Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Some Thoughts on Collecting: Signatures --- Day 3/218

Walk: CPMC, Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class


Cornelis de Baellieur (Belgiun, 1607-1671), Interior of a Collectors Gallery of Paintings and Objets d' Art, o/c

Building an outstanding collection - of anything - is a long and complex process - as well as a joyous 'labor of love.' The best can take lifetimes and even these are culled through for early mistakes or changes in direction, shaped and re-shaped.  This applies to individual collectors as well as institutions for which decisions are usually a more collective endeavor.

Mistakes are usually made along the way. A common one for beginning collectors is to 'buy signatures.'

This is the term applied when a collector hasn't acquired sufficient knowledge. Such a collector hasn't developed the 'discerning eye' that comes from time spent with the art, conversations with knowledgeable advisers such as gallery owners, museum personnel, other collectors, maybe even the artists themselves - and time spent with themselves assimilating this information and sensing how it is impacting their desired goals.

Often at the beginning collectors aren't aware that most artists go through a series of stages (some short-, others long-lived) before arriving at the peak of their style.  Further, the artist's personal idea of their peak can be quite different from what the public favors and comes to have enduring value.
There is a good example of this right here in CIWT on Days 344-46.  These entries concern Andre Derain's shift from Fauvism (the style for which he is best regarded historically):


AndrĂ© Derain. (French, 1880-1954).                                                                     
Bridge over the Riou. 1906. Oil on canvas
to the much less regarded Realism: preferred by the artist.
                                                                Andre Derain. (Fr,1880- 1954) 
                                                                                     The Rehearsal, 1933. O/c

But more and more the collector's eye as well as art buying sense is cultivated and (s)he is increasingly set free to enjoy the thrilling, life-enriching adventure of collecting.





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