Monday, April 02, 2007

Gallery Space Talk: Jan Wentrup- Galerie Jan Wentrup

I recently interviewed Jan Wentrup. Mr. Wentrup is the owner and director of Galerie Jan Wentrup (Berlin). Jan Wentrup represented artist Axel Geis at The Armory Show in New York (2007). The paintings by Axel Geis were listed as an Exhibition Highlight. The gallery is known for representing artists who have a wide range of expressive ability within the context of their unique work.

Choriner Straße 310119 Berlin-MitteTel.
+49 (0)30 - 48 49 36 00 Fax.
+49 (0)30 - 48 49 36 01

Pablo Alonso
Marten Frerichs
Axel Geis
Mathew Hale
Gregor Hildebrant
Michael Kalki
Jen Ray
Wawrzyniec Tokarski

Q. You are the owner of Galerie Jan Wentrup. When was the gallery established? What is the mission of your gallery?

A. "The gallery was founded in September 2004 and focuses on an international group of emerging artists that highlight current developments in contemporary art."

Q. Why did you decide to become a gallery director? Are you an artist yourself? How did you get involved with the arts?

A. "I did both the classic academic and art dealer´s way. I studied art history and worked for curators as well as dealers.

Before I opened my gallery in 2004 I was with Contemporary Fine Arts, who are still close friends. Also being the assistant of Kasper König for the skulptur.projekte in 2007 when I was in my beginning 20s was a key experience. I was already interested in art as a kid. It´s all about how you perceive the world."

Q. What is your personal philosophy about about art and artistic creation? What makes an artist and artist?

A. "I like Andy Warhols answer to that question: An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he— for some reason— thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

Q. It often seems that many artists are not aware of the business side of art. Do you have any suggestions for an artist who wishes to learn more about the marketing side of the business that is art?

A. "Work with a gallery and care about your art, not about the market!"

Q. Who are you currently representing? Do you have any exhibits going on at this time?

A. "I am currently having a solo show with Gregor Hildebrandt, who parallel has an exhibition at the Kunstverein Ludwigshafen and shows a big piece with Galerie Almine Rech in Paris.

After that I will show Wawa Tokarski. This exhibition is parallel to his major solo exhibition at the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken."

Q. Your gallery represented the work of Axel Geis at the 2007 Armory Show in New York. Did the exhibit go well for Axel?

A. "Yes."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the artists you represent?

A. "It´s an international group, but all are located in Berlin, which is the hot spot for artist to stay in the moment.

Every artist I have chosen does something that is unique. Don´t follow the hype - this should guide you."

Q. What kind of message do you want the art you exhibit at Galerie Jan Wentrup to have?

A. "I don´t believe in messages."

Q. Do you have any advice for emerging or established artists who would like to exhibit at your gallery?

A. "Don´t send emails or regular mail. Stay cool."

Q. What was the most important exhibition you've been involved with? Care to share that experience?

A. "Every exhibition is important, exciting and full of new experiences."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who buy art from Galerie Jan Wentrup, what would they be?

A. "Impassionate."

Q. As a gallery director, what trends do you see in the 'art world'? What is 'hot' at this moment?

A. "Hot? I don´t think in this stereotypes, it ruins artists."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "Berlin is definitely the most interesting city for artists at the moment, because of:
a) low rents
b) big studios
c) nice galleries
d) a diverse history
e) good beer."

Q. Do you have a website for your gallery?

A. " "

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about sixspace or the 'art world'?

A. "Don´t believe the hype."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Jan Wentrup of the Galerie Jan Wentrup. Feel free to check out their site.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

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