Annually during Armory Week, Susan and Michael Hort open the doors of their Tribeca penthouse to the public in order to display a selection from their vast collection of over 4,000 works of contemporary art, focusing on emerging artists. Daughter-in-law to the collecting power couple, Jamie Cohen Hort curates the selections.
The Hort’s collection is incredibly diverse. Although the exhibition is mainly composed of paintings, sculptures are on view as well as a single video work.
The most spectacular room in the show is the master bedroom, which, hung salon style, focuses on artist that are established or receiving notable acclaim at the moment (For example, Nicole Eisenman, 2015 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient). The bedroom showcases a series of smaller works, mostly figurative. Also in the bedroom is a painting by John Currin, which, according to Rema Hort, is the first painting Currin ever sold. I would assume that the bedroom does not normally feature this entire wall of figurative paintings because I think that all the faces looking at me would freak me out. This bedroom display speaks clearly on behalf of the Horts. They are gently reminding us that they did it first. Early supporters of many established artists, the Horts are masters at finding and collecting emerging artists.
The Hallway leading from the bedroom features 8 paintings by up and coming British painter Charlie Billingham. Perhaps the Horts are asserting their obvious expertise in the tumultuous art market, then immediately afterwards suggesting Billingham as the potential next “big thing”?
The library offers another notable display. As I entered the small library I thought “Wow thats weird, they only put this one Martin Eder painting in here” but then the art works started to jump out at me. A Robert Gober wax shoe sits on a shelf set into the back wall. A Rashid Johnson mirror piece hangs immediately to your right as you enter.
While this selection no doubt provides some insight into the diversity of the Hort’s collection, I feel it could have been organized better. For example, Sarah Sze’s closet installation on penthouse level gets hidden by the large abstract paintings surrounding it.