Owners of the avant-garde Berlin gallery Wentrup have opened a new lakeside space in a Hamburg mansion. Wentrup Am Feenteich is Tina and Jan Wentrup’s attempt to put their collection in context and break the conventional ‘white cube’ mould.
To this end, they hired German interior designer Sebastian Herkner to outfit the three-storey Art Nouveau mansion with specially designed furniture – like the Ini and Alwa side tables and Ona lounge chairs – to complement the works. He arranged the main floor as a traditional home, with a dining area, living room and foyer, each space with a unique character.
‘The Wentrups’ idea was to establish a salon for interesting dialogues, a place to connect,’ says Herkner. ‘My idea was to show a selection of designs handcrafted in great workshops around Europe, like long-lasting artworks – the glass for the Pina tables comes from Venice, the wooden Savignyplatz table from a small workshop in Bavaria and the Miles sofa from Wittmann in Austria.’
The soft-coloured walls and jewel-toned furnishings don’t only provide a pleasing backdrop for the work – they interact with it. Herkner took a watercolour painting from Sophie von Hellermann as inspiration for a hand-knotted rug, then chose upholsteries by Kvadrat in the same palette.
Von Hellermann is one of six artists featured in the inaugural exhibition. The others are Nevin Aladag, David Renggli, Jan-Ole Schiemann, Gregor Hildebrandt and Thomas Wachholz. The Wentrups have handpicked new sculptural work by Hildebrandt and Aladag for the sculpture garden.
This first show will remain in situ until November 2021, kicking off a rotating programme curated by the couple, who will invite other creative disciplines to lecture and exchange ideas. Visits are by appointment only.