An entire edition of this magazine devoted to the changing role of the “collector” in the art world.
Issue No. 83 of “Texte zur Kunst” which will be released at the start of the art fair season, addresses the collector. In the past three decades, discernible changes in the manner and actions of a certain group of collectors have emerged. What characterizes this development foremost is the strong focus placed on the collector’s personality. This appears to be a phenomenon where merely the function of collecting as good publicity is at the fore. While collecting art was once a philanthrophic venture of the upper class, a new generation of male and female collectors—as well as couples—uses their art collection to gain political and economic power. While collectors were previously hardly known to a broader public, today some of them actively stage their activities in the media and seek to attain the status of a celebrity. The massive accumulation of private money as a result of financial speculation is accompanied by budget cuts in the cultural sector. For many museums, cooperative projects with private collections often appear to be the only possibility to present contemporary art that they can no longer afford. Yet for many collectors today, the model of permanently tying their acquisitions to a public institution in the form of loans, gifts, or endowments seems to have lost its relevance. Instead, they prefer to self-confidently found their own, often architecturally striking exhibition venues. With issue No. 83 “Texte zur Kunst” critically reflects on the altered role of the collector in the way it relates to society.