Lucy Mitchell-Innes co-founded Mitchell-Innes & Nash with her husband, David Nash. Prior to opening the gallery in 1996, she worked at Sotheby’s and was the president of the ADAA from 2009-2013.
Do you remember the first piece of art you purchased?
The first piece of art I purchased was a very early linocut by Ben Nicholson of himself and Barbara Hepworth intertwined. I had studied him in college and felt very lucky to find something that I knew was so special.
How did you begin collecting Bernhard Brung‘s work?
I first came across Bernhard’s work at Produzentengalerie in Hamburg in 2008. I was immediately interested in his style of painting and I purchased one from the show. This particular work is titled Nicht näher zusammen wie Brüder, which roughly translates to “Do not dwell together as brothers”. I was drawn to the way he combines literature, painting and sexuality quite mysteriously. I have had this work hanging in my home for several years and it never ceases to interest me, so in the past few years, I have purchased four or five more paintings.
How do you discover emerging artists? What current or upcoming programming are you excited to present this fall?
The gallery directors and I spend time visiting studios and seeing as much as possible in whatever city we are traveling in. We are always looking.
I am very excited about our two fall exhibitions – in September we will show a new body of work by the photographer Justine Kurland at our Chelsea location, and Justine will curate an exhibition at our 1018 Madison Avenue location. After that, we will have a survey exhibition of work by the painter Julian Stanczak, which will be his first exhibition with the gallery.
Is this the first time you’ve presented concurrent shows at both locations or had an artist curated show?
This is first time we’ve presented concurrent shows at both locations. We’re very excited about Justine’s new body of work, which she has photographed all over the US during the past three years. The show, titled “Sincere Auto Care”, features roughly 35 documentary-style photographs of cars, mechanics and the ‘open road’, which present a complicated and slightly uneasy reading of the American Dream. Justine is also an extremely talented curator, so we’re very lucky to have her curate Days Inn at our uptown location. This will be the second time Justine has curated a show for the gallery, the first was a 2006 exhibition titled A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts.
Advice to young collectors and those just beginning to purchase art for the first time? Do you have any guidelines that you follow specifically when collecting art?
Do your research! Get to know the artists’ work and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And at the end of the day you have to follow your instincts, which will be honed by looking as much as possible. Also don’t be afraid to make mistakes, we all do!