Living with Matisse, Picasso, and Christo explores one of the most ambitious, and yet largely unknown, private collections of twentieth-century Western art, and its charismatic creator Theodor “Teto” Ahrenberg (1912-1989). Containing over 6,000 artworks acquired between the 1940s and late 1980s, Ahrenberg’s collection features key works by artists as distinguished and diverse as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Olle Bartling, Sam Francis, Öyvind Fahlström, Tadeusz Kantor, Lucio Fontana, Christo, Jean Tinguely, and Niki de Saint Phalle.
Ahrenberg’s ever-evolving collection was shaped by his commitment to the changing notion of contemporary art, his dedication to young and marginalized artists, and a self- declared conviction that he was not merely a collector but one who facilitated exhibitions, collaborations, and commissions, and who employed art as an instrument against conservatism and complacency. Ahrenberg passionately believed in personally meeting those artists whose works he acquired, and he accordingly established rich, long-term friendships that transcended the conventional artist-collector dynamic.
Monte Packham is the author of several books on art, including Concentric Circles and ABC Photography.
Staffan Ahrenberg is the publisher of Cahiers d’Art.
Daniel Birnbaum (b. 1963) is the director of the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
Eberhard W. Kornfeld
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist is an art historian and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery.
Simon de Pury