Collectors Susan and Michael Hort held a private view of new works from their collection for friends and family, with a sprinkling of art world heavies such as Mary Boone, David Zwirner and Jerry Saltz, at their downtown loft last Friday night. Holding pride of place in their street level window is a dull text piece by Douglas Gordon, reading "I have discovered the truth" or some such flotsam.
The Horts have been loading up on the Marlene Dumases: there are four in their master bedroom and a couple more downstairs. I asked Hort factotum Simon Watson whether they planned to lend to the upcoming Dumas retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. "I’m not sure," Watson replied, "but at any given time the Horts have 150 works of art on loan to exhibitions worldwide. Susan personally inspects each work of art as it leaves and returns from a museum, standing right outside the truck as the works are unloaded. She should hire a registrar, but she won’t!"
Don Rubell passed by and asked me what I liked, and I mentioned the room of Richard Tuttles, including some pinprick targets shown at Brooke Alexander 15 years ago. Other new additions to the Hortatarium include a photo of Patty Chang looking up her own dress, a Keltie Ferris abstraction reminiscent of Morris Louis and a Lane Twitchell. There’s a bitchin’ John Currin nude of a red-haired babe, as well.
Chelsea dealer Anna Kustera joined me on the sofa to talk about her friendship with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. "My husband Carter and I were in a small airport in Brazil waiting to fly in an eight-seater into the rain forest, when Carter noticed Jimmy Page. Page avoided us until Carter asked him if he would ever clone himself. Carter added, ’If I ever cloned myself, I would make sure I had more than one ball!’ Page laughed and we chatted on the plane. Midway through the flight, the rain started to pour, and we thought we were going down. Everybody was crying and screaming. I thought that my brother would think that he had lost his sister, his brother-in-law and his hero (he’s a guitar player) all in one crash. Well, we survived and spent a week in a hotel with Page and his wife. Page brought an acoustic guitar into a cave and wanted to play. I stopped him, before the stalactites cracked and fell on us. Since then, Carter and I have visited Page in his British castle. He actually lives outside of it in a small cottage."
It was the kind of conversation you usually get every year at the Horts, between the hordes gobbling wine and cheese. Let’s hope they never decide to start their own museum, for these kind of intimate moments in today’s art world are already rare enough.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).