11 september 2019, Oscar van Gelderen & Manuela Klerkx
Eric van ’t Hoff
In this section we let a selection of art lovers – from occasional buyers to art professionals – talk about their perception of art and preferences: where do they want to see art? Where do they purchase art, and above all: from which artists do they buy? Below, an interview withEric van ’t Hoff (art collector)
What does art mean to you?
To me contemporary art is eternal viewing pleasure, it’s man-made nature, allowing one to set aside fixed viewing patterns to discover new forms of images. Artists are visionaries who show us the future today. We don't need art, but without art life would be very dull.
Did you get an appreciation of art from your parents or did you have to find your own way?
I spent most of my childhood living around the Mediterranean, in Istanbul, Beirut and Casablanca. I did not see museums much at the time, let alone contemporary art galleries, but I did see many Greek and Roman sites.
Audrey, Yonaguni, 2017, Charlotte Dumas.
Where do you get your information about the ups and downs in the art world?
I like to read reviews of exhibitions, interviews with artists, curators and museum directors, but most of all I enjoy reading about the experiences of collectors and art lovers.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
In the past I found galleries way too elitist and too intellectual, so I frequented museums only. Nowadays, I like to go to museums such as the Stedelijk Museum or De Pont in Tilburg as well as fairs such as Art Rotterdam and UNSEEN. However, I prefer to view art in a gallery or in an artist’s studio, as I am less distracted and more open to what I hear and see there.
How many times a year do you buy art?
Each year I set a fixed budget. Some years this means I can only buy one work, while in other years it allows to me purchase several works. I always purchase unique works. There’s a voice inside my head that tells me that I can be the only one to hang that work at home.
The weight of colour, 2006, Marijke van Warmerdam.
And where do you buy: in the gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Since our collection focuses on Dutch art from 1945 to date, we purchased a number of paintings, gouaches and sculptures from auctions and art dealers. I used to buy contemporary works from the artist himself, but these days all of my favourite artists are represented by a gallery.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
To be frank, I must admit that I am usually the one to fall in love with a work of art, but luckily my wife Sophie is a true art lover, who often grants me the purchase.
Is there a gallery with which you have a special relationship?
I would like to mention three with whom we have a more special bond than average: Gerhard Hofland, Van Gelder and andriesse eyck. At these galleries, Sophie and I always feel welcome, not obliged to do anything, just watch, catch up, listen and occasionally buy something.
Four seasons in one day, 2017, Sarah van Sonsbeeck.
If you had an unlimited budget, from whom would you purchase a work?
A large oil painting by René Daniëls. We already have 2 small gouaches of René's on paper. In my opinion he’s right up there with Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mondriaan, Karel Appel and Jan Schoonhoven. The way he dared to bring figurative art back to life during the 1980s is unique in the world.