A conversation between Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and Tiago de Abreu Pinto
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Cuban collector and member of the International Council of the ARCO Foundation, and Tiago de Abreu Pinto, independent curator and PhD in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid, talk in this video about Ella's collection and project.
History On Collecting
Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Fondazione Sandretto Re Re Rebaudengo, Turin and President of the International Council of the ARCO Foundation; and Tiago de Abreu Pinto, independent curator and PhD in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid, star in a conversation organised by the ARCO Foundation.
Jimena Blázquez (Montenmedio Arte Contemporáneo)
Define your collection in one word.
A happy memory you associate with art.
My first art history classes when I was 14 years old.
What artwork do you regret not buying?
A curtain by Leonor Antunes
Your first acquisition.
A painting by a Colombian artist at ARCO
Your latest acquisition.
An installation by Gabriel Chaile
If you could only keep one piece from your collection, what would it be?
A painting by Alvaro Barrington.
Which important museum have you still not visited?
Naoshima in Japan
What does the art in your collection say about you?
I think the selection of works shows a commitment to the social and intellectual concerns of our time.
If you could take any artwork from a museum, what would you choose?
A painting from Picasso’s Blue Period
Which artist would you like to have dinner with?
What do you look for in a piece of art?
Intensity, universality, for it to be full of generosity and speak of realities.
An anecdote about ARCO.
When I went with all the money I’d saved from a whole year at my first job to buy a piece of art.
What do you expect from gallery owners?
Good advice, honesty and commitment to the artists they represent.
What do you hate in the art world?
A book on art.
The White Road by the artist Edmund de Waal
A work of art that makes you happy?
El Paseo by Wilfredo Prieto
Advice when buying art.
Buy what you like, not what they tell you to buy.
Do you have an objective for your collection?
To remain committed, supporting the artists of my generation.
Born in 1974 in Cadiz, Jimena Blázquez Abascal spent her youth between Cadiz and Madrid. At 18 she went abroad to study Art History in different European cities (in Italy, and in London and Paris). Since then she has centred her research on the field of contemporary art, continuing her academic studies with a Master’s Degree and a PhD from the Universidad de Cádiz centred on recovering abandoned spaces through contemporary culture and art. Her professional career began at the Musée Picasso in Paris, before continuing at expert Marc Blondeau’s art consultancy firm where she collaborated with well-known European and American collectors and distinguished contemporary art galleries.
In the year 2000 she definitively centred her professional career on the creation of the Fundación NMAC in Vejer de la Frontera (Cadiz). Since then she has curated over 45 specific projects from notable young and established artists including Sol Lewitt, Marina Abramovic’, Roxy Paine, Maurizio Cattelan, Susana Solano, Pilar Albarracín, Santiago Sierra, Olafur Eliasson, Jacobo Castellano and James Turrell, boosting many of their careers following the Fundación NMAC project.
At the same time, she has worked on the publication of various catalogues and has participated in international seminars. In 2003 she combined her work at the Fundación NMAC with a post as exhibitions curator at the contemporary art centre PS1/ MOMA in New York, where she oversaw numerous exhibitions by international artists, including one dedicated to new Spanish art which she co-curated with the prestigious curator Harald Szeemann. Her hard work in the Big Apple culminated in several exhibitions of young artists whose work had never before been shown in the United States, as well as periodic collaborations with different magazines, publications and seminars.
On her return she again focused her work on directing the Fundación NMAC and the new programme of activities, exhibitions and editions. In 2009 she was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for her commitment to spreading culture and education as basic tools for communication between civilisations. That same year she curated one of the most important projects by the North American artist James Turrell at the Fundación NMAC. She participates regularly in conferences and seminars. She is a member of ICOM and a board member of Fundación ARCO.
Frances Reynolds, Founder and Director of the Inclusartiz Institute; and Tiago de Abreu Pinto, independent Curator and PhD in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid, are the participants in a conversation organised by Fundación ARCO.