The Crucial Role of the New

While flipping through the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors you will notice that occasionally certain pages are colored differently. These are the Shorties, brief texts by our authors dealing with all aspects of collecting. 

This time the focus lies on just one word. One word that holds a lot of power in the art world: new. An adjective that influences collectors, gallerists, artists and the artwork! Our author discusses where to find "the new" and how to make sure that an acquired work does not "fall off the wall".

"In 1980, the British news channel BBC aired a series entitled The Shock of the New. The eight episodes documenting the development of modern art are still praised by insiders for their quality and humor. Though the series used the words “the new” to describe the emergence of a whole new era, the little adjective “new” continues to play a crucial role in the art world to this day. In the context of collecting, "new" has multiple meanings. Buyers often eagerly await new works by their favorite artists. Gallery owners report how difficult it is to excite collectors about works of the same quality, though older. As a rule, collectors are thrilled by the encounter with a new artistic position, with works by an artist hitherto unknown. But how do art lovers make such discoveries? Where do they find what touches them? In general, the quest for art on which one is willing to actually spend money is like finding a needle in a haystack. Collectors are inspired by gallery or museum exhibitions, by books or magazines, by art fairs or advice from friends. And though the art market now sees tens of thousands of artists vying for purchase, the following still applies: Good art is rare, and good art one must own is even rarer. Seasoned art collectors thus bestow the same advice to beginners: Look at as much art as possible before your first purchase. A hastily acquired work will "fall off the wall" just as fast. Much that is new just loses its appeal once it is not longer new. A neon sculpture by the artist Maurizio Nannucci long mounted on the front of Berlin’s Altes Museum curtly illustrates the continuing need for a healthy skepticism towards the dominance of the new. It read: “All art has been contemporary." 

Independent Collectors

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