THE ART WORLD IS OBSESSED WITH ISABELLE BSCHER, WHOM YOU CAN SPOT GALA-HOPPING ACROSS THE EAST END ALL SUMMER LONG.
The art world is obsessed with Isabelle Bscher, whom you can spot gala-hopping across the Hamptons all summer long.
“Robert Wilson inspires so many people around him,” says Isabelle Bscher, the chic Swiss gallerist and art historian who summers in the Hamptons and is the art world’s new It girl. The artists that Wilson brings to his Watermill Center learn from him, she explains. “He gives them a new perspective, and I think it’s something that will further their careers. It’s a unique experience to stay with him.”
Bscher knows about artists, as she is the third generation to help run Galerie Gmurzynska, the gallery founded by her grandmother Antonina Gmurzynska, now with four locations in Switzerland. They represent major contemporary artists like Picasso, Miró, Christo, and Louise Nevelson, as well as Karl Lagerfeld’s photography, Sylvester Stallone’s paintings, and architects Zaha Hadid and Richard Meier, who has used the gallery’s catalogues in his collages and who once designed their booth at Art Basel Miami Beach, where Galerie Gmurzynska will be returning this December.
Bscher is a supporter of the Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction, and first started attending the annual summer gala as a child with her mother, Krystyna Gmurzynska, who took over the gallery after her own mother’s death in 1985. She hasn’t decided yet what she’ll wear to this year’s event, on
July 29, but with its “Fly into the Sun” theme, she’s considering something bright. “It reminds me of the opera Victory over the Sun, since it’s similar times,” Bscher says, referring to the Russian Revolution-era avant-garde opera.
Bscher’s other charitable passion is animal welfare, and she supports the Southampton Animal Shelter, whose benefit is on July 8. “Animals can’t defend themselves, and unfortunately some people are cruel to them,” she says, adding that she has a small dog whom she loves very much. “Other animals that don’t have that lucky circumstance need help. The shelter placed over 900 dogs last year, so they’re doing great work.”
Her pooch, Lolly, goes everywhere with her. “She just suffered because I brought her all over America, so she was quite jet-lagged,” Bscher laughs.
She herself became aware of the importance of philanthropy at a young age, participating in anti-hunger marches as a schoolgirl in Cologne, Germany, where the gallery had its start. Her family makes donations to museums and institutions around the world, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, to which they just contributed a Jean Pigozzi photograph.
She believes that millennials are becoming more involved in giving back as they enter adulthood. “Definitely, I have friends that are very charitable and they’re supporting causes. It’s not hard to see why,” Bscher says. “Everybody has something that’s very close to their hearts, like their family is touched by illness or depression, and I think people try to give back to the cause that’s close to them.”
The art world’s new It girl, Swiss gallerist and art historian Isabelle Bscher, describes her generation as increasingly engaged with making a difference.