In this moment of art history, where love of contemporary art is at all-time high, it must be every collector’s dream to have one — maybe two — works from their collections on view in an exhibit.
Imagine, then, the sublime ecstasy of having nearly all your holdings make up the entirety of one museum show.
Such is the case with “Goldmine: Contemporary Works from the Collections of Sirje and Michael Gold,” opening this Saturday at California State University, Long Beach’s University Art Museum (UAM).
On view through April 10, the exhibit highlights an impressive collection of contemporary works from a wide variety of artists collected by the Golds for more than 30 years. Like many high-profile Los Angeles-based collectors — such as Edythe and Eli Broad or Lynda and Stewart Resnick — the Golds’ collection demonstrates an acute sense of style, taste and artistic understanding.
Unlike many other collections, however, the Golds have amassed a distinguished grouping comprised of established, emerging, mid-career and undiscovered artists. This rarity in collecting strategy is what makes the Golds’ collection a pleasure to behold.
“(The Golds’) thoughtful selection of paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculpture represent an unprecedented look at the diversity of aesthetic threads and array of issues that characterize work being made in and around Los Angeles today,” states the UAM’s website.
The diversity on view in the Golds’ collection is indicative of the city itself. Bold, modern, colorful, whimsical, edgy and bizarre, any one of these words can be used to describe Los Angeles.
It’s also the kind of art you’ll see throughout the exhibit.
Nicole Eisenman’s “Mr. Peanut and Companion” — an odd portrayal of the beloved Planters mascot — and Tanya Batura’s eerie acrylic and clay sculpture “Untitled,” open viewers’ minds to witness the ersatz version of our world. Jane Callister’s “Santa Fe” and Kevin Appel’s “Living Room with Oranges” evoke a sense of space where strong graphics and color dramatically capture moments in time.
In addition to these four artists, “Goldmine’s” roster includes the likes of Amy Adler, John Baldessari, Kim Dingle, Jim Drain, Sean Duffy, Brad Eberhard, Bart Exposito, Iva Gueorguieva, Salomon Huerta, Kurt Kauper, Martin Kersels, Charles Long, Anna Mendieta, Joel Morrison, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Bruce Nauman, Monique Prieto, Tony de los Reyes, Ross Rudel, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Linda Stark and Don Suggs, just to name a few.
Curated by UAM director Christopher Scoates, “Goldmine” displays a democratic approach to presenting and collecting contemporary art, mostly because Sirje and Michael Gold collect what they love rather than follow trends.
The exhibit is an ideal primer for any collector — avid or novice. And for those interested in hearing the Golds’s approach to collecting, there will be a gallery talk at 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 15.
The University Art Museum is at CSULB, 1250 Bellflower Blvd. The gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $4, free for UAM members. For more information, call 985-5761 or visit www.csulb.edu/uam.