Interwiew with Maurits van de Laar


Only 6 days before the start of applications for the 7th edition of the FID Prize, Maurits Van De Laar accepted to answer to our questions. He speaks about building up long term relationships with artists, about the important part of his gallery program that is devoted to drawing. He says also that drawing should inspire and surprise both artist and viewer…

Serghei Litvin: Very young, you considered going to art school. Finally, you studied art history at Leiden University in The Netherlands. Why did you decide to become a gallerist?

Maurits Van De Laar: Because I wrote my thesis about the german Painter Markus Lüpertz and so I got to know Gallery Michael Werner in Cologne. I was impressed by Michael Werner who had built up his gallery over a long time and not without difficulty when he started. The aspect of perseverance and building up long term relationships with his artists appealed to me.

Serghei Litvin: What is drawing for you? And what is the place of drawing in your gallery?

Maurits Van De Laar: Drawings make up an important part of my gallery program.
Most fascinating for me is the directness of drawing.
Drawing is less burdened than for instance painting and this makes the artist feel less restrained and inspired to express him/herself freely. Ideas often find their first concrete form in drawing. To me a good drawing gives an insight into the mind of the artist.
Over the years artists like Marcel van Eeden, Robbie Cornelissen, Martin Assig, Ed Pien, Henri Jacobs have shown their work at the gallery. Last year Robbie Cornelissen showed a groundbreaking animation video The Black Room that is projected simultaneously on three screens that are placed in a U-shaped form. The work consists of about 60 animations based on charcoal drawings, in which the essence of drawing is investigated: line versus volume, perspective and space, abstraction and figuration and the transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional.

Serghei Litvin: What do you personally expect from the candidates? What would you say to motivate artists to participate to the competition?

Maurits Van De Laar: Most of all I want to be surprised and convinced by the artist in creating a new and genuine world in their drawings. I am curious as to what the artists will send in for the competition. I hope they will draw without holding back, in a direct and passionate way. Drawing should excite, inspire and surprise both artist and viewer.

Serghei Litvin: As a FID Prize Juror, what would you advise the candidates not to do?

Maurits Van De Laar: Not force themselves because of the competition, but give themselves trully and freely through the choice of the drawings they will present.

Registration will open on Tuesday 1 December 2015 at 9:00 UTC and will close on Friday 4 December 2015 at 5:00 p.m..
The registration time will be limited and the number of applications will be limited.

With many thanks to Petrus Viljoen