The incomparable Jori Finkel profiles the media-genic Nicholas Berggruen (he’s turned this ascetic Billionaire schtick into a serious “branding” statement.) She explains that Berggruen has embarked on a long-term relationship with LACMA and Michael Govan. However, Berggruen doesn’t want to be Govan’s only beau, so he’s playing hard to get:
“I’ve been doing this very cooperatively with LACMA, so the artists are artists that Michael likes and the works are ones he likes,” said Berggruen, who became a museum trustee in 2008 with encouragement from friends like Broad and video game mogul Bobby Kotick. “I want to give this all to LACMA.”
The list consists of Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Charles Ray, Chris Burden, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Martin Kippenberger and Thomas Schütte. Apart from Nauman, who now lives in New Mexico, all are either Californian or German; most are on the edgier end of the contemporary art spectrum. Five are represented by the Gagosian Gallery.
[…] Asked about his contribution to the acquisition list, Govan described it a bit differently than Berggruen did. “Just to be clear, this is not my list of artists, it’s Nicolas’ list,” he said. “It’s very much his personal sensibility.” […] But as Berggruen readily volunteers, he has not actually given any of the works he has bought to LACMA. Nor have any pledges been signed. […] “I’ve been very upfront with Michael. I’ve been very, very transparent. I want this to end up with LACMA, but LACMA should not be one person’s efforts; there should be four or five people who really contribute to give it the depth and critical mass and texture it needs to be really vibrant. If that happens, my donation makes sense. If it never gets there, it won’t,” he calmly explained that day at LACMA.
Nicolas Berggruen explains why he intends to give art to LACMA (Los Angeles Times)