Situated in Düsseldorf, property investor Gil Bronner's Philara Collection contains over 2,000 works that he has amassed over more than two decades.
Spanning different media, there is a strong emphasis on work by artists living in Germany, in particular graduates of the Düsseldorf Art Academy including Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, and Katharina Fritsch. Yet the scope is international, with works by artists including Pae White, Rashid Johnson, and Monika Sosnowska, among many others.
Space is an important factor, with the old glass manufacturing plant that houses the collection providing room for more ambitious purchases. Among these are monumental installations including The Tower of Infinite Problems (2008) by Diana Al-Hadid, which was purchased from Thinking Big—an auction of contemporary sculpture from the Saatchi Gallery at Christie's in 2013.
Scale also features in the Philara Collection's current exhibition Adjustable Monuments (26 February–26 June 2022), which brings together works by artists including Aleksandra Domanović, Ayrson Heráclito, and Black Quantum Futurism in a timely consideration of the role of monuments in public space.
Whilst work created in Düsseldorf provides an anchor to his collection, Bronner explains that his purchases are not commercially driven, with the range of artworks in his collection reflecting wide-reaching interests.
It is reflective in his selection below for Ocula, also, where a 1975 silkscreen by Andy Warhol meets an oil painting by young Chinese artist, Xie Lei. The works are being brought to artgenève this week, where Bronner is visiting, offering an opportunity to encounter new works among old favourites.
Xie Lei was a recent discovery, he explains, having encountered the artist's atmospheric paintings at Meessen De Clerq in Brussels last year, while artists like Rebecca Horn have long captured his attention, through her use of mechanical elements to combine 'what appears effortless and romantic with something much harsher.'