About the exhibition. A collector’s eye: Anabel Suero de González


“To collect is to rescue things, valuable things, from neglect, from oblivion, or simply for the ignoble destiny of being in someone else’s collection rather than one’s own”

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 my  husband and I married we moved to live in the United States for several years. In 1985, we moved to England and began collecting in a range of categories like Bedouin jewelry to other diverse objects such as chess games, Icons and Russian boxes.

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

This Collection of Photographs came together over 20 years ago. I see it as a natural shift from the experience of collecting and buying all those objects of Art 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.

In forming the colletion we first focused on these Master photographers and concentrated in the formal classical views representative of their work. This gave the Collection a strong structural base which has moved through the years towards a more Contemporary focus and international perspective. 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 to inquire,  to research as much about a photographer and genre as possible and be patient because knowledge is paramount to acquisition. I became more active at Fairs and Festivals, meeting the artists and keeping in touch with them… our best reward.

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 it’s attractive to us: beauty, emotions, mystery, water, light and darkness… layered work that rewards closer study and prolonged viewing.

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

For the past twelve 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.

For the Edition of PhotoEspaña09, I was invited by Oliva Maria Rubio to teach a class on Collecting at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid in collaboration with the University Carlos III and La Fabrica.

In 2010, during MadridPhoto Fair, I was part of a round table on “The Vision of Photography today and notes on Collecting”. I shared the table with Nathalie Herschdorfer, curator of the Musée of Lelisée of Lausanne, Mathias Harder, curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin and Laurence Miller, gallerist and collector from New York. In 2011, I came back to PhotoEspaña as a member of the committee for reviewing portfolios.

In 2012, I have dedicated special attention to the auction scene, learning enormously from the opportunity of seeing and examining many images enriching my judgment on collecting and in occasions having the pleasure of advising in the selection of photographers.

These 34 photographs 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 inspired 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 images 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