How to Build an Art Collection: Fi Lovett’s Picks of Noteworthy Artists for the Seasoned Art Collector
March 26, 2024

How to Build an Art Collection: Fi Lovett’s Picks of Noteworthy Artists for the Seasoned Art Collector

Explore the art of collecting with Maddox's European Gallery Director, Fi Lovett. Learn how to build a diverse art collection and make strategic choices to ensure your collection appreciates over time. Join Fi as she shares her advice on the noteworthy artists that savvy art collectors will not want to miss.


We asked Fi Lovett, Maddox’s European Gallery Director, to share her advice on how to build an art collection and recommend five noteworthy artists who should be on every seasoned collector’s radar.

Foundations of Collecting: How to Build an Art Collection

Once you start acquiring artwork, it’s a runaway train — nothing can stop you. It’s difficult to understand this when you’re new to the world of collecting, but there is something both emotional and cerebral about art. No two people have the same collection; it’s personal and heart-felt. 

If you are wondering how to buy art that will appreciate in value, my advice to both new and seasoned collectors is always the same: choose what you love and find an art dealer who you can trust to inform you. I wouldn’t advise acquiring an artwork purely for its potential future returns. Most people live with their art collection for many years, so it’s really important that you connect with what you buy, first and foremost. 

Often, seasoned collectors will go on to own original works by the same artists whose prints they acquired in the early stages of their collecting journey. This is a natural progression of an art collection. It’s always wonderful to see that a collector’s early instincts about an artist still resonate further down the line.

Strategic Choices: Building a Diverse and Balanced Art Collection

My job as an advisor is to build relationships with clients so that I know their preferences. Sometimes, I will be invited into their homes, where I can get a better idea of their space and style. I am familiar with my clients’ individual tastes and like to think that I’m adept at matching them with artworks that they will love.

When I’m asked how to build an interesting collection, I remind clients that there is no right or wrong. However, a collection tends to be more cohesive when artwork sits well alongside one another. The common thread is that it’s your choice, so trusting your instinct is paramount. 

If you are aiming for diversity, it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open for emerging artists and trends. For those seasoned collectors who only buy originals, I also like to introduce up-and-coming artists whom I think they may connect with, based on their past acquisitions. Focusing on just a few established artists means that you are missing out on the rich diversity of talent out there. By supporting emerging talent at an early stage in their artistic career, you are investing your faith, and your collection will be all the better for it. 

For this piece, I was asked to choose five noteworthy artists that astute art collectors will not want to overlook, and I’m delighted to share that three of the five are women. Historically, women in art have been overlooked. Now, they are soaring, which is cause for celebration.

For a seasoned investor, the female art market is currently offering strong investment opportunities. The trio of female artists below have spent their lifetimes pushing boundaries and challenging norms, so it’s satisfying to see them being recognised as the pioneers which they are. The needle is moving for women artists, and I couldn’t be more pleased.



Notable pick #1: Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin’s confessional works have been causing a stir ever since she first rose to fame in Charles Saatchi’s ‘Sensation’ exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1997. Her work sat alongside other Young British Artists such as Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume, Mona Hatoum, The Chapman Brothers and Damien Hirst.

In 1999, Emin was shortlisted for the Turner prize and in 2007 she was selected as the second woman to produce a solo show for the UK at the Venice Biennale.  Tracey’s autobiographical ‘My Bed’ was auctioned to support the Saatchi Art Foundation and sold for her auction record of £2.5 million.





Notable pick #2: Yayoi Kusama

Still creating art in her 90s, the Japanese artist and painter Yayoi Kusama, best known for her pumpkins and polka dots, had to be on my list. You couldn’t miss her in 2023 when she fronted the highest-profile fashion collaboration of the year with Louis Vuitton, and let’s not forget that, since 2018, she has held the title of the highest achieving living female artist of all time when her work White 28, from the iconic 1960 ‘Infinity Nets’ series, sold for £7.1 million

Kusama is one of the leading blue-chip artists to invest in right now, with her works generating $119.2 million at auction in 2023. Last year, she was also the top post-war artist at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, according to Art Tactic’s 2023 Art Market Report. 




Notable pick #3: Bridget Riley

Like Yayoi Kusama, Riley is in her 90s and still working. A key figure in the Op Art movement, with her dizzying optical illusions, she has created one of the most recognisable styles in the art world. 

For a seasoned art collector, there is no time like the present to invest in a Bridget Riley work. Since 2000, the artist’s price index witnessed an astonishing 1,252% increase, and in 2022 she experienced a career record turnover of £16.5m. 

Just like her peers, Kusama and Emin, Riley is expected to become a household name in the years ahead. The supply of her work has significantly decreased and as the market stops being fed with new works, those in circulation are inevitably going to be subject to greater demand, and consequently, it is likely her prices will dramatically increase.




Notable pick #4: Damien Hirst

Love him or hate him, Hirst cannot be ignored. He is the most relevant living artist of our generation at work today, with one of the most interesting aspects about him being his productivity — he’s unapologetically prolific. With each progressing year, his productivity appears to increase.

I also admire Hirst’s support of his contemporaries. He is one of the first to champion up-and-coming talent and has a huge collection of contemporary art which he one day plans to house at Toddington Manor. I have seen Damien’s Bridget Riley collection, which I’m guessing is the largest collection of her work. If you haven’t been to his Newport Street Gallery in South London, a public space where he shows works from his own personal collection, it’s a must.




Notable pick #5: Cooper

My final pick is the American artist Cooper, who is in London right now for a six-month Artist in Residency programme at our Shepherd Market gallery. We are currently in discussion with an American Art Museum about including Cooper in a prominent exhibition this year, where his artwork will sit alongside work by David Hockney and Jonas Wood

Art collecting should be a journey of discovery, and Cooper is such an engaging artist, who pours himself into his work. I feel that seasoned art collectors have a responsibility to support emerging artists. It’s a life-enhancing experience to champion an artist at the beginning of their career. What can be more thrilling than backing the next generation of talent? It brings real joy because it’s not just about the investment — it’s knowing that you’re supporting the arts and becoming part of the bigger picture. 





Fi Lovett is Maddox Gallery’s European Gallery Director.



Your saved list

This list allows you to enquire about a group of works.
No items found
London Gstaad Los Angeles
Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image


Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image


Atmospheric image