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Excerpts from the interview:
If you can’t visit Patrick Heide at an art fair or in his space on London’s Church Street, then the best place to talk about his gallery is standing outside of a small corner coffee shop, sipping a hot drink. The gallery works extensively and intensely to promote its artists with exhibitions and art fairs all over Europe, so you can see that Patrick is used to talking about the artists and their medium, no matter the setting. Though he is measured and rational, it is obvious that he has true passion for his work. He cares deeply about the conversations these artworks, and specifically this medium, can instigate and consistently looks forward to inviting those exchanges.
As the founder of Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, what makes you so passionate about works on paper and how do you work to convey this enthusiasm to your existing clients as well as potential new buyers?
Drawings and works on paper were, frankly, the artworks I usually responded to most, both visually and emotionally. Three qualities primarily strike me about the medium: the sensuality, the immediacy and the intimacy. Combined in a work these properties have an impact that is frequently deeper and more touching than any other medium.
Sophie Bouvier Ausländer, for example, takes maps and covers them with wax and gouache to then dig through the colour, revealing scarred landscapes. Or Minjung Kim, who tears and burns strips of textured and coloured Korean mulberry Hanj paper which she then collages into harmonious compositions.
Works on paper also offer such a variety: the handling of the paper, the different paper types and their haptic properties, the broad range of techniques, the solidity paired with fragility, the empty space.
My own personal passion for the medium finds its expression in the programming of the gallery. We do specialised fairs like the Drawing Now fair in Paris or the Works on Paper section of TEFAF to promote the medium, but there is a quite specialised group of interested curators and collectors. Fortunately, we succeed in finding new clients, of all ages, where the spark of enthusiasm just simply jumps across.
Which of your artists are you most excited about in 2021?
Minjung Kim was included in the new edition of Vitamin D, an important survey by Phaidon on contemporary drawing, which is a great honour. Kim has been very successful in the past years and is now at a point in her career where the big break-through is not far. Thomas Müller is one of the best known and most respected drawing artists in Germany. For years we have been pushing to establish him on the international stage and will hopefully make good headway in 2021. Of the younger artists, Alice Quaresma had much deserved recognition recently, also institutionally, so she is likely to get more and more attention. But then who knows, by the end of what is probably going to be another very peculiar year, it might be someone completely different that rises to the upper echelons.
What its you ideal client?
Probably my 3-year old daughter, because she generally thinks that what I do is all great, then she criticises me at the most unexpected moments. And her comments are never commercially driven. To answer this question honestly is probably too complex and personal. To put it simply, someone who shares your passion for the art you are passionate about.