French collector Steve Rosenblum has come to Art Basel to meet dealers and spread the word about his newest venture. Following five years of contemporary art acquisition, the collector, and his wife Chiara, are opening a 15,000 sq. ft public exhibition space in Paris this autumn designed to be “the anti-white cube,” he says. Rosenblum Collection and Friends takes inspiration from existing private collection spaces—including Miami’s Rubell Family Collection and Berlin’s Hoffmann Sammlung. The collection includes 120 pieces by 35 artists including Matthias Bitzer, Kelley Walker, Barbara Kruger and Matthew Day Jackson.
The space will resemble a home with living and dining rooms, library, kitchen and playroom for children. They will host dinners and educational events and encourage visitors to bring their children.
“We want people to spend the day there,” said Rosenblum. The goal is to allow a more intimate connection with the artists. Artists have been invited to share their own books, CDs and movies which will be displayed in a library. Artists will also display their childhood possessions in the playroom. “These cultural hints help you to make new bridges between you and the artists,’’ said Rosenblum.
Rosenblum, 36, the founder of the e-commerce website Pixmania, is developing a website for visitors to connect as “friends”, taking a cue from Facebook and other online social networks. “We will try to achieve connections between people on the website and in the physical space,” says Rosenblum.
The Rosenblums previously collected African masks, textiles and musical instruments but began focusing on contemporary art in 2005. The couple have been acquiring work across media, especially painting and installation.
The venue, a former photographic lab in the 13th arrondissement, will open on
20 October during Fiac. The space will be open during the run of the fair and then by appointment. The first show, “Born in Dystopia”, will focus on politically themed works and include Swiss artist Christoph Büchel’s 2006 container piece AKE 0489 PE.