This month we are speaking to Peder Isacson, Head of Sotheby's Scandinavia, who has invited us to curate an exhibition in their gallery in Stockholm. Peder has been with Sotheby's since 1994 and is an expert on the Swedish art market. He is also a passionate collector and supporter of young artists. By opening up the Sotheby's galleries to contemporary younger galleries and dealers to curate exhibitions, he offers emerging artists an invaluable opportunity to exhibit their works. In April we will be showing a new body of works by London based artist Yulia Iosilzon in the Sotheby's Stockholm gallery, titled The Big Fish!
Read the interview below to find out about Peder's collection, his dream artwork and thoughts on the current art market.
interview with peder isacson
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY SWEDISH OR SCANDINAVIAN ARTISTS AT THE MOMENT?
A somewhat biased answer: I have a large painting by Daniel Jensen that I’m really fond of and I just acquired a great sculpture by Joakim Ojanen. Another favourite is Hans Isaksson, who I own several works by.
WHAT ARE THE KEY TRENDS YOU SEE IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART SCENE TODAY?
I would say figurative style painting, a lot of colour, and ceramics.
HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE SCANDINAVIAN ART MARKET TO THE UK?
There are a lot of similarities, even if the UK market of course is bigger in every sense. To me, UK is very strong on the more traditional side, with old masters and 19th century pictures, while in Sweden there’s been a focus among collectors throughout the 20th century to acquire important modern and contemporary art.
DESCRIBE YOUR ART COLLECTION?
Colourful Scandinavian contemporary, with an even mix between paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics.
WHAT IS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS BEFORE YOU ENQUIRE ABOUT AN ARTWORK?
I always try to trust my initial gut feeling. If a work strikes me as beautiful or interesting at first glance, it’s often an impression that tends to last over time.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ART PURCHASE?
I have always dreamt of owning a monochrome painting by Yves Klein.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW COLLECTOR?
The only way to really get to know your own taste is to look at a lot of art. I try to visit as many galleries and museums as I possibly can. If encounter works I feel I don’t understand to the full extent I try to read up on the artist or ask questions. Always ask a lot of questions!
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE RISE OF DIGITAL ART, AND NFTS?
Interesting and fascinating, even if the quick pace makes me want to approach this new world with some caution.
YOU HAVE SAID BEFORE THAT YOU LIKE COLLABORATING WITH YOUNGER GALLERIES AND INVITING THEM TO EXHIBIT AT SOTHEBY'S. TELL US MORE ABOUT WHY THIS INTERESTS YOU.
Sotheby’s Stockholm office is located in a great space with a lot of history. It used to be the home to two great galleries: Galerie Burén from the early 1960s to late 70s, and then Galerie Aronowitsch from 1978 to 2011. Artists like Alberto Giacometti and Donald Judd have been exhibited here, and to me it felt important that we didn’t just turn this into another office, closed off to the public. Also, this makes for a great opportunity to younger dealers and curators who might not have access to their own space.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE UPCOMING EXHIBITION THE BIG FISH! ?
To be able to experience great new art at a – very – close range for the next few weeks!