Since then, Leite has become attuned to artists from his own generation, combining their works with key artists from the 20th century. The result is an eclectic group ranging from Carmen Herrera to Jack Whitten and Wolfgang Tillmans to Christina Quarles and Nathaniel Mary Quinn.
We invited Leite to curate a selection of artworks from our gallery platform, providing an insight into his collecting habits. The list includes hot younger artists Genesis Belanger, Stefanie Heinze, and Michael Armitage alongside more established names such as Cecily Brown and Franz West. An astute awareness of the market always comes across when speaking to Leite, but this is clearly married to a very personal connection to some artists' work.
In our conversation, the London-based collector notes that Jack Whitten was 'overlooked for many decades and yet he was making squeegee paintings way before Richter and then these fantastic sculptures in Greece'. He then mentions that the artist was introduced to Hauser & Wirth by their superstar painter, Mark Bradford.
Rita Ackermann's 'Mama' paintings are a more recent love affair, whilst the strangeness of Franz West and Michaël Borremans seem to touch him personally, as he describes how they appeal to the 'crazy side of my brain'.
Whilst also generous with praise for Cecily Brown—'her work and her market keep going from strength to strength'—Leite is equally enthusiastic about younger artists, exclaiming that 'Stefanie Heinze is going to explode!' And describes Michael Armitage as 'one of the most important artists from our generation. I have met Michael a few times and he is the pinnacle of what an artist can be: incredibly talented, kind, and eloquent.'
One senses that this desire for discovering younger artists and following their journey to international recognition may be at the core of his passion for collecting.
122.6 x 122.6 x 6.5 cm Hauser & Wirth