Catherine Mathys met werken van Ch Dotremont & Ilse D'Hollander.
What do art lovers like? Where do they buy their art and, most importantly, what do they buy?
Every Monday an enthusiast tells about his bond with art in this section. This week: social entrepreneur Catherine Mathys (age 51).
What does art mean to you?
Beauty, a challenge, contemplation…
Ilse D'Hollander, Untitled, 1996, Gallery Sofie Van de Velde.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
It was imparted to me at home. When we went on vacation with our parents, they invariably took us to museums and churches to see contemporary and ancient arts. Often to the point of boredom, but it has paid off.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
Everywhere really, but mainly in the newspapers and online.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
That varies; I tend to discover new artists or artists I am not familiar with in a gallery and at art fairs. I usually visit museums in the context of a specific exhibition or when the museum is known for its exceptional permanent collection.
How often do you buy art each year?
Over the past year we have invested a lot in freshening up our home, and as an extension of that we have bought several new works. We buy both editioned and unique works, but it is almost always a coup de foudre from myself – or my husband – for a particular work.
Willy De Sauter, Untitled, 2020, 2021, Gallery Sofie Van de Velde & Galerie Ramakers.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Until now, we have always bought through a gallery, but that could also be works that we first saw at an art fair or online. We only buy at an auction when it is linked to a good cause.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
Yes, because if the art is on the walls of our home, it is important that we can both enjoy it. Fortunately, we largely have a similar taste. Usually, I'm the one who notices a new work during an exhibition, then take an option, and go back a second time with my husband – and then we decide together.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
Gallery Sofie Van de Velde, PLUS-ONE Gallery and Ingrid Deuss Gallery; the nice thing about each of them is their personal involvement and experienced knowledge of the art they exhibit and sell, you are always warmly welcomed.
I hate galleries where you enter and are barely greeted. When you ask a question, you are presented with an A4 sheet with a concise biography of the artist, accompanied by a meaningless text with many big words. A form of snobbery that is thankfully on the way out.
If you had an unlimited budget, whose work would you buy?
There are so many beautiful works, but I don't know if I would give an unlimited budget to one specific work. Even with an unlimited budget I would never go that far, then I would rather admire it in a museum.
Who are your favourite artists?
Lately I've noticed that I've been very strongly attracted to artworks that radiate a certain vulnerability, softness, something delicate and therefore become very powerful. Such as the works of Ilse D'Hollander and Willy de Sauter. I have only recently been able to discover Bastiaan Woudt's photography, he has not been active that long, but I think it is beautiful. He's on my wish list!
Bastiaan Woudt, Triangle, 2020, Kahmann Gallery.
See the Instagram and Facebook of Catherine Mathys
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