The brief brouhaha involving Bert Kreuk caused by news of his lawsuit against artist Danh Vo has brought out a steady stream of one-upsmanship. Each new commentator has something to say about Kreuk and the previous report. Today the high ground was seized by Abigail Esman who is concerned by “the sloppiness with which the press – and that includes the art press – has handled” the Kreuk story.
It’s not clear that Esman has added much to the story in her interview with Kreuk. But the collector does get off a couple of good lines like this one on whether he plotted to show his collection in The Hague to increase its value: “Bad art does not become good by showing it in a museum.”
The story isn’t without value because Kreuk outlines what it has taken for him to be satisfied with his collection. And that’s been buying a lot and then figuring out what’s worth keeping:
I do try to honor relationships by offering works back to the galleries that sold them, but sometimes they’re just not interested. But buying and selling around 5000 works of art in the past 20 years has enabled me to build a great collection of about 800 works of the highest quality, from the Impressionist period up to the present.
That quality is the result of my way of collecting: I first and foremost buy art because I like to live with it. But yes, of course I look to the price next; it should have benchmark and make sense. I constantly navigate between price and principle and ask myself for instance; do I buy one word painting by Christopher Wool, or 10 others on the list?
[…] Contemporary art is made every day, so as a collector I am continuously making choices.