Exhibition “Collection Anabel Suero de González”

Inauguración: 14 de Abril de 2010

Colección Anabel Suero de González

The history of photography could be recapitulated as the struggle between two different imperatives: beautification, which comes from the fine arts, and truth telling”.

Susan Sontag.

I began collecting at a young age, I first collected postal stamps, sea shells and elephant figurines. When I was fourteen, my father took me out of school for one year and sent me to London to study English. This opened up a window to the wonderful world of the Arts.

After we married we moved to live in the States for several years and then in 1985 we moved to England and began collecting in a range of categories like Bedouin jewelry and diverse objects we collected: chess games, Icons and Russian boxes.

We visited Paris, Italy and Greece.  Later on in life, destinations became more exotic: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Germany and Thailand. We would browse everything, galleries, markets and fairs.

This Collection of Photographs came together over 15 years ago. I see it as a shift from the experience of collecting and buying all those objects of Art. It was a natural shift as I always felt attracted to the medium of Photography.  I started with Photography books. I went through and submerged myself in them. I developed a profound respect for the classic masters such as Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Henri Cartier Bresson and Dorothea Lange. I read about their lives and work and made a wish list hoping some day, we could assemble a photography collection of our own.

Everywhere we travel, we visited galleries to see what was there and to converse with the gallerists building relationships and deepening our sense of provenance and condition; two very important aspects within a responsible Collection.

I once read: Method is inquiry- to research as much about a photographer and genre as possible and be patient because knowledge is paramount to acquisition.

I became more active going to auctions and fairs, seeing at first hand, as many images as I could. Meeting the artists and keeping in touch with them… our best reward.

For the past nine years, we have been living in Barcelona.

In 2006 I was invited to ARCO and participated in a round table on “Collecting Photography”, along with a wonderful friend and Brazilian collector Mr. Joaquim Paiva and Mrs. Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Curator, Department of Photography, Ministry of Culture, Paris-France. This was the first time the subject of collecting photography was broached in the history of the 25 years of the fair. In 2007, I participated in PhotoEspaña’s 10 year Anniversary. I was invited by Christian Caujolle, Galerie VU, Paris-France to “Encuentros” a series of conferences around the subject of “Digital Changes and Creative Processes”. I had the pleasure to explain my points of view along with Hans-Michael Koetzle, historian, curator and journalist and the Korean independent curator Kissok Eom. I also was selected as one of the members of the portfolio review, which to me was a delightful experience.

We have collected without any agenda, no themes, it is a way of seeing. It is an emotional adventure. It is a passion. It is free. We have collected what we like and is attractive to us: beauty, emotions, mystery, water, light and darkness… layered work that rewards closer study and prolonged viewing.

Owning these images has immeasurably changed my eye towards what I thought important to look at. It has given me freedom.

My wish list started with the Master photographers and concentrated in the more formal classical views representative of their work. This gave the Collection a strong structural base which has moved through the years into a more Contemporary expression and a more international way of looking. It has taken its own course.

We don’t believe in a frontier in photography collecting. We believe in the artists.

We live today in the context of what I call “open photography”, the entire creative processes and styles have been reinvigorated by the present generation of photographers. Nevertheless, its imagery and expression still often resemble traditional photography.

The forty pieces that will be auctioned are a good representation of the spirit of the Collection. We believe it is special in the range and quality of its holdings.

Our level of engagement has been pristine. The images communicate at a number of levels.

They all have significant voices. These photographs have invited us and we are touched by every one of them. We feel very fortunate to have had the time and the means to collect during all these years.

We hope these works will find their way into the lives of individuals and collectors who share our passion; a passion for the history and future of photography.

Anabel Suero de González