Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg
Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg are a business power couple. Shah has worked as an engineer and executive for tech companies including Oracle, Netscape, and Yahoo, and she has organized fundraising campaigns for various non-profit organizations. Garg is a managing partner of Silicon Valley–based Wing Venture Capital, which he co-founded in 2013.
And on the art side, Shah has been an important player in museum philanthropy, serving as a member of the accessions committee at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the North American acquisitions committee at Tate Modern in London. She was appointed as a trustee of SFMOMA in May 2018 and a trustee of the Tate Americas Foundation in spring 2018.
An avid collector since 2008, Shah told ARTnews she is “entirely focused on women artists or artists of color.” And in an interview with The Hindu Business Line, she said that works by four women abstract painters—Amy Sillman, Charline Von Heyl, Jacqueline Humphries, and Laura Owens—form the “crux” of her collection, in which works by Joan Mitchell, Mark Bradford, and Sam Gilliam also figure prominently.
In 2019, Shah and Garg acquired an untitled painting by Mitchell from 1992 (the year of the artist’s death); Shah is a “die-hard fan” of the market-making Abstract-Expressionist whose auction record was set in May 2018, when Blueberry (1969) sold for $16.6 million at Christie’s New York.
And the couple keep active around their Bay Area home base with a series of talks, called “Artists on the Future,” at Stanford University that focuses on the intersection of art and sociopolitical issues and have included two-person conversations between artist Lorna Simpson and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker and curator Kimberly Drew and artist Lynda Benglis.
The couple’s commitment to art has also resulted in some significant changes to their home. “We had to raise a ceiling to accommodate Charles Gaines’s 8-by-10-by-6-foot TreeXL #9,” they told ARTnews. “We have done other things for other artworks such as remove staircases and a fireplace.”