A superb exhibition is about to open at the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris from 3 March to 10 July 2017. The exhibition is not exceptional for the volume of work presented but rather for its exquisite quality and particularly for the artistic dialogue over four centuries of art history that it highlights.
Few collections (except those of museums) allow us to travel through time from Zurbaran to Barceló, via Tiepolo, Canaletto, Guardi, Goya, but also Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Van Dongen, Modigliani, Schiele, de Staël, Lucian Freud, Mark Rothko, Louise Bourgeois and many others. In all, the show presents a selection of 52 works by Old and Modern masters from a collection belonging to Alicia Koplowitz / Grupo Omega Capital that, today, contains some 200 major art works.
One of the most important collectors of our time, Alicia Koplowitz is a Spanish businesswoman and CEO of the investment company Grupo Omega Capital which she founded in 1998. A socially active philanthropist and board member of the Prado Museum Foundation as well as an honorary member of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, she was awarded the French national distinction Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2006. In just over 30 years, she has managed to collect one of Europe’s most important private collections, part of which is being shown to public for the first time in a show put together by exhibition curator Pablo Melendo Beltrán and the curator at the Musée Jacquemart-André, Pierre Curie. The Spanish Ambassador to France, Ramón de Miguel, has also sponsored the exhibition.
The works presented in the magnificent rooms of the Musée Jacquemart-André have been organised more or less chronologically beginning at the Spanish Golden Age with (among others) Francisco DE ZURBARAN (1598-1664) and Francisco DE GOYA (1746-1828), then moving to Italy with Canaletto’s vedute and Guardi’s Venetian capricci, before progressing to a stunning collection of Modern art – a Toulouse-Lautrec Liseuse, Van Gogh’s Vase avec œillets, Paul GAUGUIN (1848-1903)’s Femmes au bord de la rivière, Egon SCHIELE (1890-1918)’s Femme à la robe bleue… and, of course, Picasso, the most iconic Spanish Modern artist and the most in-demand and expensive artist in the world. There is also Kees VAN DONGEN (1877-1968)’s Fauvist-period Femme au grand chapeau and Amedeo MODIGLIANI (1884-1920)’s Rousse au pendentif. The last section contains a selection of international abstract works by the likes of De Staël, Rothko, Tapies, de Kooning… all big names. Similarly, all the sculptures in the show carry top bracket signatures: Alberto Giacometti, Louise Bourgeois, Germaine Richier, David Smith, etc..
It is easy to see why Alicia Koplowitz is presented as one of the world’s most influential collectors, particularly for Old Masters and Modern art. The quality of the works – such as Goya’s Maja celestina y en el balcón – is better than the works usually seen on the secondary market. While Ms Koplowitz, who collaborates with Christie’s as a Member of its European Advisory Committee, certainly knows a thing or two about the art market and how it works, this window onto her collection also reveals her exquisite sensitivity and exceptional artistic instinct.