Big, Bigger, Biggest - Interview with Art Collector Lars Holst
Large-scale pieces define Lars Holst’s collection, which he is not afraid to renew, trim, and expand. We met with Lars for a discussion about his dynamic collection and the hunt for the next piece in size XXXL.
What was your initial motivation, when you first started collecting art?
I have always enjoyed collecting in general, and I have always been an aesthete, so for me it was natural to choose that path, since I can embrace both of those things in art. Collecting is a motion, which keeps driving my understanding of aesthetics forwards.
Do you remember buying your first piece? If yes, describe that.
It was a piece by axel Munch, purchased at Bruun Rasmussen in Bredgade in Copenhagen. The painters from Bornholm fascinated me, and I was at Gudhjem’s Art Museum, where pieces by Axel Munch were shown, and after that I went out to purchase a piece by him, a small cubist and more classically modernist painting. The collection has since changed direction several times.
Describe your collection using only three words.
Processual, minimalistic, and masculine.
Is there a cohesive theme in your collection? If yes, what is it?
When I look at art, I am unconsciously drawn towards the procedural, the minimalistic, and the masculine. Those are the elements that speak to me, and that is what is recurring in my collection. I can spot a remarkable technique or the beauty in a figurative image even though it might not fit into my collection.
Everything is on sale as long as the price is right or… is there a piece that you would never get rid of? If yes, which one?
My collection is dynamic and because of that I have to replace pieces occasionally. But right now I am especially appreciative about my piece by Morten Knudsen (untitled), so it would take a lot of money for me to let that go.
Is it important for you to meet the artist behind the piece? Why?
It is definitely an advantage, because the human behind the piece and the process in the piece are both important for me to know of.
Where do you find inspiration, when you are looking to purchase a new piece?
I find it mainly on art fairs, through other collectors, and in galleries. Instagram and web-based art platforms are also a place I use to orient myself in the art world. Art is pleasantly unpredictable, at it can always take many different directions. When it comes to collecting art, it is a positive thing that new passionate young collectors constantly emerge, who dare fall in love with the art.
Do you mostly purchase art nationally or internationally? And why?
That depends on what I want to purchase. If the piece is on sale from a foreign gallery, then that is where I will buy it.
What was the last piece that made your heart race?
The German artist Gregor Hildebrandt’s pieces are some of my favourites at the moment. I own one of his smaller pieces myself, and I would like to purchase several more for my collection. I like his process with the pieces, where he reuses everything from cassette tapes and gives them new life. In that way, there is both something from the present and something from his own youth in his pieces. That is fascinating.
What has surprised you more than anything else in your encounters with the art world?
The Danish network of art collectors pleasantly surprised me. For people outside of the art world, collecting art may seem a bit weird. So it is immensely relieving to meet and discuss with others who share the same passion for art as you.
What do you think the future look like for art collecting?
Luckily, no one can predict the future when it comes to art. Art can take many different paths. When it comes to collecting art, one of the positive aspects is the fact that new passionate young collectors constantly emerge with great courage to let themselves fall in love with the art.
What is your best main advice that you have received in your role as an art collector?
I have always followed my gut feeling.
What is your main advice for new collectors?
Purchase from artists as early as possible in their career, seek them out in the academies or in their studios, take chances, and follow your gut feeling!
If you had to choose one piece, which you would wish you owned, which one would it be?
An early piece by Sergej Jensen would not be too bad.
Could you imagine yourself displaying your collection to the public?
I could definitely see that happening, but it would have to be to a group of people who were also interested in art.
What does art mean to you, in one word?
Name: Lars Holst
Number of artworks in collection: Around 40 pieces, whereof most are large-scale
Started collecting in year: 2004