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Collecting Contemporary Vinyl Bound – June 1, 2006
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About the Author
Born in New York City, Adam Lindemann grew up in an art collecting family. He began his own collection with African and Oceanic art and eventually focused on Contemporary Art, specifically work created in the last ten years. An active collector, he has canvassed the worlds art exhibitions, art fairs, galleries and private collections, following the art market boom of the last several years. A radio entrepreneur, his company, Mega Communications, has pioneered Latin radio in several U.S. markets as well as producing Latin music events. In partnership with designer Marc Newson, he is relaunching IKEPOD, a manufacturer of Swiss timepieces.
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There are just enough pictures of works, all in color, to provide a backdrop to what is largely a book devoted to a monologue by each expert. Obviously a curator may have a different viewpoint from a dealer; collectors and critics offer further insights. Reading what each has to say from their various perspectives allows us to reach our own, more informed conclusions.
Would be a five-star rating but the format appears to be a standard list of questions submitted to each respondent with the answers then edited by Lindeman to fit the available space. An interactive format between author and respondent would have allowed some needed follow-up. We also don't hear from art world figures who were most signficant ten years ago, or, in a similar effort twenty years ago, de Coppet's The Art Dealers. The perspectives of those interviewed in de Coppet's book regarding today's art scene would be interesting.
One can hardly talk about collecting today without talking about valuations, and we note that several of Lindeman's participants question the prices currently being paid at auction for some younger artists, such as a million dollars for a Yuskavage when the same money will buy you a strong Close; more for a Glenn Brown than for the Frank Auerbach from which it is derived. The reader is left to reach his or her own conclusions. Still, you have to wonder, given the observations of several figures in the book that you can look at a 20-year old issue of ArtNews and you will not have heard of most of the artists featured: what are the various motivations of those "collecting contemporary" today?
Why and how do collectors collect, how does an artist's career pick up, what is it to be an art dealer,what link is there between museums and the market, this is the type of question the book tries to answer. Many books have recently been published on this subject (no doubt because of the current boom of the market and the arrival of many new collectors), and I would say this is the one that gives the best insight on this often opaque market.