A new generation of Spanish collectors is expanding the horizons of the country’s art scene, and moving the market beyond the tastes of a handful of well-known, wealthy collectors active in the international art market.
Some started collections with just a few hundred euros, while others are constantly acquiring to add their own personal stamp to their collection of inherited masterpieces. All of them break away from the established names that have been the bread and butter of Spanish collections for decades, and are worth paying attention to for their willingness to take risks on art in a country where there are few financial incentives from the state to collect.
Below, we outline who they are, what they own, and what they may be looking to buy.
What’s in the Collection: More than 400 works of painting, textiles, photography and sculpture, with a focus on African and diaspora artists born from the late 1970s onwards. Artists include Hassan Hajjaj, Mario Macilau, Francisco Vidal, Monica de Miranda, Tsoku Maela, Banele Khoza, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Lhola Amira, Arlene Wandera, Zakaria Wakrim, Letso Leipego, Nicène Kossentini, Troy Makaza, Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, Tuli Mekondjo, Alexandra Karakashian, Nu Barreto, Samson Kambalu.
Distinguishing Factor: Fernández-Vidal is one of Spain’s handful of serious African art collectors. He discovered African art on a work trip to Ghana and has since built a collection entirely of contemporary artists from the continent and diaspora. He is currently investment director at Liechtenstein Group and serves on Tate’s African acquisition committee.
Where He Shops: Sabrina Amrani (Madrid), Guns & Rain (Johannesburg), First Floor Gallery (Harare), Vera Cortes (Lisbon), Arte D’Gema (Maputo), Jahmek Contemporary Art (Luanda), Arco Madrid, Arco Lisboa, 1:54 Fair, AKKA Paris.
Fun Fact: Fernández-Vidal completed a “collector residency” in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, invited by Guns & Rain.
Social Media Profile: @jorge_fernandez_vidal
Victorino Rosón Díez-Feijóo
What’s in the Collection: He characterizes his Colección Aldebarán as post-war, and it includes a lot of work produced from the 1950s onwards, such as pieces by John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Max Bill, Martín Chirino, José Dávila, Carsten Höller, Jonathan Meese, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Scheibitz and Lawrence Weiner.
Distinguishing Factor: Victorino Rosón Díez-Feijóo inherited his father’s collection along with his two sisters when Victorino Rosón Sr. died in 2016. His father was recognized as one of Spain’s most important contemporary art collectors and his son has vowed to continue a legacy he has said he did not pay enough attention to when his father was still alive. He currently works in private equity in Madrid, and also runs a marketing company called Oktopus.
Where He Shops: Galleries, art residencies, and art fairs such as Art Basel, Arco Madrid and Lisbon, Fiac Paris, and Zona Maco (Mexico Arte Contemporaneo).
Social Media Profile: @coleccion_aldebaran
Alejandro Lazaro and Alejandra Gonzales
Age: 39 and 38
What’s in the Collection: The more than 100 pieces in the couple’s collection have a strong focus on contemporary European artists, especially German and Spanish. It includes works by Günther Förg, André Butzer, Herbert Brandl, Jan-Ole Schiemann, Carlos Bunga, Maíllo, Jonas Lund, Cristina Garrido, and Silvia Bachli.
Distinguishing Factor: Lazaro and Gonzales work in asset management and marketing respectively, and began their collection by acquiring paintings but have more recently been drawn to installations and video art.
Where They Shop: Heinrich Ehrhardt (Madrid), Elba Benitez (Madrid), Travesia Cuatro (Madrid), Sabrina Amrani (Madrid), Mor Charpentier (Paris), Nino Mier (Hollywood, CA), Ponce+Robles (Madrid), Arco Madrid, Arco Bogotá, Frieze, Art Basel.
Fun Fact: The couple began their collection in 2013 with the birth of their first child. They celebrated her arrival into the world by acquiring a Günther Förg painting.
Social Media Profile: @ColeccionLazaro
What’s in the Collection: Lobo has 70 works in his ARTE ETRA collection, the majority of whom are Spanish artists of his generation (1970 onwards), though in recent years he has broadened this focus. He began collecting in 2006 and the focus is on conceptual and political photography, etchings and installations. Favorites include Ivan Argote, Jacobo Castellano, David Bestue, Patricia Esquivas, Nuria Guell, Luis Urculo, Cristina Garriso, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Slaba Mogutin, Adrian Melis and Guillermo Mora.
Distinguishing Factor: Lobo has built an extraordinary collection on the modest salary of a Spanish data auditor, and is famous for never spending more than €4,000 (around $4,700) on a piece. He prefers to discover early and mid-career artists before they go on to become big names.
Where He Shops: Arco Madrid, Frieze, ADN (Barcelona), Estrany de la Mota (Barcelona), Luis Adelantado (Valencia).
Fun Fact: Lobo lives in a 40-square-meter (430-square-foot) Madrid apartment crammed with art, including 30 pieces stored under his bed.
Social Media Profile: @antoniolobo_instagram
Juan Moreno López-Calull
What’s in the Collection: Sculpture, etchings and photography, combining bold-face names from the international contemporary art world with emerging Spanish artists, some of whom he has represented himself as a dealer. The collection includes work by Robert Rauschenberg, Matisse, Wilfredo Oprieto, Berta-Blanca T. Ivanow, Faye Wei Wei, Albert Riera Galceran, Giovanni Vetere, and Clément Mancini.
Distinguishing Factor: Moreno López-Calull is a “self-made” collector who built his collection from scratch with the exception of the Matisse, which was a gift from his grandmother. He has long combined a flair for interior design (one of his day jobs) with art dealing (another).
Where He Shops: Arco Madrid, Art Basel Miami, Frieze, Material Art Fair (Mexico), Phillips auction house.
Fun Fact: He is a strong advocate of apartments as exhibition spaces, and artist friends in Barcelona have painted site-specific pieces directly onto the walls of his home.
Social Media Profile: @johnbrowncalui
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