Collecting Art anno 2017: Eclecticism

Jolien Klitsie, Content & Marketing Gallerease
Jolien Klitsie
Content & Marketing
60 Articles2 Curated artworks

Eclecticism is a term you might have heard the “in-crowd” hurl around the scene once or twice, but what does it actually refer to when it comes to collecting art?

As we have previously learned from the The Quintessential Guide to Buying and Collecting Art Like a Pro, collecting art is a purposeful undertaking that requires careful research and long-term investments. Serious collectors however tend to focus on one specific area or discipline, such as contemporary sculptures or impressionist paintings.

But we have recently been witnessing a new trend when it comes to building a unique collection, namely grouping together works that differ in style and historical period but complement each other in a formalistic or conceptual way. This might sound a little daunting, but it doesn't have to be!


Pieter de Putter, A fisherman and fisherwoman with fish on a table, ca. 1640, oil on panel, 107 x 78 cm (x2).

Imagine the contents of your wardrobe, it’s all about your personal preferences. Just as in fashion, what comes down the runway one season might dictate a temporary trend, but how you decide to mix and match these pieces with your existing clothes and those timeless classics is what defines your personal style.

Take for example, these typical 17th century portraits of a fisherman and fisherwoman by the painter Pieter de Putter alongside this 21st century glass sculpture by Yugoslavian artist Jelena Popadic, who studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.

The emerald colour is similar to the greenish Roemer glasses that are often pictured in 17th century still-life paintings, but the square geometric patterns and slightly brighter tone add a nice modern touch to this combination.


Jelena Popadic, Emerald, 2011, glass, 20 x 24 cm. 

And if your budget doesn’t allow for a limited-edition designer handbag with a price tag equivalent to a small country’s gross national product, why not opt for a well-made version by another artist, or simply a different edition?

The artist Erik Renssen, who was greatly inspired by Picasso’s visual language, creates bright and bold oil paintings but has also made some very elegant and refined charcoal drawings that combine both avant-garde and contemporary elements, such as this nude in floral pantaloons.


Erik Renssen, Nude in floral pantaloons, 2016, charcoal on paper, 26 x 51 cm. 


Furthermore, art doesn’t always have to be strictly decorative. A great pair of leather shoes may be just as practical as it can be appealing to the eye, and necessary to finish off a carefully thought-out outfit of course.

So how about a beautiful piece of furniture that can be both admired for its outstanding design yet conveniently used at the same time? Such as this chair made of tubular chromed steel and sisal, an early Dutch Auping model from around the 1930’s.

Its eye catching form will definitely only enhance your sitting comfort!


Auping model 5031, ca. 1930, chromed steal and sisal, 84 x 50 x 93 cm.


You will soon start noticing that your tastes evolve overtime, but only after continuously experimenting, discovering new possibilities and even making the inevitable faux-pas here and there.

The key is to keep looking, browse through auction catalogues like you would browse through fashion magazines, visit exhibitions like you would go and see a runway show, and step inside the gallery just as you would step into a boutique because there was something on display in the window that caught your eye.

But if you grow tired quickly or you are more of a warehouse-type of shopper, the kind that likes to be able to buy everything in the same place at the same type, the art world also meets your requirements: welcome to the art fair.

Whereas some fairs have a specific focus, fairs such as PAN, Brafa or ArtBreda cater perfectly to the eclectic collector by presenting a very broad range of artworks, including modern and contemporary pieces, photography, old master paintings, antiques and design.

Eclectic collecting is not based on rules, conventions or limitations, it’s all about feeling so don’t be afraid to follow your intuition. And if you prefer not to leave the comforts of your own home at all then don’t worry, that’s what Gallerease has created ArtEase for. Browse through six different categories of artworks and discover your own interest profile along the way!

Cover image: the eclectic-Scandinavian interior of Danish fashion designer and artist Malene Birger's London home, photograph by Birgitta Wolfgang and Pernille West. For more inspiration read the full article on

Written by Jolien Klitsie on 01 Aug 2018, 12:00 Category EducationalTagged Eclecticism