In an upcoming exhibition cycle with the overarching title Collecting Collection, Parts Project explores various collecting perspectives. The programme centres around collectors: private or institutional. In this series, the focus is not on the artist but on the artworks that reveal much of the collector. More often than not, exhibitions show a world of choices, preferences and thoughts. Parts Project aims to show the broad context: what does a series of (art) objects mean to the collector and to the viewer? What will a collection mean without an apparent coherence? Through this all-round study into collections, connections gradually unfold to what Parts Project has already devoted 20 projects to: collecting. In doing so, the exhibition looks back on six years of compiling exhibitions with collectors.
The liaison between collector and artist is often the gallery. It is here that a special bond is formed and in many cases it is not only the spirit of commerce but also a trust in an artist’s development. Amsterdam based gallery owner Kees van Gelder kicks off the series with the exhibition Collecting Collection - When artists form ideas, in which we see artworks that he himself collected. Although he himself would not readily call it collecting: “certain works just cross my path”. This way Van Gelder manages to preserve the mystique surrounding collecting, and at the same time gives an idea of the role he plays. The game between the collector, the artist and the gallery owner is one in which the last has to behave like a chameleon. In the language with the artist, artistic development is the driving force but on the other side is the market that exerts its influence. At least, in Kees van Gelder's gallery that influence remains of little importance. And that makes him a unique player in the ever-increasing commercialization of the art scene. The works of art in the exhibition are therefore not those that can be seen in museums or at art fairs. They were made for him or saved by him from the aforementioned parties.
Text Menno Dudok van Heel, art historian
Curator Kees van Gelder, gallery owner