Fundación ARCO, promoted by IFEMA, has presented the “A” Awards for Collecting, this year recognising six collections: The Daniel and Mirella Levinas Collection, María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation, Susana and Ricardo Steinbruch Collection, Otazu Foundation Collection, Engel Collection and the Erling Kagge Collection.
For the twenty-fourth edition, these six awards recognise the artistic value of collections brought together by individuals as well as institutions and their work in supporting the dissemination of contemporary art.
After the awards ceremony, which will take place at the Casino de Madrid on Tuesday, 25 February, a fundraising dinner will be held to buy works at ARCOmadrid 2020 for the Fundación ARCO Collection.
2020 award winners
Mirella and Dani Levinas Collection
Dani Levinas is an Argentine businessman and publisher, founder of Georgetown Publishing House and Prince Street Editions (Contemporary Artists Editions) and chairman of the Board of Directors of The Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.) since June 2016. Levinas has lived in Washington for the past 40 years along with his wife Mirella Levinas, who was born in the United States. Mirella is a Patron elect of the Reina Sofia Foundation Madrid. Together they have created one of the best endowed and most avant-garde current private contemporary art collections, highlighting works by Latin American artists. Dani has also served as director of the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, in the US capital.
Their wide-ranging artistic exploration has resulted in acquisitions from across the globe, influenced by their support and dissemination of various contemporary artistic creations. Their collection, which is considered a reference for private collecting worldwide today, boasts works by Vik Muniz, Cildo Meireles, Andy Warhol, Matthew Barney, Olafur Eliasson and Liliana Porter.
Among their latest acquisitions are works by contemporary artists including Nono Banderas, Milena Muzquiz, Benjamín Palencia, Anne Berning, Jose Luis Moraza, Teresa Lanceta, Marlon de Azambuja, Nestor Sanmiguel Diest, Antonio Ballester Moreno, Jose Guerrero and Fernández Pijuan, among others.
María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation
The Maria Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation was constituted in 2006 by María Cristina Masaveu Peterson and created within the tradition of patronage and sponsorship by the Masaveu family. Aimed at promoting culture and the arts, to protect and conserve artistic heritage, train and undertake research at the national and international level, with a particular focus in Asturias, just as the founder herself did throughout her life.
One of its main objectives is to contribute to improving society through culture, education and research. Its primary aims are therefore especially focused on comprehensive training for people, and especially young people, in accordance with its commitment to helping future generations build a society based on fairer and more humane values and principles. The foundation champions the arts and creation as a source of knowledge, with the conviction that the humanistic facet is an essential part of that education, and therefore, of social development.
The Maria Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation undertakes significant cultural activities in different fields, as well as extensive outreach work, which is seen through its exhibitions, publishing, training and research initiatives relating to its own art collection and the management of the Masaveu Collection.
Of particular importance are the spaces created by the foundation, such as the newly opened centre on Alcalá Galiano Street in Madrid and the Palacio de Hevia, its landmark in Asturias. In addition, there are currently two centres under construction: a multipurpose cultural centre in Morasverdes (Salamanca) - conceived as a space for cultural and educational meeting and exchange between young people and the natural environment - and Howe Place, at Yale University.
Susana and Ricardo Steinbruch Collection
Ricardo and Susana Leirner Steinbruch’s contemporary Latin American art collection is considered one of the most important, combining works by contemporary Latin American artists, such as Gabriel Orozco and Damián Ortega, with key figures from 50s Brazilian art, such as including Lygia Clark, Mira Schendel and Hélio Oiticica.
The Steinbruchs are part of the leading group of Latin American collectors who have positioned themselves in the international art scene in the last 15 years and they are active collectors among the galleries participating in ARCO. Susana is vice president of the International Consultative Council of the São Paulo Biennial Foundation and patron elect of the Reina Sofía Museum Foundation (Madrid).
Susana and Ricardo Steinbruch have been patrons of exhibitions in the United States that have increased the visibility of artists such as Lygia Clark and Doris Salcedo. In 2017, the couple donated 27 posters from the Argentine group Taller Popular de Serigrafía produced between 2002 and 2007 to the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Fundación Otazu Collection
The Fundación Otazu was created with the purpose of managing and directing an extensive programme around their contemporary art collection and the Otazu Winery art centre in Navarre.
By tracing a path that unites art, nature and society, with the premise of artistic creation as a tool for reflection, innovation, awareness and social improvement, the Fundación Otazu bears witness to its creators’ deep interest in local, national and international culture.
The programme encourages appreciation of the talent of established national and international artists and supports young art creators, curators and educators. The foundation's activities range from developing and preserving their collection, through educational activities and scholarship programmes, to creating an international biennial of contemporary monumental sculpture. This institution aims to create solid links to connect industry, art and nature with contemporary society.
The Engel Foundation was born as an initiative by Claudio Engel and his children Lucas, Nicolás, Benjamín and Francisca, to create an international art collection and museum that would be donated to the nation. Claudio Engel's work in the Foundation began some time ago, not only in acquiring the collection but also through taking an active role in the international cultural scene.
The collection now includes more than 400 iconic works of contemporary Chilean art and 50 Latin American works in various media: painting, sculpture, video art, photography, large format and performances, among others. The collection has always been intended to be displayed publicly and has, therefore, always been conceived and developed so that it might be representative of the contemporary scene, pursuing iconic pieces of national heritage.
Work is currently being carried out on creating a contemporary art museum based on the Engel Foundation art collection, which contributes to disseminating artistic and cultural production in Chile and Latin America by fostering recognition of the region's diversity. The NUMU (Nuevo Museo de Santiago) is conceived as a space for exploring art in all its expressions and media, in which creativity and cultural, artistic, social and political diversity are welcome. Through its temporary and permanent exhibitions, and the museum’s entire outreach programme, it will seek to build a dynamic space, open to all, for experiencing, inspiring, reflecting on and promoting knowledge.
Erling Kagge Collection
Erling Kagge is a Norwegian lawyer, explorer and publisher and founder of Kagge Forlag. Kaggae’s collecting career dates back to the 1990s and since he has established a contemporary art collection comprising works by more than 180 artists such as Raymond Pettibon, Franz West, Tauba Auerbach, Trisha Donnelly, Sergej Jenson, Klara Lidén and Wolfgang Tillmans.
After his time as an explorer, he began to look for challenges in the art world and began to acquire major pieces. The result is a collection of around 800 works that emphasises youthful anarchy, pop euphoria and post-conceptual artists.
Kagge states that there is no unifying theme to the pieces in his collection and that his own taste guides him when buying. He typically acquires emerging art from artists at the beginning of their careers and is committed to a collection that reveals his personality.
In his book A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art, published in 2015, Kagge reflects his thinking and describes his beginnings as an art collector. The author talks about his experience as a collector by comparing it with his experience as an explorer. In his book he also gives tips on how to acquire key art pieces and how to start out in collecting without investing large amounts of money.