Collecting - Issue 96 - Magazine | Monocle

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Part museum, part would-be utopia, Inhotim is a unique experiment in bringing contemporary art and nature together in a public space.

Bernardo Paz

Founder, Inhotim

Brumadinho, Brazil

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Inhotim, a garden-museum nestled amid the forests of Brumadinho in southeastern Brazil. The labour of love of mining magnate Bernardo Paz, the vast complex is an artistic Eden boasting 5,000 plant species and 1,300 contemporary artworks by domestic and global artists, dating from the 1940s.

What’s your approach to the art of collecting?
The word “collecting” is intimately related to hoarding, which is not the case at Inhotim. It’s about a state of mind. Sometimes people are stressed out when they arrive but in a short time they feel better because the beauty of art and nature stirs something inside. We want to display works by the biggest names in contemporary art and have ongoing projects with Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson and Brazilian artists such as Ernesto Neto. I surround myself with specialists such as chief curator Allan Schwartzman to help me create the collection.

Why did you decide to open your art collection to the public?
I understood that I was building something that was not supposed to be private and needed to be shared so I’ve dedicated my life and resources to develop this project. It’ll take 10 days to visit all of Inhotim; we hope it will be around for 1,000 years, somewhere people will come and experience a different way of living.

Have you got any tips for budding collectors?
Seek out qualified people for advice and educate yourself through courses and museums so that you have a contemporary and post-contemporary view of the world. Too many people collect out of vanity without worrying about the transformative potential of art.

Well hung

A pair of Sydney gallerists are leading the Australian art scene’s discovery of Asian potential.

Sullivan + Strumpf



Sullivan + Strumpf’s new gallery is tucked away in Singapore’s leafy Gillman Barracks, the arts district spread across a former colonial military camp. Neighbours include Pearl Lam Galleries, Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Arndt Fine Art.

Founders Ursula Sullivan and Joanna Strumpf set up their Sydney gallery in 2005 and Singapore was the logical next step. “We are at an important point in our growth and there is demand for our artists’ work in many parts of Asia,” says Strumpf. The inaugural exhibition, featuring artists such as Joanna Lamb, Alex Seton and Karen Black, was called Arrival. And why not? It’s the first gallery from down under to also have a base in Asia.

“Many Australian galleries are realising the importance of Asia and how fortunate we are to be part of such a dynamic scene,” says Sullivan of the booming regional art market. “We might be the first gallery to have bases in both Australia and Asia but we certainly won’t be the last.”


A stunning collection by one of the art world’s most dedicated couples comes up for auction.


The Tim and Sherrah Francis Collection


7-8 September

Former New Zealand ambassador Tim Francis and his wife Sherrah assembled one of the country’s most important private collections of modern art during their lifetimes. Following their deaths earlier this year, Auckland’s Art+Object is hosting a sale of more than 230 pieces.

“They reveal two collectors whose passion for living with the finest New Zealand art knew no bounds,” says the auction house’s director of art Leigh Melvill. Of particular note is Gordon Walters’ 1968 painting “Mahuika”; other lots include works by Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston and Rita Angus.


Shane Cotton
“He Pukapuka Tuatahi”, 2000
Oil on canvas, 200cm x 300cm
Estimate: NZ$180,000 to NZ$280,000 (€114,000 to €178,000)

Yvonne Todd
“Seriousness”, 2004
Type C print, 25cm x 28.6cm
Estimate: NZ$5,000 to NZ$7,000 (€3,200 to €4,400)

Gordon Walters
“Mahuika”, 1968
PVA and acrylic on canvas, 114.5cm x 152cm; Estimate: NZ$300,000 to NZ$400,000 (€190,000 to €254,000)

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