“I’m quite in­ter­ested in how dif­fer­ent cul­tures choose to present them­selves and what they con­sider beau­ti­ful.”

Robb Report (USA) - - Curios / The Collector - —JAVIER PERES

Gaz­ing about gal­lerist

Javier Peres’s sun-drenched apart­ment in Ber­lin’s Schöneberg district, one is struck by the seam­less jux­ta­po­si­tion of works by con­tem­po­rary artists and pieces crafted by African artists more than a cen­tury ago. “I rarely dis­play more than 30 African works at a time. We live quite min­i­mally, and the chal­lenge is al­ways how to ex­hibit the pieces as beau­ti­fully as pos­si­ble along­side our col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary art. For me, it is im­por­tant to show both types of ob­jects on equal foot­ing, with­out any hi­er­ar­chy.” ¶ Peres says his in­sa­tiable ap­petite for African ethno­graphic art was sparked by the 1984 land­mark ex­hi­bi­tion Prim­i­tivism in 20thCen­tury Art at the Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art in New York. How­ever, it wasn’t un­til around 2000 that he be­gan col­lect­ing in earnest. Since then, the Cuban-born dealer has amassed 150 or so prime African pieces, which he ro­tates within the gallery­like space that he and his hus­band Benoît Wol­from bought and ren­o­vated in 2014, strip­ping it down to its bare es­sen­tials.

Col­lec­tor Javier Peres has art­fully paired an Igbo fig­ure from Nige­ria with Ajarb Bernard Ategwa’s acrylic on canvas Sweet­Rasta (2018).

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