Colin Gleadell tracks down some of Greek collector Dimitris Daskalopoulos’s purchases now on view at the Whitechapel Gallery:
His collecting began with decorative Greek paintings of the 1950s and antiquities. But about 15 years ago he began looking at international contemporary art. A turning point came in 1999 with the purchase of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain for a record $1.76 million (£1.1 million pounds).
One of the few historic works in his collection, Fountain is based on a urinal which Duchamp found, signed “R Mutt”, and exhibited as a work of art in 1917. Although the first Fountain was either lost or broken, it became a potent symbol through reproduction for artists in the 1960s, challenging the values of uniqueness and authenticity in art. So in 1964, Duchamp recreated it in an official edition of eight, plus four proofs.Continue Reading