In a Red-Hot Art Market, the Collector Martin Margulies Stays Cool
By: Robert Pogerbin
MIAMI — To escape the crush of the Art Basel art fair, which ended Sunday, and visit Martin Z. Margulies at his voluminous warehouse and exhibition space for art in the Wynwood Arts District is to realize that this collector was there before it all began. Before his Twomblys were trading for more than $70 million at auction. Before the Arte Povera pieces he started buying years ago became chic. Before the market got red-hot and art became an asset class.
If Mr. Margulies were to sell some of the approximately 4,000 pieces he has amassed over more than 30 years of collecting — by de Kooning, Eliasson, Flavin, Noguchi, Segal, Serra — he might be a richer man than he has already become as a real estate developer. But he has no intention of doing that.
This is a guy who remembers exactly where, when and why he got every piece he owns — from the 1939 Miró constellation he bought from Marcel Duchamp’s widow in 1980 to the granite blocks by Giovanni Anselmo that he bought in October for his Key Biscayne, Fla., apartment at a London auction.