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The Collector's Eye. Nine Personal Collections in Strasbourg

[Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art]
Illustration de The  Collector's Eye.  Nine Personal Collections in Strasbourg

For "The Collector's Eye", Strasbourg's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has invited figures from a variety of backgrounds to take part in the game-like exercise known as an exhibition and present the finest pieces from their "secret garden". Nine collectors have agreed to make accessible to the public some of the works they have gathered over the years and treasured in the privacy of their homes.

These collectors all have a special relationship with the museum. They are either donors or lenders or have been its champions from the very beginning. This series of exhibitions is meant not only to honour their commitment, but also to look at practices different from those normally accepted in heritage institutions. Born of passion or neurosis, impulsive or rational, the personal collection is exclusively a product of the individual gaze. All its twists and turns and potential contradictions have meaning for the person building her/his collection by contingency-free choice.

Public collections in contrast are not built on a "love at first sight" basis. They are the object of negotiations among a multitude of players ensuring the proper use of public funds and they enter the collective heritage ad vitam aeternam. Confronting art confined to interiors with art that is exhibited in museums is a daring and exhilarating undertaking for both parties. This is what "The Collector's Eye" offers us. Two consecutive hangings will show different areas of the MAMCS occupied by collections of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps, but not necessarily, highlighting a period, a movement or a medium, these groups of works stemming from personal choices can be read as portraits of their creators, suggesting the idea of the collection as an art form in itself. This unusual project reminds us that there are strong ties between public and private collections, ties of mutual inspiration, complementary gazes and the pleasure of celebrating and sharing art with the greatest number.

Exhibition Curators: Barbara Forest, MAMCS Heritage Curator, Marie-Jeanne Geyer, MAMCS Heritage Curator, Jean-Louis Mandel, collector, Madeleine Millot-Durrenberger, collectress, Estelle Pietrzyk, Chief Heritage Curator, Directress of MAMCS, Joëlle Pijaudier-Cabot, Chief Heritage Curator, Directress of the Museums of Strasbourg.

Focus 1 : 17 September to 20 November 2016:
- Catalogue déraisonné, the Esther and Jean-Louis Mandel Collection
- Être et à voir, the J+C Mairet Collection
- La Possibilité d’une collection, the G. and M. Burg Collection
- Passages, private collection, Strasbourg and G. and M. Burg Collection

Focus 2 : 10 December 2016 to 26 March 2017:
- Le Désir est partout, the Lionel van der Gucht Collection
- Comme une respiration, the Madeleine Millot-Durrenberger Collection
- Voies de la peinture figurative contemporaine, the Jean Brolly Collection and a private Strasbourg collection
 - Collectionner les formes, Private collection, Strasbourg

435 works (Focus 1) 356 works (Focus 2). Total 791 works
226 artists

This exhibition is being presented as part of « Shared Passions. In the Heart of the Collections », a season of exhibitions promoting Strasbourg's Museum collections. The exhibition benefits from the exceptional support of Eurométropole de Strasbourg.