Giuseppe (1923-2010) and Giovanna Panza di Biumo were passionate, tireless collectors who over a period of more than fifty years built an extraordinary collection of contemporary art including works by Rothko, Kline, Tàpies, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Rosenquist, Andre, Serra, Nauman, Kosuth, LeWitt, Weiner, up to the artists who in the 1980s and 90s explored the artistic possibilities of light and color, and the expressive potential of organic forms. What makes the collection so exceptional is not only its breadth, but the vision behind it, the Panzas’ innate ability to recognize the essence and specificity of each artist, of each work of art, long before the critics and art market.
This book is the result of a conversation with Philippe Ungar that ran from 2007 to 2009. In this open, genuine dialogue, the inner need to discover and acquire art is revealed as an intellectual adventure and a spiritual journey. Masterpieces from the collection are now shown in the most prestigious museums, from the Guggenheim in New York to MOCA in Los Angeles (in many cases constituting the original nucleus of the collection) as well as in the historic Villa Panza in Varese, now the property of the FAI, Fondo Ambiente Italiano. The photos that illustrate the interview are an attempt to convey their common thread, that is: the eyes and the minds that formed the shared vision of these two true collectors.