How would you describe your collecting style?
We are very deliberate. We have one staff person who follows a group of artists we keep on the radar. We probably have more pieces by Frank Stella and Jim Hodges than any other artists. We started out collecting artists like Stella, Agnes Martin, and Jean Dubuffet. Lately, we are spending more time with younger artists like Ori Gersht. We’ve bought a building with 18,000 square feet of gallery space and moved our collection into the building, which opens with limited hours in September.
What was the first work you acquired?
It was a print by the Dutch artist Karel Appel in 1974. I bought it from Eva Glimcher—Arne Glimcher’s mother—who had a gallery in Columbus, Ohio. It cost $900. We put $100 down and paid $100 a month. When we had paid about 50 percent, she would allow us to buy something else.
What pieces in the collection always attract attention?
The piece that probably attracts the most attention now is a sculpture in our living area by the Japanese artist Mr. It’s about 15 feet tall and it’s just a huge head with lots of detail. We just installed Tom Friedman’s urinating man in stainless steel in a fairly heavily trafficked area outdoors. We’ll see what happens.
Is there one that got away?
Once there was a Rauschenberg silk screen painting of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris that, at the time, was the most expensive piece I ever pursued. Every time I went to New York I would go to the gallery and look at this painting. I finally decided I was going to buy it, and the dealer had just stepped out. I came back in ten minutes and she told me the painting had just sold five minutes earlier. It was a fantastic piece probably worth millions today.
See the complete list of The 2013 ARTnews 200 Top Collectors.