Colin de Land

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Colin de Land (1955- 2003) was a New York art dealer who ran "Vox Populi", and then American Fine Arts, Co. De Land studied philosophy and linguistics at New York University and founded the Armory Show. He was married to art dealer Pat Hearn.

Art Gallery[edit]

De Land opened Vox Populi in 1984, on East Sixth Street in the East Village. De Land renamed the gallery American Fine Arts, Co. In 1986, it moved the space to 40 Wooster Street. Colin was an early supporter of Andrea Fraser, Cady Noland, Mark Dion, John Waters and Christian Philipp Müller. Waters said that de Land was “a cult gutter-couture icon.”[1]

De Land regularly had art theory and history classes for art collectors. Art Club 2000, a six-member collaborative made up of recent cooper union grads, formed in 1992 in cooperation with de Land. Art Club 2000 would have a show annually at American Fine Arts Co. for the next seven years.[2] In his obituary Roberta Smith wrote, "he was known for his relaxed work habits and even more relaxed art installations, which did not all open on time, as well as an insistent sartorial style that presaged the white trash look. At times he exhibited fictive artists, like John Dogg, whose work was widely assumed, but never confirmed, to have been made by Mr. de Land and the artist Richard Prince."[3]


In 1996 after 10 years together de Land's wife, art dealer Pat Hearn was diagnosed with cancer. De Land co-organized a benefit art sale to raise money for medical expenses that were not reimbursable by insurance. Over 300 artist and dealers donated work to the event. The funds generated from the event would start what is now the Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Cancer Foundation, a not-for-profit whose mission is to provide assistance for medical expenses to members of the visual arts community with cancer. After Hearn’s death in 2000, the de Land and the 2 remaining founders of The Armory Show established The Pat Hearn Acquisition Fund at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, for the sole purpose of acquiring works in all media by artists who, in the opinion of the Museum’s curators, have not received the recognition they deserve. Upon de Land's death, in 2003, the surviving founders asked that the fund be renamed to include Colin.[4]


The American Fine Arts Co. and Pat Hearn Gallery collections were acquired by The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (Bard CCS), in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.[5][6]. In 2018 Bard CCS organized the show "The Conditions of Being Art: Pat Hearn Gallery and American Fine Arts, Co. (1983–2004)" at Hessel Museum of Art on "the shared histories, art, and programming activities of Pat Hearn Gallery and American Fine Arts, Co., Colin de Land Fine Art"[7] and published a book of the same title (Dancing Foxes Press, 2018). In addition, the Colin de Land papers are held at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.[8]


American Fine Arts, Co. and Colin de Land are the subject of two books. "Colin De Land, American Fine Arts Co." (2008) features photos from de Land's archive as well as statements from over 50 artists.[9] The book "Dealing with—Some Texts, Images, and Thoughts Related to American Fine Arts, Co.“ (2012) tries to develop an understanding of how American Fine Arts, Co. functioned as a gallery.[10]


  1. ^ Dazed (2014-04-01). "Cult VIP: Colin de Land". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
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  3. ^ Smith, Roberta (2003-03-06). "Colin de Land, 47, Art Dealer Who Fostered Experimentation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
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  9. ^ Colin De Land, American Fine Arts Co., ed. by Dennis Balk, powerHouse Books, New York 2008, see:
  10. ^ Dealing with––Some Texts, Images, and Thoughts Related to American Fine Arts, Co., ed. by Valérie Knoll, Hannes Loichinger and Magnus Schaefer, Sternberg Press, Berlin 2012, see: The book accompanied a two-venue show at Halle für Kunst and Kunstraum of Leuphana Universität in 2011, both in Lüneburg.

External links[edit]