The Piet Hein Eek Gallery
It would be inappropriate to consider the gallery separately from the other activities taking place here, as it is a logical result of the working method and basic principles we chose to follow at the very start of our activities. We did not want to specialise and wanted to do everything ourselves. By working as little as possible for others, we would be wasting no time travelling and getting acquainted with clients and their situations. We retained control of the designs, knowledge and investments, and could build on previous successes. Our goal was to utilise our energy as efficiently as possible and, where feasible, control the process from idea to end product. At that time, this kind of decision more or less went against all the rules of convention, but turned out to be the perfect foundation for a healthy company.
The result is that we have managed to bring together the entire process – from design to actual sales - under a single roof. But we serve our customers – or, rather, our guests – more than tables and chairs alone. We invite them to take part in our world, a world not only of design and production, but also of music, art, dance, cabaret, theatre, literature and any other kind of activity that leads to or originates from enthusiasm and inspiration. It is all anything but neatly compartmentalised, stringently organised, segregated or specialised, but rather liberated, cross-pollinated, interdisciplinary and generalistic. It’s quite an old-fashioned notion in fact, from back in the day when everyone still assumed that different disciplines would be of significant value to one another and were virtually condemned to each other. We’re convinced that we’re going to rediscover what for us is still untapped value.
The first exhibitions we organised together with Menno Doornbos turned out, almost without exception, to spark collaboration with artists: the copper showcases for Guido Geelen, the wooden men for Tom Claassen, the Magic Wall for Jan van der Ploeg, the frames for Floor van Keulen, the tables for Marc Ruygrok and, finally, the horizon-viewing-cubes for Scarlett Hooft Graafland. A story came into being each and every time. You might say that these collaborations and events in our building have prompted an entirely separate gallery experience, one in which the gallery owner not only tries to sell the works, but is also oriented towards inspiring new work through collaboration and combining qualities.
Unlike the first two years in which we worked exclusively with Menno Doornbos as curator and co-gallery owner, from now on we will be working with continuously alternating curators. They contribute their ideas, be(loved) artists, thoughts and occasionally dreams, while we happily provide them with accommodation.
Collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum
Our collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum can easily be called pioneering. We’ve built an enormous display case in our gallery, where works from their collection are on display. These works are selected by a different guest curator every time. They are dug up from the museum basement and made available here for everyone. In addition to this physical art exchange and presentation, a number of joint projects have already been completed and more plans are in the works.