Sheffield Cathedral is currently housing a contemporary art exhibition as a part of Going Public, a citywide project aiming to make contemporary art collections available to the public. All of the works being displayed in the Cathedral, including the "Cyber Iconic Man" by Jake and Dinos Chapman - belonging to Italian collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
“To collect is in my DNA”
Sandretto Re Rebaudengo grew up with a mother who collected fine porcelain, and she suspects that being surrounded by antiques pushed her towards collecting contemporary art. She has a degree in business and economics, and worked briefly for the family business before collecting became a fulltime job in 1995 with the establishment of her foundation. Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo has become a mainstay on the Italian art scene, and the foundation is known for lending their work liberally, frequently collaborating with private museums and foundations both in Italy and internationally. The foundation and her collecting is a non-profit endeavour, devoted to promote and support the production and exhibition of contemporary art.
It turns out that the collection of art is indeed in the family DNA, as the collector's son Eugenio has started Artuner as a part of his MBA in London – an online platform that provides unprecedented access to curated exhibitions of both emerging and established artists.
“I choose everything!”
Sandretto Re Rebaudengo's collection consists of more than 1000 works, a collection that frequently travels as the foundation's gallery is devoted to temporary visiting exhibitions and educational programs. The foundation seeks to support young and emerging artists, and Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is particularly known for her support of female artists. She says that she does not support female artists because of feminism, but “because I recognize a distinct, shared way of thinking about art and life.”
Sandretto Re Rebaudengo has a clear vision for her work and has been involved in the purchase of every work of art in the foundation's collection. She can talk about each piece in her collection with knowledge and enthusiasm, and nothing is purchased unless she wants it – although she is quite happy to take advice from those working with her. She never wanted a private collection, instead seeking to create a flexible and exploring space where young artists can produce and show their work.
Private Going Public
As a collector Sandretto Re Rebaudengo fits the Going Public profile perfectly, a project that wishes to start a debate around the relationship between private collectors and public access. She is devoted to making her collection available to the public, evident in the frequency with which her collection is on loan all over the world.
Going Public: International Art Collectors In Sheffield opens on Wednesday 16 September and will run until Saturday 12 December at Sheffield Cathedral, the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery, Site Gallery and Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery.