Auckland Art Fair: Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim Brings His Gallery To New Zealand
Ginny Fisher caught up with the French/German gallerist in the lead-up to Auckland’s Art Fair
With familial connections to the illustrious Guggenheim family, Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim has the pedigree to take his New York-based HG Contemporary Gallery to the top of its game.
You’ve come a long way to be here, what brings you to the Auckland Art Fair?
After participating in many large art fairs around the world, I want to focus on the emerging markets. I see a growing collector base in New Zealand and I think this year’s intriguing content is fitting for our gallery. New Zealand has a distinct culture that is artistic and creative to its core. Combined with the beauty of the country, I’m excited to be bringing the gallery to Auckland.
What’s hot right now in the New York art scene, any trends towards any particular mediums or artists?
The art world is extremely dynamic and constantly evolving. New York is home for thousands of artists, all looking to get a piece of the pie. Galleries play a key role to push talent forward in response to what people want to see. There has been a significant push in street art, spurred through the growth of Basquiat in the fine art market. There has also been a growth in demand for digital art. Considering we live in a digital day and age the relevance is enormous.
Dealer galleries aren’t an easy business to be in, what drew you to this endeavour?
My love for art was passed on to me by my grandmother and my mother. I had a passion for art instilled very early in my life, and I believe I developed an aesthetic instinct. While I am not saying the gallery business is simple, I do believe that my willingness to adjust and my passion for craft make it simple to stand out in a competitive market. Though I have always said, I don’t believe in competition but in doing the best you can. HG Contemporary is exploring new social interactions in art, digital technology and pop culture. I think we are operating during a captivating moment in art history.
Tell us about one of the artists you are bringing to the fair and why you chose to show their work here?
Natvar Bhavsar was born in India and moved to the United States on a Rockefeller grant in the mid-1960s. Shortly after, he was chosen for a museum show in New York at the Jewish Museum. His work has since been brought to museums and collections around the world. His colour field technique of layering oil pigments on canvas and paper in explosive colour combinations is both raw and elegant. His work establishes a meditative ambience in a room that is unprecedented.
What’s your earliest art memory?
The art in my home. I remember my parents saying that some of the works were museum pieces, mostly masters and early and pre-war modern art. Visits to museums were non-negotiable in our household.
If you could represent any artist in the world, who would it be?
First who comes to mind is Rashid Johnson. I’ve always loved the texture of his pieces, they’re raw, and filled with strength and emotion, yet delicate at the same time. The second would be photographer Andreas Gursky. His meditation on society, and observing moments in time are captivating. If curating a show with Gustav Klimt’s works ever was an option, it would be an honour. I love Klimt’s work.
Apart from your own gallery, what other art institutions do you visit often in New York?
I love the MOMA, Room in Brooklyn, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Art Museum. All are regular destinations.
Photography or painting?
Painting is naturally more appealing to me, just something I grew up with and something that delivers so much context and information. However, I have come to appreciate photography since studying the process, and everything that goes into taking the perfect picture.
What’s on your screen saver?
A Kusama pumpkin sculpture.