Confessions of a dealer: Stefan von Bartha

We talk to the Swiss dealer about his love of Argentinian art movements, a culinary catastrophe and why he wants the world to know about Felipe Mujica

Share
Stefan von Bartha confesses all Photo: Simon Schwyzer, Courtesy of Stefan von Bartha

Stefan von Bartha confesses all Photo: Simon Schwyzer, Courtesy of Stefan von Bartha

My greatest achievement is….

Bringing the gallery into the next generation, expanding our programme and spaces. We are opening a new space in Copenhagen on 10 December.

The most underrated art movement is…

Arte Concreto and Arte Madí, which my parents discovered in the 1980s in Argentina.

The museum I'd like to lead…

Dia Beacon Art Foundation.

The artist I should have signed…

Markus Raetz.

Things that keep me awake
at 3am…

Emails I need to respond to and possible new construction ideas for our spaces—I love to build.

I last cooked for…

I am as secretive as a Swiss bank about whom I cook for.

Dealers are misunderstood because…

Many are often perceived as covetous and dishonest. I consider myself lucky to know many gallerists that in fact prove to be the opposite (and of course I count myself among them).

Fairs are important…

To give artists a more international audience and to meet collectors from all over the world.

Small talk is…

Very demanding, but necessary. Give me a table to entertain and I am ready!

My biggest mistake…

Ordering meat instead of fish last night. The other dish looked much better.

A recurring nightmare involves...

Our construction site in Copenhagen not being ready to open in time.

I am happiest when…

I can leave my phone on the side and just enjoy the moment.

A recurring nightmare involves...

Our construction site in Copenhagen not being ready to open in time.

I wish I had met…

William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, both of whom I heard many exciting stories about from my parents. Everything just sounds more rock’n’roll back in those days.

My Art Basel in Miami Beach dream is to…

Bring the ideas and works of the Chilean artist Felipe Mujica to a wider audience and, of course, have some success that will support the artist and the communities that collaborated with him—10% of proceeds will be redistributed to the artisans and craft-masters he worked with. Felipe believes that the adaptation and incorporation of knowledge should be compensated beyond the initial monetary agreement, ultimately allowing these communities to have a personal stake in the art market.

My main priority post-pandemic is…

To still have my complete gallery team working alongside me and to not have to go back to a life of flying around non-stop, but instead take more responsibility of our planet and retain some of the more sensible things one has appropriated throughout the pandemic.

Share