Madeleine Steigenga & Niek van Vugt in front of work by Zeger Reyers, Hard Water, Maurits van de Laar.
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 with Niek van Vugt & Madeleine Steigenga (architects, 67 and 69)
What does art mean to you?
Madeleine: It's the reflection of the world we live in.
Niek: Art, design and modern jewelry are for me an inspiration and the expression of my identity. Art is close to my profession as an architect/designer.
Ton Kraayeveld, Thinking Hands, 2019, Galerie Helder.
Did you get an appreciation for art from your parents?
Madeleine: I consciously experienced the moment when my parents - especially my father - began to enjoy the fact that he was going to enrich his own world with conscious purchases.
Niek: My parents lived in antiques. At primary school I put a 'modern painting' on my Santa Claus wishlist and at secondary school I bought an inflatable work by Niki de Saint Phalle from my pocket money.
Where do you get your information about the ups and downs in the art world from?
Madeleine: We see lot of museums exhibitions, the newspaper, follow the programming at a number of galleries, and go to a few art fairs a year.
Niek: During my studies at the TU/Eindhoven it was Van Abbemuseum with Jean Leering a good start. NRC Handelsblad gives a lot of information. I feast on art programs on television.
Henk Stallinga, Planes (track), 2018, Gerhard Hofland.
Where do you prefer to watch art?
Madeleine: Exhibitions in museums and galleries have the advantage that a selection of masterpieces is made for you, or an atmosphere is created around an artist.
Niek: I like to visit museums at home and abroad. On holiday, I often visit several exhibitions in one day.
Johannes Schwartz, Capitals #11, 2018, Annet Gelink Gallery.
How often a year do you buy art?
Madeleine: Art and jewellery is mostly unique works, but when it comes to design it is, of course, mostly work in open/limited edition.
Niek: I buy a work of art several times a year. The KunstKoopregeling has been very helpful in making my ambitions possible.
And where do you buy: in the gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Madeleine: Gallery and art fair.
Niek: Galerie Ra has opened its eyes to modern jewellery. For design I've had a lot of experience with gallery Binnen and Vivid. Gallery Willy Schoots, Nouvelles Images, Maurits van de Laar, Frank Taal and gallery Helder have enhanced my view on contemporary art.
Joost van den Toorn, Alabama Blues, 2018, Willem Baars Projects.
Is it important that you always agree on a purchase?
Madeleine:We almost always agree.
Niek: I usually know pretty quickly which work of art I'm interested in and Madeleine often goes along with that. Once in a while we decide without the other, that should be possible too.
Is there a gallery you have a special connection with?
Madeleine: Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Galerie Helder, Galerie Ra, Vivid and formerly Galerie Lous Martin.
Niek: Galerie Maurits van de Laar has inspired me to shift my attention to drawings and work on paper.
Robbie Cornelissen, Underworld (2), 2014, Galerie Maurits van de Laar.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
Madeleine: With an unlimited budget, I would buy works to stimulate artists, to give them room to develop.
Niek: I used to want a Morandi, but when I saw how many of those beautiful still lifes were for sale at Art Basel, the desire was gone. I would like a small collage by Kurt Schwitters, or a felt work by Chillida.
Who are your favorite artists?
We have large works by Zeger Reijers and Robbie Cornelissen: an impressive installation consisting of plates entitled 'Hard Water' by Zeger, and a breathtaking library drawing by Robbie. Every year, we purchase a drawing or a painting by Ton Kraayeveld; the way he reflects on and records his own world and society at large appeals to us.
Marleen Sleeuwits, Interior no. 53, 2019, Galerie Bart.