Kleine Arena shows a large number of drawings and sculptures from the collection of Martin Visser and his brother Geertjan. The collection, which includes over 400 works by 50 artists, is constantly changing, except for a small part, which occupies a permanent place in the home of Martin and his second wife Joke van der Heyden in Bergeijk. In this way, the Vissers seek to contribute to the latest developments in art. ‘For them, as soon as it becomes apparent that a work, after a short or longer period of time, no longer functions optimally, that is the moment to exchange or sell it.’ It is ‘a formula to create space […] for the younger generation’, so that they can constantly be seeking ‘the vanguard in art’.
Exhibition 'Little Arena', 1984
Who will remain and who will not?
For Martin, working on the collection is ‘a matter of choosing and observing, certain directions and artists are selected, others are not’, and preferably ‘every day again’. Kleine Arena gives the Vissers ‘an opportunity, after years of their collection policy’ to see their collection as a whole. ‘For everyone, including themselves, the question of who will remain and who will not arises’. The result of this critical selection process is a collection that consists of a succession of masterpieces and is one of the most important private collections of avant-garde art in the Netherlands.