Montag, 9. März 2015

Collector's Profile: Yvonne Bertram about Her Collection of Contemporary Art from Berlin


Interview  with contemporary art collector Yvonne Bertram by Lily Fürstenow-Khositashvili /ARE/ ARE: What is collecting for you? Yvonne Bertram: It's constant work in progress and a dialogue, I feel I learn a lot, about myself too. The fascinating part about contemporary art is maybe that you can talk to artists. These conversations open up different perspectives.ARE: That would be a task of a lifetime, how would you describe such dialogues? YB: Art has to speak to me emotionally, even without understanding it. Secondly, one evolves: sees various aspects of the same work with time. For example, Ariel Reichmann, we met five-six years ago. He teaches in Tel-Aviv and lives in Israel now.  He actually needed to go away, we have him in the kitchen. I went into his studio and we saw this drawing of his the Star of David with inscription below “trying to draw the Star of David with your left hand.” It tells you something about Jewish identity: drawing, writing by shifting hands allows you to tackle something from a different perspective. Art can do that – coming to terms with oneself. That's essential for me. The Star of David drawing was actually on the artists kitchen wall, he said he couldn't sell it, and since I liked it so much he eventually cut it out and  my husband gave it to me as a Christmas present. ARE:Which museums and galleries do you go to? YB: One has to discover museums. I have a variety of favourite ones: Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Modern Art, Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Berlisnische Gallery, Kunst Werke, small museums and Kunsthalles, those in Dresden or Munich, MOMA in New York, of course, and the Guggenheim. ARE:What was the initial piece in your collection? YB: Meret Oppenheim the “Ring with Sugar Cube.” It's very feminine, plays with contrasts: an elegant black hand wearing a tiny white square of sugar ring. For me it symbolises the sweetness of sugar against the feeling that it would soon melt away, the temporariness of feelings and existence in time. The simultaneous sweetness and bitterness of it. ARE:Are there artists that you follow and collect over a longer period of time? YB: Yes, Jorinde Voigt, Ceal Floyer: her pieces with ink. I like her ironic and minimalistic approach. I'd love to have more of William Kentridge, of course. We  also collect Fiete Stolte, Nader Ahriman, he's much into philosophy: Socrates, Nietsche, artists like Matt Mullican, Tacita Dean are our favourites. Our collection “Evergreen” is all about artists based in Berlin, so that their work remains here, in this city. “Evergreen” started with Vibeke Tandberg’s collages that all belonged together, and we also lend our works to other collections or museums for show, e.g. they were exhibited at Salon Dahlman. It's our concept that collections have to be shown.ARE:Could you tell a difference between women collectors and their male counterparts? YB: Not exactly at first glance. But women are more open whereas men are aggressive: they follow their hunting instinct and have to be the first to discover the new in order to satisfy their ego, collecting is for men pure power play.  ARE:What aspects of art/artists do you appreciate? YB: Those experimenting, exploring and analysing tend to recreate themselves and the notion of art all over again.ARE:Do you argue as a couple while choosing pieces for the collection? YB: Yes, quite, at times, my husband and I see things differently, but it is worth it. With time I happen to understand the pieces he likes. We discuss the works a lot, it's intensive – this ongoing dialogue and debate for all involved. Except art there's nothing you can do in Berlin. Art brings us together as a couple. There's a piece by Stefan Saffer: “Did You Buy Milk?” It's on modern architecture, marriage  and couples. Discussing art can inspire a relationship and is a way out of family routine. ARE:Talking about couples and architects, it reminds me now: in his interview with Hans-Ulrich Obrist Rem Koolhaas said that when couples came to him with a request to design a house he would advise them to go to their lawyer to settle for a divorce. Well I guess architects know better unless the reverse is proved.

Keine Kommentare: