BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Ivo Wessel

Sammlung Ivo Wessel - Berlin, Germany

Andreas Slominski, The Wrong Gallery Door (1:6 Scale), 2005
Andreas Slominski, The Wrong Gallery Door (1:6 Scale), 2005

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?

As this question is about the first buy and not the first work I collected, and I have been buying art works since I was a schoolboy and one isn’t really a collector yet then, and as I haven’t been in school for a long time now,- well, to make a long story short, I don’t know anymore. I do remember my first Documenta in 1977 and especially the next one in 1982 – the one with Joseph Beuys’ 7,000 Oaks. I bought an edition of that work then, which was definitely one of my early buys.

Why do you collect?

I don’t really know that either. Perhaps that is why one collects, to figure it out. It is an almost inexplicable phenomenon, art works at times almost seem to chase you – and in a way find their own collector. Perhaps one is a collector when you have no clear or sensible reasons to acquire a work.

Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?

No, or at least no conscious one. Of course you have your preferences, and it is nice when at times friends or visitors find a leitmotiv in the collection. But just as nice are surprises. I lean towards literary themes, science and technology, but when a gallerist recommends a work "for you, as a software developer and computer specialist", I am out the door.

Im Abri, Marc Aschenbrenner, 2008
Im Abri, Marc Aschenbrenner, 2008

Who are the artists you are currently following?

The number of "chosen ones", be it artists or writers, has stayed the same over the years. I resist the temptations of new artists with the help of unfulfilled wants for works by my favorite artists, namely Via Lewandowsky, Bjørn Melhus, Sven Johne, Stefan Panhans and Karin Sander. It is the same for new book releases, which then actually do not measure up to my evergreens of Joyce, Kraus, Perec, Proust and Wilde, which I re-read since my school boy days. I do really like Judith Schalansky as a younger author. I am also interested in the art works by Vandy Rattana, whose extremely moving video "The Bomb Pounds" opens my new endeavor VIDEOARTGARAGE during Berlin Art Week.

Do you have a personal relationship with the artists you collect?

Yes, in most and best cases. Most of the time these friendships are so close and full of respect, that as a precaution you still use the polite personal pronoun "Sie" to address them. And often, like recently with a smartphone-app of Bjørn Melhus as an art work for the construction site of the new Berlin airport, an inspiring collaboration comes alive. I, for instance, took over the programming of the iPhone-App.

Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?

Apart from a need and want for discourse, there is also a sense of responsibility, to not let certain works disappear in your own collection. At VIDEOART AT MIDNIGHT, video art gallerist Olaf Stüber and I show video art in Kino Babylon in Berlin every month on a Friday at midnight, to be able to share an obsession like that is wonderful.

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?

If you are in Munich, you definitely shouldn’t miss the collection of Ingvild Goetz. She has recently gifted a part of her collection and the exhibition space designed by Herzog & de Meuron to the Free State of Bavaria. Likewise, the video art-centric collection of Julia Stoschek in Düsseldorf, it is not often you come across such perfectly staged and presented works in a publicly accessible space.

The collection of Ivo Wessel is included in the second edition of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors which will be available in September 2013.
All images courtesy of Ivo Wessel.

Collectors (77)

Narda van 't Veer

The Narda van 't Veer Collection – Monnickendam, Netherlands

Rashid Al Khalifa


Olivier Chow

The Olivier Chow Collection – Lausanne, Switzerland

Valeria Napoleone

Valeria and Gregorio Napoleone Collection – London, UK

Matteo Novarese

SOF:ART – Bologna, Italy

Martin Steppacher

Gallery Durchgang – Basel, Switzerland

Carmelo Graci

Graci Collection – Mantova, Italy

Dr. William Lim

Living Collection – Hong Kong


Nicola Erni Collection – Steinhausen, Switzerland

Lukas Jakob

Jakob Collection – Gundelfingen, Germany

Claus Busch Risvig

Bech Risvig Collection – Silkeborg, Denmark

Joseph Awuah-Darko

The Terra Collection Of African Contemporary Art – Accra, Ghana | London, UK


Ingrid and Thomas Jochheim Collection – Berlin, Germany

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Bernardo Paz

Instituto Inhotim – Centro de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico – Brumadinho, Brazil

