NATHALIE DE GUNZBURG The major collector and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Dia Art Foundation on the stories that our homes should tell What draws you to Salon Art + Design? I’ve lived in New York for 22 years and have been coming to this fair since it started. I go every year, and the quality of everything is great. It’s very well curated compared to other design shows, and when a booth is beautiful, you look at things in it in a very different way. What is the experience about for you? Discovery. That’s what is exciting in fairs. I go to
out and everything mixes perfectly, and it tells a beautiful story too. Not only your story, but a story about the object itself, because you put it in your own context. Do you remember the first object you collected? I first bought something at auction when I was 18, so I had the disease very young. I was collecting nice 19th-century furniture and pictures of flowers; then slowly my taste
“A HOME HAS TO TELL YOUR HISTORY; YOUR BAD AND YOUR GOOD TASTE” see all the galleries, especially those that are not from New York, to be surprised and to learn and to be excited. With design, it’s beauty that I’m looking for, and I love buying for my home. So it’s quite visceral and emotional for you? Totally. I’m not the kind of collector that says, “OK, I need that piece by that designer.” If I love it, I’ll buy it. I’m into materiality – I’m very much into wood now – but I don’t have a precise taste. It’s very eclectic and I don’t want restrictions. What I love about collecting is every day you discover something else, enter a different road, and decide whether to go deeper or not. How do you balance art and design in your own home? I don't. A home, for me, is the witness of your life, so it has to tell your history; your bad and your good taste. When I find an object or piece of furniture that I like, I say, “OK, I’ll buy it, where should I put it?” And I really believe that when you function like that your personality comes
shifted, I was attracted by abstract art, and when I moved to the US, I fell totally in love with minimalist art, which I was not very exposed to in Paris growing up. I love the purity of it. But also, you get lost in a minimalist or a conceptual object. You’re not tied by an image so you can put everything you have in your mind in it. Is there a purchase that you’ve made over the years that you’re particularly proud of? So many. I’m terrible; you cannot even put a needle in my house in New York, it’s so packed. So you haven’t gone for the minimalist approach at home? Yes, I have a minimal approach, but at the same time, I’m like a little animal; I need mess around me. We built a very contemporary house in the country, but the inside is all about texture and wood and warmth, including a huge table by Zanine Caldas, the designer from Brazil. It’s very raw, in beautiful wood, and I’m crazy in love with it.