Art collector in Poland auctions 200 works to fund private museum – Robb Report

Grażyna Kulczyk, a Polish collector and investor, will auction around 200 works from her contemporary art collection this fall to raise funds for Muzeum Susch, her private museum in the Swiss Alps. Proceeds from the additional sale will go to the collector’s charity, the Art Stations Foundation, which funds cultural projects.

Works by artists including Vanessa Beecroft, Zhang Huan and Thomas Ruff, as well as those by post-war and contemporary Polish artists, will be sold in five sales between October 18 and 20 at the auction house Desa Unicum, based in Warsaw. Funds from sales will go towards the museum’s exhibition programming, a program of contemporary performance and dance, and research initiatives.

In a statement, Kulczyk said the five-part sales series will mark a shift in her collecting practice as she focuses on promoting women in the arts. It’s a theme that ran through the Muzeum Susch, which Kulczyk opened in 2018. Since then, he’s focused primarily on female artists, especially those from Poland and Central Europe.

Kulczyk, which ranks on ART news‘s Top 200 Collectors, is one of Poland’s richest women and the ex-wife of investor Jan Kulczyk, who died in 2015. She has business ventures in the telecommunications and energy sectors, and focuses on businesses founded by women.

Michael Najjar Bionic Angel (2007)

Courtesy of Grażyna Kulczyk

In a statement, Kulczyk describes the works selected for sale as having “fulfilled their role” in his largest collection.

“It’s time for them to live on,” she continued. “I don’t want to own them. I believe that they can give birth to or develop many other collections.

Some of the artists at the auctions, like Beecroft and Ruff, already have collector bases. But many Polish artists at auction do not yet have established markets.

Among the works for sale are the documentation of Beecroft’s performance VB43.019 (2000), which involved 23 models and took place at London’s Gagosian Gallery; editions linked to an installation in four parts by Loris Gréaud, entitled Nothing is true, everything is permitted (2007), which represents stellar constellations mapped on a cartographic grid; and photography by Michael Najjar in 2007 Bionic Angel, a portrait of a woman superimposed with images reminiscent of nerve fibers. Works from the 50s and 60s by Wojciech Fangor, Henryk Stażewski, Jerzy Nowosielski and Tadeusz Kantor will also be sold.

Estimates of the auction lots have not yet been announced.

An exhibition presenting the collection will be presented at the DESA Unicum headquarters in Warsaw from October 4 to 20.

Norma D. Ross