Spotlight: “On Collecting Works of Art- An interview with Yelena Ambartsumian and Miroslav Grajewski”

Yelena Ambartsumian and Miroslav Grajewski at their home with work by Andre Butzer. Image courtesy of collectors and author.

Yelena Ambartsumian and Miroslav Grajewski are two young collectors who are passionate about contemporary art. They both have a sharpened sensibility of the art market. With a keen understanding of the auction prices, one of the things that separates them from other collectors is they firmly believe in going after the work they feel is most important to them. If there is such a thing as destiny their story would define it. Fittingly, they first met at the Museum of Modern Art in 2016. Six months into their relationship they purchased their first work of art together. They got married and continue to actively appreciate art and collect as a couple. I conducted an interview with them this past summer. I narrowed the field of questions to the nature of collecting; what interests them, and; the advice they would provide to other young collectors. The following is a transcribed interview.

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Supporting Immigrant Artists

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The Immigrant Artist Biennial (TIAB), video still, 2019, Ariel Diaz

An Interview with Katya Grokhovsky, Founding Director of The Immigrant Artist Biennial By Anna Mikaela Ekstrand

Launching across New York City in March 2020, The Immigrant Artist Biennial (TIAB): HERE, TOGETHER! will present multi-disciplinary exhibitions, panel discussions, and events highlighting the multiplicities of immigrant experiences and providing a platform for U.S.-based immigrant artists from around the world, across race and social class, to showcase their work.

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Elisa Gutiérrez Eriksen on The process of calculating one’s position at NARS Foundation

Art Spiel in Dialogue with Elisa Gutiérrez Eriksen

The process of calculating one’s position, 2019 (Installation view with works by Niklas Asker and Sophie Dupont). Photo courtesy: NARS Foundation
The process of calculating one’s position, 2019 (Installation view with works by Niklas Asker and Sophie Dupont). Photo courtesy: NARS Foundation

Elisa Gutiérrez Eriksen has curated The process of calculating one’s position at NARS Foundation. This group show features NARS 2019 season IV residency artists: Esther Hovers, Niklas Asker, Jiin You, Tavi Meraud, Fiona McGurk, Dominique Doroseau, Martin Vongrej, Joonhong Min, Ella Weber, Martin Désilets, Sophie Dupont and Tali Keren. It runs through December 13th. The curator shares with Art Spiel the ideas behind the show, the artists, and a bit about the NARS Foundation venue.

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Lily Prince: Honing Plein Air

Lily Prince, Arles,1, Acrylic on canvas paper, 16”x16”, 2019, photo courtesy of the artist

Lily Prince makes lush plein air paintings depicting the essence of specific places around the world. By utilizing linear and color vocabularies, she creates pictorial fields which resemble disorienting topographical maps where time is fluid and frozen simultaneously. Lily prince shares with Art Spiel her background, ideas. process, and projects.

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Tim van den Oudenhoven – A Land For Man’s Absence

Surveillancescapes, Archival pigment print on cotton paper, 2019

Tim van den Oudenhoven is a Belgian-born artist who currently lives and works in Berlin. His photo-based depictions of desolate landscapes with a strong suggestion of surveillance inspire conversations on the dynamic between the visible and the invisible, the witness and the witnessed: in brief, the nature of being seen.

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Isabelle Garbani – on Artifacts of Place

Place and Cultural Heritage at Stand4 Gallery

Isabelle Garbani curated the group show Artifacts of Place at Stand4 gallery in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, running through December 15th. The show features work by Joyce Dallal, Dalia Baassiri, Mary Tuma, Daiffa Dessine, Arghavan Khosravi, Reem Bassous, Armita Raafat, Helen Zughaib, and Ekram Alrowmeim- all women artists who are of Middle Eastern and North African descent and who are dealing in their art with related cultural or political issues. The curator shares with Art Spiel her ideas behind this group show and some information about the participating artists.

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Juliette Dumas – Whale Flukes Paintings at The Neue House New York

In Dialogue with gallerist Silas Von Morisse on the Whale Flukes Paintings and beyond

Installation view, Juliette Dumas, Whale Fluke (Night) at The Neue House New York

Silas von Morisse founded a reputable gallery in Bushwick in 2014. Then, in 2018, due to notable shifts in the art world for small venues like hers, she decided to drastically change her model: from exhibiting in a physical venue, to featuring art as a mostly online presence paired with events which enable viewing in person. Silas von Morisse shares with Art Spiel her changed mode of operation, while highlighting the current show featuring Whale Flukes paintings by the French artist Juliette Dumas.

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Iris Häussler – Invented Biographies

Iris Häussler, Aprartment 5

Throughout her multi-faceted installations, the German-born Canadian based artist Iris Häussler has been slipping in and out of multiple characters. Her invented underdog protagonists live through diverse historical periods and traverse vast geographies. Häussler’s rigorous installations transform any categorization. They are placed between life and art, coalescing multi-disciplinary collaborations including performance, literature, and richly layered visual vocabularies such as drawing, installation and sculpture. The visitor is invited to experience an individual’s life within a specific context of place and history, to decipher the clues from the artifacts and materials throughout installations that reflect on fiction, history and the meaning of a creative identity.

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Juan Puntes – on WhiteBox Harlem

In Dialogue with Juan Puntes on PERFORMA 19 @WhiteBox Harlem and beyond

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Juan Puntes, who founded WhiteBox as the original Chelsea non-profit alternative art space in 1998, built a highly reputable venue known for its thought-provoking exhibition with cutting edge contemporary artists vis-à-vis little known avant-garde historical influential producers. While focusing on site-specific work, performance, and video projects, WhiteBox is also offering a wide array of programming including readings, lectures, and panel discussions. Juan Puntes is sharing with Art Spiel some of WhiteBox’s history, his vision, and his upcoming programs.

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BOS Studio Spotlight: Yolande Heijnen

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Heijnen’s “The bed we lay in”, 60″x72″

Yolande Heijnen was born and raised in Luxembourg, and has lived in New York since 1998. She has an MFA in painting from the New York Studio School, has won the Edward G. McDowell Travel Grant of the Art Students League, and is a three-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.

All photos byCatherine Kirkpatrick

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