The Impossible Collection: The 100 Most Coveted Artworks of the Modern Era
If money were no object and anything is possible, what would your ideal modern art collection look like? This question is posed and answered by authors and art consultants, Franck Giraud and Philippe Ségalot, in their book “The Impossible Collection: The 100 Most Coveted Artworks of the Modern Era” – a compilation of their ideal modern art collection.
In a chronologically detailed manner starting in 1901 highlighting Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait “Yo” and spanning the decades through to 2000 (ending the collection with an untitled work of Rudolf Stingel), Giraud and Ségalot share their one hundred ideal masterpieces of twentieth-century art. Joachim Pissarro, great grandson of Camille Pissarro writes in the introduction, “…by selecting these works, Giraud and Ségalot have selected one hundred of the most indelible moments in the tumultuous years of modernity between 1901 and 2000.” However, there is little objective justification or defense of the authors’ selections (why these and not other works?), but as is the case with artwork, justification of its “covet-worthiness” can be purely subjective – and in many cases driven by what that piece will bring at auction.
Marc Chagall’s, “Birthday”, one of the works on my dream “Impossible Collection” list.
Though I may not agree with some of the authors’ selections of what constitutes the “most coveted” modern artwork representative of the twentieth-century, I do acknowledge that art and its collection is subjective, and this book offers modern art lovers some beautiful examples of twentieth-century art. And more importantly “The Impossible Collection” inspires the reader to dream about what modern artworks would populate their “Impossible Collection” list. And in the end that is what the authors most desire, “ Our one hundred masterpieces will not necessarily be your one hundred masterpieces, but nothing would give us greater satisfaction than to know this book inspired you to assemble an Impossible Collection of your own.”
Book cover image courtesy of Assouline. Page image from “The Impossible Collection”.