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Friday, January 27, 2012

BERGGRUEN BUILDS COLLECTION FOR LOS ANGELES


Berggruen builds collection for Los Angeles
The German collector shelves plans to build a Berlin museum in favour of long-term loans to the US

By Gareth Harris. News, Issue 231, January 2012
Published online: 05 January 2012

The private collector and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, son of the late German-Jewish art dealer and philanthropist Heinz Berggruen, is set to follow in the footsteps of the collector Eli Broad by sending several works on long-term loans to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma), where Berggruen is a trustee. “I’m building up a collection for Lacma,” he says, “focusing on German artists such as Thomas Schütte, Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter and Joseph Beuys.” Works by West Coast artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman and Mike Kelley from Berggruen’s collection are also due to end up at the museum. “Los Angeles is still a developing cultural centre and that’s why one can make a difference there,” he says. His father, Heinz Berggruen, sold his collection of modern masterpieces for $120m—one-tenth of its value—to Berlin in 2000. There is now a museum in the city to house these holdings.

A spokeswoman for Lacma says that it has been in discussions with Nicolas Berggruen “regarding entering into an agreement for a very significant group of works [to go] on long-term loan to [the museum]”. Berggruen has already loaned one work to the museum, Chris Burden’s Metropolis II, 2010, which was being installed for display on the ground floor of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Lacma’s affiliate space, as we went to press. It is due to open on 14 January and is on loan for at least ten years. Billionaire philanthropist Broad paid $56m for the construction of the space, which opened in 2008, housing works from the non-profit Broad Art Foundation’s 1,600-strong collection.


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