Martin Z. Margulies
Key Biscayne, Florida; New York
Real estate development
“It’s a reflection of my personality, perhaps.” This is how Martin Z. Margulies described his collection, which has been valued at $800 million, to an interviewer in 2008. “It’s a collection of my external and internal experiences in my life.” A good deal of Margulies’s personality is on display in the Wynwood District of Miami at the Warehouse, a nonprofit that he founded in 1999 to house his collection of more than 5,000 contemporary artworks from the United States and Europe, and to provide art education to students and visitors. Art “is about learning and educating yourself,” Margulies once said, and he applies that belief to himself as a collector. “It never ends. You can always educate yourself … forever.”
Of the 5,000 pieces in his collection, he holds the American painter and sculptor George Segal’s Subway (1968) in highest esteem. The piece features one of Segal’s uncanny plaster figures seated alone near the subway window. “George was a good friend and wonderful person,” he told ARTnews. Other works in the sprawling collection—it includes sculpture, video, mixed-media, and site-specific installations—include the trippy video installation Elevator Pitch (2011), by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich, and Paradise Is Truth (2010), an assembly of small bowls and animal sculptures by Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou. The Warehouse is an annual stop for the crowds visiting Art Basel Miami Beach every December, where they see can new acquisitions as well as mainstays of the collection, including classic pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, and Anselm Kiefer.