Art Basel Miami Beach | Interview with Ingvild Goetz
December 5, 2008
The redoubtable Ingvild Goetz has been collecting for more than 40 years. Her private collection, housed in a Herzog & de Meuron-designed glass pavilion in Munich includes more than 3,500 works and an extensive mix of Arte Povera.
Do you believe this year marks the revenge of the Europeans?
I really don’t understand why American collectors don’t attend the fairs when the market is down. They disappear, and yet a lot of them still have money. You just don’t have this at the European art fairs. When you are true collectors, you may lose money but you don’t care if the art market goes up or down.
What was your impression of the collectors’ preview?
There is not a greedy sensibility anymore. I don’t like to chase art — it’s so under the level of how you would like to live. This time it was quiet and you felt you had time, even at those galleries that are normally very hectic. The relaxed buying atmosphere is more like it used to be. In this economy people are now thinking about the content of the art instead of about how much it costs and whether they can brag about the value.
What did you buy?
I bought the Cindy Shermans at Metro Pictures. I have 50 photographs of hers already, so it was practically a necessity. I also got a Douglas Gordon at Yvon Lambert.
Should people expect to get better deals in this climate?
Really great art has its price, so you shouldn’t expect the prices to come down, except in those instances where it’s been inflated. A lot of art with no content sold for a lot of money in the past. There are two categories of collectors: one who is collecting because they like to collect, and then others who think, “I bought this piece, and everyone knows how much I paid for it.” I always wonder what happens to the latter when prices do go down. Do they look at those previously purchased paintings and say, “What an ugly painting I bought?”
Would life be better without dealers?
I actually appreciate dealers. You can’t be everywhere, so for me the dealers are good. For artists they can be dangerous because some dealers push prices, and what happens in this economy is that the work comes down in price and some artists can never get back up. It has happened with many trendy artists who were with irresponsible dealers.
What other art outside the fair has made your trip worthwhile?
I just did a studio visit to Ryan Trecartin’s. It was the first time my husband and I looked at each other and said, “Now we really no longer get it.” He is dealing with avatars and he made one of the craziest films I have ever seen. But I had to buy it because I know this is the direction in which art is going. If you really want to be contemporary, you cannot just focus on painting and traditional mediums.
Do you consider A.B.M.B. to be one of the top art fairs in the world?
Yes, there was really great art this time. However, I think the best fair is the original in Basel. There, everybody brings the very best quality because they know if they don’t, they will get kicked out. That said, I read recently there are 360 art fairs, practically one for each day of the year!
Read all Art Basel Miami (2008) coverage.