Portrait of Heiner Wemhöner

Interview with Heiner Wemhöner

Sammlung Wemhöner – Herford, Germany

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?
It is really hard to remember. I think it was a work from Michael Nowottny, a painting and it was in the mid 1980s.

Why do you collect?
It simply just happened. At the same time the most important question is: At what time is a collector a collector and a collection a collection? Perhaps I like to own things that please me enormously.

Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?
There is neither a concept nor a specific theme. Most often I buy spontaneously and intuitively guided by personal references. As soon as I find something that moves me or is in my mind for a long time I become curious and I try to purchase it whenever it meets my budget.

Who are the artists you are currently following?
There are many of them. It ranges from Isaac Julien, Andreas Mühe, Michael Sailstorfer, Michael Najjar and Brigitte Waldach, as well as a range of Chinese artists.

Do you have a personal relationship with the artist you collect?
Yes, I do have good personal relationships with some of the artists. That is one of the reasons why I am collecting contemporary art – it provides the opportunity to meet the artist personally. It is exactly this aspect that I find fascinating.

Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?
Art wants to be recognized. That is what I firmly believe. And art has the right to be recognized. Therefore it is important for me to open my collection, or parts of it, to the public and not to keep it private.

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
With pleasure I recommend the art collection of Peter Klein, who specially built a museum to exhibit his collection in his home town. An exciting collection in a non-urban location somewhere in the Swabian region in southwest Germany.

More information on Sammlung Wemhöner

Portrait of Heiner Wemhöner
Installation view of Sammlung Wemhöner. Photo: Def Image
Installation view of Sammlung Wemhöner. Photo: Def Image
Peter Stauss, ’Game (Moral und Wirklichkeit)’, 2012. © the artist, Courtesy: carlier gebauer, Berlin
Liu Wei,’Jungle No. 21’, 2013. © the artist, Courtesy: White Cube, London/Hong Kong
Jorinde Voigt, ’A Difference that makes a Difference (Var. VIII)’, 2014, Courtesy: König Galerie, Berlin – © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Michael Sailstorfer, ’Maze 87’, 2014. © VG Bild 2016 – © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

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