Cindy and Howard Rachofsky
“The most visible manifestation of affluence,” Howard Rachofsky once told Bloomberg Business, “is what’s hanging on your walls.” And here’s how Rachofsky views his own affluence: What’s hanging on his and his wife Cindy’s walls are pieces from a 1,200-work collection primarily devoted to American and European postwar movements, displayed on a rotating basis at their private residence, the Rachofsky House, in Dallas. What can’t be found at the house could very well be on view at the Warehouse, a project space that Howard initiated with fellow collector Vernon Faulconer for the purpose of providing scholars, curators, and critics access to their respective holdings. “[Rachofsky] didn’t want to have children grow up in Dallas and have to go out of town to see great contemporary art, like he had to do,” John Sughrue, a cofounder of the Dallas Art Fair, told Artnet News in 2017. “He’s a champion, and he’s a community leader.”
One of the Rachofskys’ favorite pieces, according to an article in W magazine, is Tom Friedman’s Untitled (2003), a giant blue man, made entirely of Styrofoam, staring shyly down at his shoes. “It weighs almost nothing, yet it has great presence,” Howard said. “It was an instant love affair.”
The couple is known for diving deep into international scenes that have not yet received widespread recognition in the United States, from postwar Japan’s Gutai movement to Italy’s Arte Povera. One significant acquisition in their collection is Takeo Yamaguchi’s One Eye (Yellow), 1959; another is Yukinori Yanagi’s Ground Transportation (1987/2019), a landmark of Japanese contemporary art that is aesthetically audacious and politically charged. The piece, on view earlier in 2019 at Blum & Poe gallery in Los Angeles, comprises two giant balloons—one suspended from the ceiling, the other resting on the floor. In an unabashed political statement, one is covered in soil from Okinawa, Japan, which was long occupied as a U.S. military base, and the other, with dirt from a World War II internment camp in Manzanar, California, where people of Japanese ancestry were forced to relocate.