Kind of Numbers

“Probably in the mid-80s, people began to refer to us as being collectors,” recalls Sheldon. “It was a very loosely-defined term then, because people weren't really collecting this art in any kind of numbers.

Posted January 1,2022 in Esoterismo.

KevinDavidkin
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Kind of Numbers

“Probably in the mid-80s, people began to refer to us as being collectors,” recalls Sheldon. “It was a very loosely-defined term then, because people weren't really collecting this art in any kind of numbers.

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But, I said to Jill at the time, ‘Why don't we just focus on this material; we love it, and let’s build something.’”

 

Jill’s own background provides some hints that she would ultimately gravitate towards outsider art.

 

Born in Philadelphia, Jill’s mother owned a prestigious gallery that exposed her early on to artists from a variety of aesthetic movements, including Calder and Picasso — from whom her mother bought art directly, straight out of their studios — to the occasional outsider or self-taught artist. 

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When Jill enrolled in graduate school, however, her interest in self-taught art crystallized. “I was starting to get a master's degree in special education at Columbia Teachers College.

 

I received a student-teacher placement at a really great private school in New York, working with children with special needs,” she says. “

 

I was teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic — although there was a lot of art that the kids did. However, they would never take it home and their parents weren't interested.

 

So I took it home and I framed some of it. And, we actually still have some of it.” 

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Jill’s own artwork is predominantly ceramic and sculpture-based and is in the permanent collections of renowned institutions worldwide, such as The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia;

 

The Museum of Art and Design in New York City; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among many others. 

 

“And, it really is differentiating,” Sheldon continues. “If you think about it, there are many good and great collections of contemporary art, but only a relative handful of important outsider art collectors.”

 

Jill agrees, “I think that what we did with our collection, and because of the time when we started, is a contribution to the broader field in this very narrow, focused segment.” Sheldon points out that in his view outsider art is part of contemporary art to be shown alongside it.

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That’s not to say that the Bonovitz’s don’t appreciate contemporary or “mainstream” art — on the contrary.

 

“We love contemporary art — we probably could tell you 20 contemporary artists whose work we would love to have and live with,” says Sheldon.

 

“But, in retrospect, I think focusing the collection enabled us to build something that was novel at the time. It's something we really loved and wanted to support.”

Etiquetas: art,