Thursday, Oct. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Stables Gallery at the Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, there is an opening exhibit of art from the private collection of Günther Nachtrab the owner of Atelier 751, a contemporary art gallery opened during the 90s. The exhibit includes prints from artists with a Taos connection, national and international artists. A percentage of all sales from this exhibit will be donated to the Taos Center for the Arts.
Among the collection for sale is artwork by New Mexican painter John C. Badger and Barbara Coleman from Washington, D.C., and Texan Michael Lind. International artists include French painter Marcel Mouly, Swedish artist Margaret Sjodin, and German born Gerhard de Grignis. Well-known artists include David Tineo, Woody Crumbo, Pablo Milan and early mono prints from Taos artist Thom Wheeler.
"Nachtrab became an avid art collector as a young man in Germany, where he befriended many contemporary artists. Art was his passion and when he moved from Washington, D.C., to Taos in 1991, he became a gallerist and collector. Since then, he has acquired art from those he represented and those that caught his collector's eye."
Tempo caught up with Günther Nachtrab and asked a few questions about what inspired him to become a collector and the works offered in the Stables gallery sale. Here are the edited highlights.
Why did you collect art?
I grew up in Nuremberg, Germany, the home of Albrecht Dürer, and art was always a part of my life. Some of my collection I've had for decades and living with them affects one's personality. The first piece of art I purchased was at 19 from an artist friend, Gerhard de Grignis, in Munich. I loved his work and had wanted to study art, but life got in the way. We have several of de Grignis' works available at our Stables Gallery sale, but not the pieces with personal inscriptions!
Do you ever regret selling a work?
Don't regret selling personal items because I never sold, which is why we have over 250 paintings, sculptures and prints. When I ran the gallery, however, that was a different story. The sale was a joyous event!
What do you look for when buying a piece of art?
Often it is a connection with the artist combined with a feeling of wanting to possess the piece so it can be seen and enjoyed in our home. Most of the work I own, except for prints from the masters, is work from artists I have had a personal relationship with.
Are there pieces in your collection you'll never part with?
It has been a real struggle to part with any of them. My wife can attest. But we are downsizing, have little room for large pieces, and I don't want them going back into storage. These pieces deserve to be viewed and loved the way we have loved them.
How do you know where to stage a piece of art in your home?
Considerations include the scale of the piece versus the size of the room, the framing, colors to a small extent, and subject. For example, most of our nudes are in the bedroom or bathroom. Very large pieces should be placed so that we can view them from multiple positions.
Anything else you think is important for our readers to understand about collecting art, your former gallery, and the pieces from your collection you are selling?
Many of these pieces are from little known but very talented European artists, including Sweden and Germany so I think it will be interesting for Taoseños and visitors to see new art. I have enjoyed every single piece, and it saddens me to part with them, but they deserve a wonderful home. Many of us who are my age think we have enough art to last our lifetime, yet, when a piece tickles one's fancy, why deny oneself the joy of ownership?
The exhibition will offer paintings (framed and unframed), and prints from artists with a Taos connection and national and international artists. It is an eclectic collection with a wide appeal and price range. For details about this event and others happening at the Taos Center for the Arts visit tcataos.org. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 11 is the final opportunity to see this exhibit.
The Taos Center for the Arts follows COVID safety measures in the Stables gallery including mask-wearing and social distancing.