“I was concerned that buying something that used to hang on the wall of a restaurant was kind of”—Adam Lindemann pauses—“idiotic. Spending money on something like that was quite stupid and definitely something that one would regret. But after I really thought about it for a long time—and obviously Amalia loves Damien’s work—I think the work is very important.”
The work Lindemann is referring to is The Sleep of Reason, a massive, nonfunctional medicine cabinet that’s part of Damien Hirst’s famous pharmacy-themed series. And until its sale at Sotheby’s in 2004 for $1.927 million, it could be found in a London restaurant called Pharmacy. Now, however, it’s the centerpiece of the midtown apartment Lindemann, 44, shares with Amalia Dayan, the ravishing 33-year-old granddaughter of the late Israeli Defense minister Moshe Dayan, who helped negotiate the Camp David accords and who wore a black patch after losing an eye in battle.
Since arriving in New York in 1997, Dayan has made her name in the art world by winning over clients at Jeffrey Deitch and Phillips and going on to become director of Gagosian Gallery. Last month, she opened her own Chelsea space, Bortolami Dayan, with Stefania Bortolami. The first show, titled “Closing Down,” features Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Paul Pfeiffer, and Hirst. And when it comes to her and Lindemann’s own collection, she rules, though not always.
“The thing I didn’t win you over on was Maurizio Cattelan,” Dayan says to Lindemann. She’d wanted him to buy a Cattelan self-portrait sculpture in which Cattelan’s head is coming out of a hole. “But Franz West [the Austrian artist who designed much of the furniture in the apartment] was something you won me over on. His sculpture is sort of ugly art. But I think it is very relevant now. I would love to have one in the apartment.”
Lindemann says he’s not interested in anything other than that one piece that is an artist’s defining moment. “When a piece makes me get that message, then it is a must—unfortunately, because really, I would prefer not to buy any of it.” In between not buying, however, he’s been compiling a book, Collecting Contemporary, with advice from 30 well-known art-world figures, due out from Taschen in March. (He is also partnering with the designer Marc Newson to relaunch his watch company, Ikepod.)
One piece of collecting advice? Listen to Amalia. “She was right about the Cattelan,” Lindemann says now. “It was offered to me four times, and I rejected it every time—it just sold at Christie’s for $2 million.”