Guillaume Levy-Lambert’s Favourite Artworks

SLIDESHOW: The French collector’s most treasured art pieces.

Guillaume Levy-Lambert is a French-born, Singapore-based financier and art collector. With his partner, Mark Goh, he is building up MaGMA: a collection that currently comprises around 500 works of primarily Asian contemporary art in different media.

At the heart of his collection’s story is a profound and life-changing encounter in 1999 with a Roy Lichtenstein painting, Desk Calendar (1962), which hangs in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Astonishingly, Levy-Lambert and Goh realised that the calendar highlighted and connected both of their dates of birth. “It was the most magical thing that ever happened,” says Levy-Lambert. In that moment they decided to build their lives together and create a contemporary art collection that celebrates divine providence.

Here he describes his favourite art pieces, and why.

Volcan by Christel Nicolas
I bought this in 1983 and I built my first home in Paris around the colours in this painting, particularly the vivid green. When I moved to Japan the whole décor stemmed also from this; I ended up buying objects from the flea market to complement it. Art can be at the centre of our lives.

Date Painting by Lu Pingyuan
Lu Pingyuan is an emerging Chinese artist who took his inspiration from On Kawara, the Japanese conceptual artist who created the famous ‘Date Paintings’. When I discovered this, it reverberated with our Calendar Story — the date here would have been Roy Lichtenstein’s 91st birthday.

Evidence – a video created by Levy-Lambert
You might find this indulgent: I get a great pleasure in watching Evidence. There is a phone number on Roy Lichtenstein’s Desk Calendar, and a few years ago, I managed to get hold of it. Over the years people who were seeing the painting at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art or in other museums where it was on loan called and left voice messages. Last summer, I decided to return those calls and this film is a five-minute edit of some of those conversations.

MaGMA 0300 The Wizard of Oz (incorporating Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask No 6)
On one side you have this mask painting from Zeng Fanzhi. Instead of being hung on the wall, it is integrated into a case, tailor-made for the painting, designed for us by Jean-Francois Milou. On the other side is one episode of the Calendar Story. This piece was shown in our Paris and Singapore exhibitions and in our iPad app. Each diptyque has a number that provides a clue in the treasure hunt that we assembled for the public.

CEO of Categories by David Chan
This piece is by a talented Singaporean artist who’s become a friend, and the window behind Ganesh makes me think of our shophouse in Singapore. The multi-tasking elephant expresses one of my fantasies — doing many things: to be a collector; an artist; a businessman; and a friend.

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Volcan by Christel Nicolas.

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MaGMA 0300 The Wizard of Oz (incorporating Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask No 6).

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Date Painting by Lu Pingyuan.

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Guillaume Levy-Lambert.

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CEO of Categories by David Chan.

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