The collectors who rank on ARTnews’s annual Top 200 list are often avid travelers, heading to various locales around the world to see—and buy—great art. While the pandemic’s lockdown in 2020 brought all that to a halt, this summer’s loosening of travel restrictions in many countries saw these collectors go on the move once again.
Many collectors, both those based in the U.S. and Europe, headed to the Venice Biennale—and a chorus of them reported that seeing Simone Leigh’s U.S. Pavilion installation was a highlight of the trip. (Indeed, many of them are collectors of the artist’s work.)
On their treks, collectors often hit up major museums exhibitions, gallery shows, and fairs to make their purchases. A handful of them are also known to compete for blue-chip works at the major evening sales put on by Sotheby’s and Christie’s each May and November, where they’re bound to spend millions of dollars on art.
Each year, as ARTnews prepares its latest edition of the Top 200 Collectors list, we survey our collectors to gain greater insight to their collecting habits over the past 12 months. Populars artists this year include Amanda Williams, Reggie Burrows Hodges, Shara Hughes, Rick Lowe, Alvaro Barrington, and Igshaan Adams, whose reputation in the U.S. was only bolstered by a widely acclaimed survey at the Art Institute of Chicago. Perennial favorites of the Top 200 include Jean Dubuffet, Rashid Johnson, Cecily Brown, Alicja Kwade, Vaughn Spann, and Amoako Boafo.
Many collectors are also sensitive to the shifts within the art world, and this year, some said they had focused—or in some cases continued to focus—on historically significant artists who had gone under-recognized. Among the ones collectors said they bought this time were Hughie Lee-Smith, Grace Hartigan, Norman Lewis, Jewad Selim, and Claude Cahun.
Below, a look at what our Top 200 Collectors recently purchased.