Aurore Ankarcrona Hennessey is director of art at The Arts Club in London’s Mayfair.
What attracted you to the world of art?
Growing up I was fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful art and design. My parents were collectors with a particular interest in Scandinavian artists, thanks to my Swedish father, so our house was filled with Einar Jolin and Carl Larsson.
After studying history of art with anthropology at UCL, I took up internships at Auktionsverket in Stockholm, Spanierman Gallery in New York and my favourite of all; Christie’s in San Francisco. My first day on the job was spent inventorying Basquiats at Lars Ulrich’s Marin home for a subsequent Christie’s sale. From then on, I knew the arts would always play a significant role in my life.
Which work of art has left a lasting memory?
I was lucky enough to chair the Tate Young Patrons for a number of years so my co-chair Alex Petalas and I always got special early access to Tate exhibitions, sometimes as they were being installed. Rachel Whiteread’s 2017 takeover of the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain was particularly poignant for me.
Who’s your favourite artist?
The American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler is an ongoing obsession of mine. She experimented tirelessly, in a range of media, but it’s her use of colour that I love the most. Dulwich Picture Gallery recently held the first major UK exhibition of her woodcuts entitled Radical Beauty; it was spellbinding.
What’s your favourite gallery abroad?
My family have a house in Prouts Neck, southern Maine. Just down the street is a tiny gallery called Harmon’s Market, a former fish market and general store, founded in 1930 but reopened in 2017 as a contemporary art space. I recently bought a piece there for my husband by local Maine artist Malcolm Rogers so that’s my current favourite.
Where do you travel for work?
The Arts Club has a sister space in Dubai, with a cutting-edge arts programme. I also attend many international art fairs and events, from Basel to FIAC in Paris and Frieze LA.
Which up-and-coming artist should we have on our radar?
Despite only embarking on his artistic career in 2016, self-taught artist Jordy Kerwick is rapidly acquiring global recognition and is certainly one to watch. The Arts Club will be showcasing his work from September 2022 until January 2023. As with all our exhibitions, non-members are also able to visit; they need only enquire.
What’s been your most rewarding travel experience?
Driving a clapped out 1984 Nissan Pulsar around the North and South islands of New Zealand as a wide-eyed 18-year-old. That staggeringly beautiful landscape has stayed with me.
And most challenging?
The ultra-marathon event ‘Racing the Planet’ in the Annapurna foothills in Nepal, which I undertook to raise money for the Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust. I’m thrilled to have completed seven marathons in six days.
What are your dream destinations?
I have major gaps in South America; I would love to visit more of Colombia and also Peru and Venezuela. I read a lot of Latin American magical realism at school and have wanted to visit more of that continent ever since.
What’s your indispensable travel gadget?
Sarah Chapman Liquid Facial D-stress is a serious pick-me-up and it goes everywhere with me.
What’s your IFE pick?
Danish political drama Borgen.