Anna Zizlsperger talks to Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

What made you want to start collecting contemporary art? What was the first artwork you purchased?

I started collecting contemporary art in 1992, when I bought my first artwork. I must say that I don’t have a background in the arts — I graduated in economics — but art has been part of my life since I was a child. I grew up among paintings and antiques and I think that collecting is in my DNA. I then became an avid reader of art catalogues and books, visiting galleries and museums and, most of all, I started to get to know the artists, to visit their studios and to establish an authentic relationship with many of them, something that could certainly never have happened had I been interested in ancient art or art from the first half of the last century. Meeting these artists opened up a whole new world for me.

A work by Anish Kapoor, 1000 Names (1983), which I acquired in 1992 and I still have, was one of my first pieces. It is a symbolic work for me, as it reminds me of how, and especially why I started being a collector and being so passionate about contemporary art. The meeting with Kapoor was one of the first studio visits of my life, and I still keep that as a precious memory, as well as through the material testimony of this amazing work.