The Australian Financial Review has a profile of Australian private equity investor Danny Goldberg that tracks his evolution from collector of Australian emerging art to become a global collector buying across the world from the leading galleries in the US and Europe:
Goldberg may be a compulsive collector but he’s not a hoarder. It frustrates him that only 27 per cent of his collection hangs on his home or office walls; it pleases him however that another 20 per cent will be shown this year in public museums, both here and overseas, via loans. “There’s no point spending money on art that sits in storage,” he says. “It needs to be seen or I can channel my funds into some other endeavour.”
AFR explains that Goldberg is creating a bunch of different public-private partnerships to show his collection in Australia and the United States. His growing interest in art from beyond Australia led him on literal journey:
In 2011 he spent extended periods in New York while his family remained in Sydney. He set himself a challenge: to buy works by 10 emerging artists, thinking that in 10 years time he’d be able to judge how good his eye had been. Three months later he’d acquired more than 50 works. He realised he’d have to “find something intelligent to do with this art, or stop buying”. From this time on he began to divest himself of his Australian holdings, through donations and occasional sales.
With constituents in the antipodes, London and New York, Goldberg was able to establish himself as one of the pillars of the modern museum-market collector complex:
Goldberg’s growing profile as a collector has been recognised in the United States, where he’s on the boards of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, which has Australian Melissa Chiu as director, and New York’s MoMA PS1, which is devoted solely to contemporary art.
When asked which galleries he buys from, Goldberg pauses and replies: “Most.” Pressed further, he admits a preference for Buchholz and Gagosian in New York, Sadie Coles in London, and Xavier Hufkens of Brussels. To be a regular customer at the world’s leading commercial galleries means becoming a member of a highly exclusive club. It’s virtually impossible to walk in off the street and simply buy a painting.