E: gallery@velorose.com

No Fixed Abode: works from a private collection
Velorose, 29 August 2019 – 12 September 2019

‘When you go, I get all the art, right?’ Every so often, one of my closest friends poses this rhetorical yet deluded question. ‘The art’ strikes me as an infinitely more appropriate way to describe the pictures I own than the more ponderous ‘collection’. Having worked as a curator for museums and galleries, I associate this word with a budget and an acquisitions policy. I have neither. The artworks I have obtained over the past few decades have very simply come my way, many of them being gifts from artists who happen to be my friends. The sole criterion for acquiring these wonderful creations has been that they are by people I know, despite the odd exception.

The first acquisition, a small untitled painting by Gerben Mulder, was a thank-you for organising his first one-man show at a short-lived gallery I established in my apartment in Rotterdam in 1993. The next, a silkscreen print by Andrew Heard was presented by the artist’s lover when I curated a memorial retrospective of Heard’s work in Rotterdam later that same year. In some cases, one acquisition led, almost inevitably, to another: John Stezaker, an admirer of Heard’s work, agreed to write an essay for the catalogue, and so began a friendship that was sealed a decade later by the invitation to pick out a collage from his studio. The collecting process has continued along similar lines ever since.

I was born in London, but since my twenties have moved every few years, living successively in Rotterdam, Paris, Antwerp and Berlin, interrupted by periods back in London, and spending months at a time in New York. I now spend my winters in Goa and travel so much that keeping an apartment seems like an extravagant way of storing the artworks I own. A few weeks ago I gave up my space in Berlin and am now happily of no fixed abode. It is my firm belief that works of art should be on people’s walls and not in storage, so my ‘collection’ is about to be divided among my friends, but not before being given a public showing here

Gerard Forde, August 2019

The peripatetic Gerard Forde begins his explanation for lending the artworks he owns to friends, with the express intention that they display the art, and enjoy living with it. Velorose takes the opportunity of Forde’s giving up his home and most of his belongings (but not the art he owns) to provoke the question of who gets to collect art, how, and why. Is there an art to collecting art? Are there any rules? Ultimately, the gallery concludes that we surround ourselves with art for a variety of reasons, and that home is where the art is