Top200-2015-Ullens

COURTESY ULLENS CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART

‘I want my art to give me goose bumps,” Guy Ullens told the Wall Street Journal in 2013. “When I get them, I know it’s something good.” For Ullens and his wife Myriam, this originally meant Chinese classical scroll paintings from the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. For the past 30 years, however, it has been modern and contemporary art from the 1970s up to the present, with a particular focus on Chinese artists. In 2008, the Ullenses opened a private museum, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), in Beijing. Since the beginning, the Ullenses have practiced a circular method of collecting—selling pieces that have matured and gained in value in order to buy the latest and greatest work on the market. Their collection has grown to over 2,000 pieces of art—sculpture, painting, installation, and video—most by emerging artists in Asia. In recent years, the couple has also been buying work by young artists from Los Angeles.

Copyright 2018, Art Media ARTNEWS, llc. 110 Greene Street, 2nd Fl., New York, N.Y. 10012. All rights reserved.

Myriam and Guy Ullens

Location:
Verbier, Switzerland

Source of wealth:
Private equity and food industry

Collecting area:
Contemporary Chinese art

Top 200 appearance:
, , , , , ,

Fun fact:

Guy Ullens once complained that there were not enough usable walls in his Swiss chalet to hang artwork on. His contemplated solution to this problem? “I’m thinking of one day digging a big hole and having a huge underground gallery.”