This Wednesday, the Círculo Ecuestre hosted the second conference of the fourth edition of the Modern and Contemporary Art fair By Invitation.

Enrique Lacalle, president of the institution and promoter and curator of the art fair was in charge of introducing and welcoming the speakers. After that, and under the title Committed Collecting, Javier Lumbreras, research project advisor and collector at the Collegium Foundation; Nimfa Bisbe, deputy director of the Culture Area of the La Caixa Foundation, and Óscar Hormigos, project director of the Solo Foundation, spoke with Mercedes Basso, head of Philanthropy at Private Banking – Caixa Bank, who served as moderator of the event.

To begin the presentation, Basso asked the attendees what they understood by collecting. After receiving various proposals from the public, the moderator explained that “collecting has changed for collectors, who have gone from understanding it as a way of experiencing art to experiencing it as a responsibility with impact”.

Nimfa Bisbe was the first speaker at the colloquium to introduce the work of the foundation that she represents. As explained by the deputy director of the Culture Area of the La Caixa Foundation, for the entity "a collection is not an encyclopedia in which we collect artists, but a novel with plots and characters that must relate to each other". The expert added that “the saddest thing that can happen to a collection is that it stays in the warehouse forever”, which is why she explained that “we always look for relationships between the works, thinking about exhibition projects”.

For his part, Óscar Hormigos introduced the Solo Foundation's vision of current collecting, explaining that “at the Foundation, collecting is understood as the custody of art, which has to do with conservation, dissemination and the generation of value for the artists.”

The advisor of research projects and collector of the Collegium Foundation, Javier Lumbreras, emphasized the idea that “sometimes, we think that a collection should be very rational, but when we focus on what the purpose of life is, before thinking In the purpose of the collection, we do the right thing.”

Basso, in her role as moderator of the event, wanted to know the importance that experts give to collecting being committed and sustainable. Given this, Nimfa Bisbe argued that “the cultural work of the La Caixa Foundation has become its DNA and its identification”. The representative of the Solo Foundation added that "in collecting, projects must be economically sustainable to be viable in the long term". Finally, Javier Lumbreras, after giving the same opinion as his fellow speakers, added that "the sustainability model of the Collegium Foundation also involves looking for assets that make it sustainable over time”.

Asked about the relationship with gallery owners, collecting experts expressed disparate opinions. Hormigos explained to the Ecuestre audience that “the more value they have generated for an artist since Solo has not been when they have gotten him an exhibition, but when they have been able to take him to a gallery, a key task”. Regarding this, Nimfa Bisbe stated that, “from the La Caixa Foundation we buy from galleries, which we understand as accomplices and great collaborators”. 

At the end of the presentation, attendees assessed the situation that art collections face regarding youth tastes. Contrary to the concern of the representative of the La Caixa Foundation, who declared that “this paradigm shift is one of the issues that makes us rethink how to continue and what to do with this collection, which is already historic”, Hormigos concluded by saying that the The exhibition that the Solo Foundation recently held about El Jardín de las Delicias in El Matadero in Madrid, “was the one that attracted the greatest number of young people, according to the city council.”

Finally, the expert explained this result by arguing that “the collection is very connected to today's world” and that “when there is that conversation with the aspects of now, it is very easy to connect with young people.”