Kent & Vicki Logan – Focused Collecting

Last Saturday, I got to go with a dozen other members of the new Clyfford Still Museum on a tour of the Kent & Vicki Logan’s art collection…what a treat!  It was a terrific day – the weather up in the mountains was perfect, the group fun and interesting and the art…amazing!!

To be sure, the Logans have a lot of great contemporary art, but for me the key to the success of their collection is really that they personally enjoy the works they acquire and that they are disciplined in their focus.

The Logans are kind and generous – their collection has been gifted to SFMOMA and the Denver Art Museum and they frequently invite the museums and art schools to access the works for exhibitions and study. In 2 decades they have amassed a thousand pieces of contemporary art that represent the best examples from artists working in the past 30-40 years that have influenced the worldwide movement of art.    They have a decidely modern aesthetic, interest in Asian contemporary art and frequently a leaning for pop and shock.

It was exciting to see the works & especially to see the Logans living with the art in their home: Juan Munoz in the entrance, Warhol and Hirst in the living room, Richter in the dining room, Eliasson in the kitchen, Basquiat in the hallway, Marilyn Minter in the bedroom, Yue Minjun, Neo Rauch, Ed Ruscha, Kiki Smith and on and on.

As we passed through the rooms of their home, I began to wonder if there were artists whose works they thought maybe were missing or artwork that they’d like to acquire if only their parameters were different. As a group we came up with a few – either they didn ‘t quite work with their aesthetic, or the Logans didn’t feel they influenced their peers or they were outside the contemporary period of their focus.

All week long I have found myself reflecting on the collection and the parameters they set for themselves: They only buy art that they like; they buy art of the times (1960s-present day) and they buy art from artists that are addressing issues that confront us as a society and that are influencing the movement of art. They resist the temptation to get pieces just because someone else thinks they should & they eschew pieces that they like when they don’t work in the context of their collection.

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