Few collectors of emerging artists devote as much time, energy, and resources to ferreting out the cutting-edge as Michael and Susan Hort, who trawl the nooks and crannies of galleries and art fairs to find work by up-and-comers that catch their eye—and who often, with their support, go on to widespread renown. (You may have heard of Richard Prince and Chris Ofili, for instance, two artists they got behind early on.)
During this year's Frieze London Week, the New York-based couple—who also help raise up younger artists through their Rema Hort Foundation, dedicated to the memory of their late daughter—toured through the main contemporary art event in Regent's Park as well as the scrappy Sunday art fair, which the two found particularly impressive this year. Here, below, are Michael Hort's picks from the fairs.
Ella Kruglyanskaya at Studio Voltaire (Sunday)
When we originally small Ella's work it was little pieces that were interesting, of women shopping—but I'll tell you this, when we saw them bigger they looked better. We saw them at Salon 94 three or four years ago and we bought a few. We have five now. In the beginning I wasn't sure of her, to be honest with you, because it's kind of kitschy, but her technique is great. The thing is with art, you put it on your wall and you sometimes say, "Ugh," and sometimes you say, "I want more." That's what it was with Ella. You keep looking and looking and looking. This was a real highlight.
Tyson Reeder at Green Gallery (Sunday)
Tyson is a great guy. We met him originally through [the late dealer] Daniel Reich and we had him up five years ago, but we hadn't seen him for a while and here he had five or six of these paintings. A lot of our collecting has to do with our history, not art history.
Sebastian Black at Clearing (Sunday)
It's interesting—he's a little art historical, but he's got his own methodology. When the artist is young, you take a chance, and when you're right, it's great, and if you're wrong it doesn't really matter that much.
Nathan Hylden at Johann König (Frieze London)
This one's beautiful—we just loved that. It's on metal. It's wonderfully done, just stunning.
Armin Boehm at Peter Kilchmann (Frieze London)
This is gorgeous, but more than that its really rendered quite beautifully. We know his art, and it's quite a departure from what he was doing a few years ago, these dark, dark pieces. He's from Berlin. This was a highlight.
Alan Michael at David Kordansky (Frieze London)
This painting is amazing. We've bought some of his work before, so it's not like it's new to us. This is photorealistic but it's a painting, of boats on top of boats on top of boats. It's really interesting.
Jon Pestoni at David Kordansky (Frieze London)
This is a fantastic abstract painting. We've been following him for a while, and we like his paintings and we like his drawings. Every time we see a new painting, it's like, "Oh, God." Jessica Warboys at Gaudel de Stampa (Frieze London)
This is 15 feet tall, it's really incredible. It wraps around down from the ceiling. She makes them in the ocean, putting the paint on top of the canvas so it washes. It's a phenomenal process. It's a little like Sam Falls, but different, tougher. Another real highlight.