria El Glaoui

Founding Director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Johann König

Messe in St. Agnes

PArt - Producers Art Platform

A crisis initiative to help artists directly affected by the pandemic

Barbara Moore

CEO of Biennale of Sydney

Unique Collector’s Item

by Independent Collectors

Alix Dana

Fair Director at Independent

Juliet Kothe and Julia Rust

Initiators of Collection Night, Berlin

Marie-Anne McQuay

Curator of Wales in Venice, 58th Venice Biennale 2019

Dorothy and Herb Vogel

Two extraordinary art collectors

Heather Hubbs

Director at NADA

Every Art Collection Needs Space

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Collecting Art with François Pinault

Rudolf Stingel at Palazzo Grassi

A Common Ground

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Caroline Vos

Director at Amsterdam Art Weekend

Hidden Collections

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Nicole Berry

Executive Director of The Armory Show

Daniel Hug

Fair Director at Art Cologne

The Role of the Art Fair

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Peter Bläuer

Director at LISTE

A Brush Against Nature

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Ilaria Bonacossa

Director of Artissima

Excessiveness, the Latent Danger of Collecting Art

by Independent Collectors

Jo Stella-Sawicka

Artistic Director at Frieze

Florence Bourgeois

Director at Paris Photo

Where Artists Can Work More Playfully

by Christiane Meixner

Specifically Commissioned

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Manuela Mozo

Executive Director of UNTITLED, ART Miami and San Francisco

Important Museums and Private Collections

by Christiane Meixner

Susanna Corchia

Director of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend

Emilia van Lynden

Artistic Director at Unseen, Amsterdam

Carlos Urroz

Director at ARCOmadrid

Shoe Smudges Streaked Across the White Walls

by Christiane Meixner

Amanda Coulson

Director at VOLTA Basel

Douwe Cramer

Director at Singapore Contemporary

Art and Architecture – Attractive Allies

by Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas

Jo Baring

Curator of Sculpture Series, Masterpiece London

Bidders and Buyers

by Christiane Meixner

Anne Vierstraete

Managing Director at Art Brussels

Nanna Hjortenberg

Director at CHART

The Crucial Role of the New

by Independent Collectors

Makers and Believers

On Art History’s Most Famous Patrons

The Past is Back

And collectors are buying it up

Are Artists the Better Curators?

On the diminishing boundary between professions in the art world

The Digital Museum

On the importance of the museum’s web presence

The Man in the Middle

On the curator’s private and public engagements

A Private Matter?

On the importance of physical space for the value of art

Off the Wall

How museums contribute to the worth of artworks

Where to Go Next?

The fragmentation of Manhattan’s gallery scene

To Buy or Not to Buy

Collectors on their experiences of letting an artwork slip away

How to Pass On a Passion

On long-term challenges for new private museums