A Look Inside Vincent Vallarino's Millbrook Barn

Vallarino Fine Art
Oct 6, 2016 7:31PM

An hour and a half from Midtown Manhattan, Millbrook, New York is an idyllic, two stoplight town. There, nestled on a quiet country road, one might be forgiven for passing by the unassuming barn where Vincent Vallarino has been carefully building one of the most comprehensive collections of midcentury art in North America. A careful observer however, can’t help but notice the large Hans Van de Bovenkamp sculpture that sits in the front yard—a discrete sign post for the art-minded traveler. The sculpture’s arms beckon down the driveway, towards a white-clad studio. Built in 2010 and designed by Vallarino himself, the impressive, 5,000 square foot studio building was crafted with delicate attention to detail. Floor-to-ceiling windows, polished concrete floors, Belgian pine and white pickled walls create a warm, contemporary tribute to the midcentury artist’s studio.

Vallarino Fine Art, Millbrook Studio location

Entering the barn, one is immediately filled with a sense of awe, purpose, and “undeniable cool.” Stepping into the large, open space there is a clear sense that his collection of over 6,000 paintings, modern furniture, and sculpture was amassed with care, and over a long period of time. 

There are important contemporary works by Isaac Brest, George Condo, Christian Rosa, and Mike and Doug Starn. The great focus of the collection, however, is on Abstract Expressionism. Works by Robert Motherwell, John Little, Sam Francis, Elizabeth Catlett, Conrad Marca-Relli, Michael Goldberg, James Brooks, Esteban Vicente, Alma Thomas, Jack Roth, and countless others adorn the walls, easels, and tables that inhabit the space. 

A collector, photographer, and student of art first, Vallarino has always collected what he loves and believes in. In 2007, he began purchasing hundreds of Post-War artworks, during a time when few dealers were giving the nascent genre a second glance. Almost ten years later, with an astounding number of works in the gallery inventory, he has become a respected source for collectors, public institutions, art advisors, designers, and galleries looking to acquire artworks by important, sometimes overlooked, artists.

Untitled, 1987
Vallarino Fine Art
Untitled (Bridgehampton), 1967
Vallarino Fine Art
Untitled, 1979
Vallarino Fine Art

Vallarino is a firm believer in old-style connoisseurship. He is constantly pushing himself to learn more about the artists and artworks that he is passionate about. In an age when many in the art world place emphasis on impulse buying through art fairs, internet marketing, and art advisors, Vallarino has doubled down on this slow approach. He is happiest working on one of the impressive catalogs that he publishes, doing research on one of his many estates, or speaking with visitors about the artwork on his walls. “I am always learning. Oftentimes I meet a new collector and they show me a new perspective or angle I hadn’t considered and I come away with as much from the conversation as they do.”

Black and Blue Petals, 1963
Vallarino Fine Art

Splitting his time between Millbrook and Manhattan, Vallarino has put equal care into his sprawling, 2,700 square foot showroom on the Upper East Side. Located on 60th Street, the apartment duplex is a carefully curated environment that allows visitors to view work in a familiar domestic setting. Vallarino firmly believes in the power and importance of living with artworks and may inevitably be found here contemplating the works in his rotating inventory.  

—Howard Hurst, with contributions from Jordan Hutton

We are also pleased to announce the publication of our 175 page recent acquisition catalogue on view here: Abstract Addictions: Don't Think Twice It's Alright

This post is part of a series of articles on Vallarino Fine Art. Please check back periodically for updates.

Vallarino Fine Art