Tony Salamé

Aïshti Foundation – Beirut, Lebanon

Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani

Samdani Art Foundation (SAF), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Lord David Cholmondeley

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn, Great Britain

Galila Barzilaï-Hollander

Galila's P.O.C., Brussels, Belgium

Martin Margulies

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse – Miami, United States of America

Christine and Andrew Hall

Hall Art Foundation - Reading, USA & Derneburg, Germany

Qiao Zhibing

TANK Shanghai and Qiao Space - Shanghai, China

Christen Sveaas

Kistefos Museet, Jevnaker, Norway

Noemi Givon

Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Michael Buxton

Buxton Contemporary - Melbourne, Australia

Seth Stolbun

The Stolbun Collection – Houston, USA

Jochen Zeitz

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) - Cape Town, Africa

Dominique & Sylvain Levy

DSLCollection – Paris, France

Andrea von Goetz

Sammlung Blankenburg – Hamburg, Germany

Gordon Elliott

The Elliott Eyes Collection - Sydney, Australia

The Vague Space

Christian Kaspar Schwarm on the first solo presentation of his collection at the Weserburg Bremen

Anita Zabludowicz

Zabludowicz Collection – London, United Kingdom

Anastasios A. Gkekas

The Office Collection - Nicosia, Cyprus

Rik Reinking

WAI - Woods Art Institute, Wentorf bei Hamburg, Germany

Maria Didrichsen

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

João Carlos de Figueiredo Ferraz

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz (IFF) - São Paulo, Brazil

Julia Stoschek

Julia Stoschek Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Maurizio Morra Greco

Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy

Christian & Karen Boros

Sammlung Boros – Berlin, Germany

Timo Miettinen

Salon Dahlmann – Berlin, Germany

Marli Hoppe-Ritter

Sammlung Marli Hoppe-Ritter – Waldenbuch, Germany

Désiré Feuerle

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Gudrun & Bernd Wurlitzer

Wurlitzer Pied A Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Corbett Lyon

Lyon Housemuseum – Melbourne, Australia

Geert Verbeke-Lens

Verbeke Foundation – Kemzeke, Belgium

László Vass

Vass Collection – Veszprém, Hungary

Daisuke Miyatsu

Dream House – Ichikawa, Japan

Samara Walbohm & Joe Shlesinger

Scrap Metal Gallery – Toronto, Canada

Charles Riva

Charles Riva Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Venke & Rolf Hoff

KaviarFactory – Lofoten, Norway

Alain Servais

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Ramin Salsali

Salsali Private Museum – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Vittorio Gaddi

Collezione Nunzia e Vittorio Gaddi – Lucca, Italy

Miguel Leal Rios

Fundação Leal Rios – Lisbon, Portugal

Gertraud and Dieter Bogner

Kunstraum Buchberg – Gars am Kamp, Austria

Bob Rennie

Rennie Collection at Wing Sang – Vancouver, Canada

Heiner Wemhöner

Sammlung Wemhöner – Herford, Germany

Lin Han

M WOODS – Beijing, China

Kenny Goss

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, USA

Karsten Schmitz

Arbeitswohnung Federkiel – Leipzig, Germany

Devon Dikeou

The Dikeou Collection - Denver, USA

Thomas Olbricht

ME Collectors Room Berlin/Stiftung Olbricht – Berlin, Germany

Mera & Donald Rubell

Rubell Family Collection – Miami, USA

Pétur Arason

Safn – Berlin, Germany / Reykjavík, Iceland

Steffen Hildebrand

G2 Kunsthalle – Leipzig, Germany

Frédéric de Goldschmidt

Frédéric de Goldschmidt – Brussels, Belgium

Daniel Teo

The Private Museum – Singapore, Singapore

Claudio Cosma

Sensus – Luoghi per l’arte Contemporanea – Florence, Italy

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Herbert Gerisch

Herbert-Gerisch-Stiftung - Neumünster, Germany

José Berardo

Museu Coleção Berardo – Lisbon, Portugal

Bärbel Grässlin and Karola Kraus

Sammlung Grässlin - St. Georgen, Germany

Joëlle and Eric Romba

Rocca Stiftung – Berlin, Germany

Myriam and Amaury de Solages

Maison Particulière – Brussels, Belgium

Friedrich Gräfling

Sammlung Fiede - Aschaffenburg, Germany