‘Research adds value’
Rob Driessen can advise you on buying or selling works of art, questions regarding authenticity or value and can help you build or refine your collection. Furthermore, Rob can perform art historical research into the provenance and background of objects. He works closely together with specialists in other fields, such as restorers, in order to base the indispensable yet elusive ‘gut feeling’ of the expert on measurable arguments. Rob is regularly involved in projects in the field of art and design, including exhibitions and publications, and has considerable experience in holding lectures and gallery talks on collecting and the ins & outs of the art market.
For expertise, an hourly fee or project rate will be charged.
Paper knife, silver and ebony, execution unknown (possibly Brussels), ca. 1899. The swirling shape is a fine example of the ‘whiplash’ motif, Van de Velde’s trade mark. This paper knife had been in a private collection for many years, earmarked as ‘possibly by Henry van de Velde’. After research we were able to add this rare object to the oeuvre of this versatile designer. A comparable paper knife was owned by Henry van de Velde’s sister Jeanne Biart.
Over the past years I have positioned several important designobjects at auction. On behalf of the owners I handled negotiations, offered expertise and oversaw the marketing. Two extraordinary Rietveld chairs ended up in New York, the vibrant center of the international art market, on the cover of Sotheby’s and Phillips catalogues. The famed aluminium chair realised a new worldwide auction record in 2012 that is yet to be broken. www.sothebys.com www.phillips.com
In 2009 Rijksmuseum Twenthe invited me to make an exhibition focusing on their multi-faceted collection of 20th century design. A great adventure: browsing through the depot looking for treasures which had hardly ever been on view in Enschede. Together with designer Patrick Muller, we transformed the impressive main gallery, a design by architect Ben van Berkel, into a feast of forms, colours and materials. De Bazel tot Eek: vorm, functie, verbeelding. Juni 2009 – januari 2010. www.rijksmuseumtwenthe.nl
Collect is een popular magazine devoted to art, antiques and design with a special focus on the art market and collectors. Over the last years I wrote articles on a.o. Alexander Calder, M.C. Escher, Alessandro Mendini, Gerrit Rietveld and Le Corbusier. As editor 20th century of Vormen uit Vuur, the quarterly of the Dutch Association of Ceramics & Glass, I published interviews, book reviews and articles on postwar ceramics and glass. www.collect.be www.vormenuitvuur.nl
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‘A seat for every age’ is a captivating and witty analyses of Sitzgeist & Zeitgeist in the 20th century written by Max van Rooy for Zetel foundation, designed by Melle Hammer. O wrote the epilogue (ISBN 9789081725910). ‘What are sculptures worth’ is a price reference guide by Scriptum Art, devoted to sculpture from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. I was one of the participating specialists for this handy reference work. (ISBN 9789055943579). www.zetel.nl www.scriptumart.nl
In 2014 Rento Brattinga invited me to make a presentation on design in his Amsterdam fine art gallery, a challenge which I gladly took up. With 'Feeling Good' I focused on tactile qualities in vintage design by a.o. Hans Wegner, Gerrit Rietveld and Frank Gehry; contemporary design by a.o. Onno Schelling, Marjan van Aubel and Pepe Heykoop and sculptural ceramics by Babs Haenen and Helly Oestreicher. What these designers have in common is an intelligent and wilful approach towards the materials they work with, often based on self-developed technical procedures. www.rentobrattinga.com