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HOWARD RACHOFSKY: I was, in fact, gainfully employed as a money manager for several decades, and Cindy was employed in the fashion industry for many, many years. Now we spend our time collecting art, going to art fairs, art exhibitions, art shows, talking about art, and living and breathing the art experience. I love looking at new art, I love looking at old art, and I love the experience of being with it and learning from it.
I started collecting art in the mid to late 70s, and it was a pretty random experience, it really wasn’t about a thematic or systematic approach to collecting, and really the genesis of that was a fortuitous introduction to a curator and writer, Alan Schwartzman. This was 14 years ago and Alan has been the “co-conspirator,” but let’s say he’s really been the driving force for me to understand how to build a collection that had an identity and a purpose.
We reinstall the collection on a primary basis. The two primary themes. The first one and the dominant theme really comes out this architecture, this sort of minimalist, modernist idea, much of which comes from the 60s. The other side of the collection is a little more eclectic and really deals with this post-modern notion of identity, so it would up in more representational work, most of which has a deep psychological component associated with it.
CINDY RACHOFSKY: When I first met Howard I think we both had finally met someone who shared a passion and that’s what kept us together. You know, he doesn’t play golf and we don’t go to the beach anymore, this is what we do, and we’re lucky that we do it together.
We live by the motto, “we agree to disagree.” I am bold about what I like and what I don’t like, but it would never dictate what we buy or don’t buy. I think that’s what makes it interesting and intellectual for the two of us.
HOWARD RACHOFSKY: I grew up in the financial world, was in the investment business for several decades, and art gave me a perspective on the world that was different. It wasn’t just about numbers, it was about something that could move you–something visual, something intuitive, something intellectual that could stimulate your curiosity and make you more than you are.
Spending a portion of the year at their home in Napa, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky collect contemporary art that generally falls into two broad themes: the aesthetic of global minimalism and the exploration of the post-war notion of identity. Of their collection of roughly 800 works, 100 objects are publicly on view at the couple’s 18,000 square foot gallery in Dallas, while the rest are displayed in their homes, stored in a private warehouse, and loaned to museums.
For this exhibit, the Rachofskys generously loaned six artworks with the Dansaekhwa movement, which emerged as an informal association of Korean painters in the mid-1970s. Influenced by the experience of the Korean War (1950 – 1953), Dansaekhwa artists engaged with philosophical concerns of the mind and body’s reintegration with nature. Their introspective artworks are often restricted in color palette because monochrome planes bared connotations of nature in post-war Korea. Dansaekhwa artists experimented with technique and frequently manipulated indigenous Korean materials such as raw burlap, hemp, and tak paper.