“Treasure for me is the work itself. I am always trying to link documents with original announcements, artists’ books, historic catalogues. I do research, every day I discover new material, new documents, new works, and that makes me happy because it’s not just selling or buying—it’s also studying . Two days ago I discovered two catalogues from an exhibition I never knew that Lucy Lippard had organised in Seattle in 1969 and it was a great satisfaction.
My research takes place mainly through books and the internet, and then over the telephone. My criterion for wishing to acquire something is a mix of my personal taste and the rarity of the object. I like editions. I like the idea that the artist is sharing artworks. And you know, maybe there are a thousand copies of an edition and yet it becomes very rare. For example, this is a travelling sculpture by Bruno Munari. A beautiful object. Something you can travel with. A sculpture made of hard grey-green cardboard. In the 1950s it was said that one thousand copies had been made, yet you discover that, as they were still made by hand at the time and it was quite difficult, those thousand copies were never made. Combining information from ten different books, I concluded that there must be just 50 or even fewer. I discovered the one I have in a private collection in Milan. I have prints, books and objects by Lucio Fontana, Luigi Ghirri, Guilio Paolini and many other artists. This one, for instance, is an etching by Lucio Fontana that says “Io sono Fontana”. It’s like a self-portrait”.
Giorgio Mastinu explains why he prefers to think his small, well known, store as a private space and not as a Gallery. (NOMAS, Venice, p. 38)