What I Buy and Why: Interior Designer Andrew Sheinman on the Lyrical Cy Twombly That Sparked His Collecting Journey

Interior designer Andrew Sheinman got his first taste of the art world as a teenager in England while working for an art dealer, which opened his eyes to the talents of contemporary American artists working at the time, including Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly.

Now a seasoned collector and regular at galleries and museums, the founder of prominent New York interior design firm Pembrooke & Ives often has his eyes set on works of art that would suit a room. Its taste, however, goes far beyond the purely decorative. In fact, for Sheinman, finding the right job can lead to creating whole spaces around it.

Immersed in the world of New York art and design, Sheinman is often introduced to new talent, both by his art-collecting clients and by his own trusted art advisor. He buys work for himself as well as art and design for others, and draws inspiration from creatives from Max Lamb to Vincenzo de Cotiis to the Haas brothers.

We caught up with the collector at his 2,415 square foot Milanese-inspired apartment in the historic Apthorp building on New York’s Upper West Side.

Painting: Le Corbusier for Cassina. Chairs: Matter (black leather with golden foot). Drawing: Tamara De Lempicka. Photo by Geneviève Garruppo, courtesy Andrew Sheinman.

What was your first purchase?

Cy Twombly, Roman notes. I had seen the piece as a teenager and fell in love with the lyrical nature of the art, but was not in a financial position to buy it at that time. When I was 28, I was still thinking about it and used all my savings to make the purchase. To this day, it takes center stage in my home.

What was your last purchase?

One of my clients is a major art collector with a spectacular collection. I discovered Derrick Adams’ work through her and have since purchased one of his collages for my own collection. I also recently purchased a Sean Gerstley coffee table after seeing his work at the Superhouse show in New York.

Bed: Customized by P&I.  Side table: customized by P&I.  Wardrobe: Roberto Baciocchi.

Bed: Customized by P&I. Side table: customized by P&I. Wardrobe: Roberto Baciocchi. Photo by Geneviève Garruppo, courtesy Andrew Sheinman.

What works or artists do you hope to add to your collection this year?

I have my eye on a photo collage of my friend and neighbor, Jonas Fredwall Karlsson. It’s a collage by David Hockney in his studio.

What work would you have liked to buy when you had the opportunity?

A sculpture by Keith Haring. I saw it at Art Basel a few years ago. I found myself thinking only of this piece as I kept walking through the fair, but by the time I returned to find out more, it had already sold out.

Drawing (left): Anish Kapoor.  Drawing (right): David Hockney.  Blinds: Joss Graham, made in India.

Drawing (left): Anish Kapoor. Drawing (right): David Hockney. Blinds: Joss Graham, made in India. Photo by Geneviève Garruppo, courtesy Andrew Sheinman.

Where do you most often buy art?

Michael Steinberg of Michael Steinberg Fine Art is my friend and trusted advisor. Michael checks out the artwork which I find interesting. He also introduces me to new works that may not already be on my radar.

Is there a work you regret buying?

I bought a series of etchings by Francesco Clementi from the late 1980s that, over time, I found too dark and didn’t like to live with.

Shelving: USM.  Wall lamps: manufactured by Veca in Milan.

Shelving: USM. Wall lamps: manufactured by Veca in Milan. Photo by Geneviève Garruppo, courtesy Andrew Sheinman.

What work have you hung above your couch? And in your bathroom?

Above the family room couch is a photograph of Tina Barney, and in my powder room is a Richard Serra poster from a 2007 MoMa show.

What’s the least practical piece of art you own?

I’m not sure I own something so impractical. In fact, quite the opposite. Many artists that I collect oscillate between art and design. Much of it serves very practical purposes in my home, whether as a coffee table, shelf, or light fixture.

If you could steal one piece of art without getting caught, what would it be?

I saw a significant portion of George Condo’s work at a wonderful exhibition in Athens a few years ago. I would like to live with a piece of his work. It’s a real talent.

The living room.  Drawing: Katherine Bakhoum Tisne, The Alley of the Dancers (2012).  Lamp: Vuoto table lamp by Daniele Bottacin for fromA.  Mirror: Original to the apartment.  Figures: Porcelain figurines depicting the Cultural Revolution by Michael Steinberg Fine Art.

The living room. Drawings: Katherine Bakhoum Tisne, The Alley of the Dancers(2012). Lamp: Vuoto
Desk Lamp by Daniele Bottacin for fromA. Mirror: Original to the apartment. Figures: Porcelain figurines depicting the Cultural Revolution by Michael Steinberg Fine Art. Photo by Geneviève Garruppo, courtesy Andrew Sheinman.

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Betty K. Park