February 2008, THE SCHOLL ART COLLECTION: Curated by Matthew Higgs and Jeremy Deller

February 2008,  THE SCHOLL ART COLLECTION: Curated by Matthew Higgs and Jeremy Deller
Matthew Higgs, To Be Looked At, 200 framed book page 15 1/4 x 14 inches all images courtesy of Murray Guy, New York

Text: Andrea Marie Thompson

 “I’ve always been interested in the threshold between private and public space, and what happens to an artwork when it moves from the gallery to a domestic situation,” says curator and artist Matthew Higgs in the catalog that accompanies Dennis and Debra Scholl’s ninth “gallery” show at their Bay front home on the Venetian Causeway. For nine years, the Scholls have invited some of the art world’s most prominent contemporary art curators to hang art – of their choice – from the Scholl’s 200-plus collection in their 2900 square foot home. Their home is then open to invited guests for a public viewing. It is an experiment that allows the Scholls to not only share their vast collection with an ever growing and sophisticated community of art patrons in the Miami area but presents the couple – both attorneys – with the opportunity to change the context, concept and atmosphere of their home via the art that hangs on their walls, from their ceiling and even inhabit space on their floors.

 Year nine of the Scholl Collection, which debuted during Art Basel Miami 2007, was the couple says, one of the sparest shows they’ve ever had. Dually curated by Higgs and artist Jeremy Deller, the show featured work by Higgs and Deller as well as art by established and emerging artists, known internationally and locally, who are revered and not yet famous in photographs, slides, drawings, posters, conceptual and mixed-media pieces and sculpture. Deller says the decision to hang a minimal number of works was based on his own preferences, “Ultimately I prefer it when the art isn’t packed in like a nineteenth century salon; that can be quite a stressful and claustrophobic experience.” Instead, Deller and Higgs, inspired by Robert Morris’ piece, Vetti V a
 With each annual show, the Scholls, regardless of the outcome, agree to live for one year with the results of each curator’s creative decisions. “Each time the house comes alive with new ideas, juxtapositions and a freshness that makes us appreciate our collection” insists Dennis Scholl. This year’s show showcased – among other work - Richard Prince’s 1980 photographs, Untitled (four women), Chris Burden’s Documentation of selected works, 1971-1974, Miami artist, Martin Oppel’s Flacid Cone and bricks, 2005, Jenny Holzer’s Put Food Out, 1980-1982, Hans Peter Feldman’s Kinetic sculpture 2, 2001, Pierre Huyghe’s All but one, 2002, and included every piece the Scholl’s owned by Trisha Donnelly, “We decided to include them all,” notes Higgs, “which now functions as a kind of solo show embedded within the installation.”
 Dennis Scholl says the couple is pleased once again with the outcome, because each show, including 2007’s allows them to “re-examine old and new works with a renewed appreciation for the motivations that caused us to acquire them in the first place.” large-scale work of red and black felt material that drapes ominously over an entire wall in the Scholl’s living room, focused on “specific aspects of the collection….to create a more open installation, where each of the works could have more space.”
whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.

Andrea Thompson

Thompson is Miami-based writer and art collector who has been published in USA Today.

view all articles from this author