During my visit to The Layhead B&B in the Founding Quarter, I was struck by a huge painting. It hangs in the breakfast room on loan from the gallery per-sehwhich is located directly opposite at Fischstraße 21. At the time, I was already planning to pay a visit to the gallery, which has been a new addition to the gallery scene in Lübeck since December 2021. When I got my first opportunity to look around the gallery premises for a reading at this year’s Große Kiesau Literature Night, my curiosity grew to meet the owner couple Frank and Sabrina Buchholz.
Art speaks for itself
per-seh. The name says it all here. On display are works of art that enter into a relationship with the person who is watching them. Sounds simple and is quite simple, as Frank and Sabrina Buchholz emphatically explain to me over a freshly brewed coffee. For many years, the two gallery owners had regularly come to their holiday appartment in Lübeck to enjoy Lübeck’s cultural life. Their love for Lübeck grew steadily, and so the decision matured to move here altogether. After a long search, they first found a property in the Cathedral district before the founding district became the couple’s new home.
Frank and Sabrina Buchholz are career changers in the art scene, which doesn’t mean they haven’t been involved with art all their lives: Frank Buchholz is a trained typesetter who ran his own print shop and an advertising agency in Hanover. In 2007 he founded his gallery per-seh in Hanover.
Sabrina Buchholz is a woman of the numbers, who works full-time as a controller in a large company, loves to work figuratively in her spare time and managed an arts and crafts shop in Hamburg on the side.
Both find Lübeck an exciting city with many fractures, whose cultural diversity they enjoy and contribute to with their own projects. So they opened their gallery 2022 for the Lübeck Museum Nightwhich will again be a fixed part of the per-seh Kunst.Galerie . The Buchholz couple also appreciates the Große Kiesau Literature Night. For the first time, they made the hallway in Fischgrube 21 available for this unique Lübeck literary event in 2022, and this year Michael Dangl read from his book “Oranges for Dostoyevsky” at the 17th Große Kiesau Literature Night. The cooperation with The Layhead Bed & Breakfast described at the beginning has meanwhile developed further in the form of jointly organised wine tastings, and further projects to expand the network are already underway.
Committed to unique pieces
Unlike other galleries in Lübeck, Galerie per-seh does not show self-produced artworks. Per-seh presents national and international artists, including many multiple talents. The latter come from Spain, Denmark, Georgia and Switzerland, for example. Frank and Sabrina Buchholz have dedicated themselves to unique works of art. They regard art as an expression of human creativity and emotions and firmly believe that every piece of art tells its own story and conveys a unique message. I learn that unique does not always necessarily mean that the object of art can only exist once. It is important to Sabrina and Frank Buchholz that, for example, in the case of bronzes, there are only small editions of up to seven pieces, whereby each individual work then differs just a little from the other six. If it is an etching, it is important that it was signed by the artist as an original, and that even small differences can be seen due to the handiwork in printing.
The gallery owners have known “their” artists and their biographies for years. Therefore, they can tell the personal and professional development from the works presented and give exciting background information on the work and the artist and their motivation. They know the stories behind the works, as they maintain close relationships with these established artists, whose creations cover a variety of styles and techniques. Frank and Sabrina Buchholz also see themselves as curators and ambassadors for the artists they represent.
I am very interested in the criteria they apply to select artists for their gallery. Craft and technique have to be right and the artists and works must appeal to both. One of the first artists the gallery accepted was the Catalonian gestural painter Antoni Amat. The sculptor Winni Schaak, who lives in Schlutup, is very well known in Lübeck. He prefers to work with weathering steel and creates monumental works, but also works in miniature. An overview of the artists that the gallery per-seh currently shows can be seen on site directly on the large shop window or researched here.
Do you have a wall?
Frank and Sabrina Buchholz’s greatest joy is bringing works and customers together. Both are only too happy to engage in conversations with their gallery guests to find out what that specific person wants or needs. “Do you happen to have a wall?” Finding just the right life-enriching oeuvre for this very wall is simply fun for the two gallery owners. Moreover, a work of art does not have to speak to you for a lifetime. Just think of Picasso’s Child with a Dove, which used to hang as a poster in almost every flat-share when I was a student and is undoubtedly a great work of art. But at some point it became boring.
I am completely convinced that just talking about a particular item of art, or about art in general, is the essence of their lives. Bringing people and art together, raising awareness of the significance of originality and encouraging people to appreciate and acquire individual works of art is their mission. I have found the Buchholz couple to be extremely approachable personalities who are happy to share their expertise, but above all are very good listeners. The soul of the creator is captured in each single work of art. But what a person ultimately sees in it has a lot to do with their own personality.
The gallery per-seh is quite small, it is not suitable for vernissages or larger events. But all the better for gatherings in a smaller circle. The per-spektiv series takes place on a regular basis, in which the respective artwork of the month is viewed together and explored in conversation. On these occasions, too, the gallery owners merely provide an impulse and do not see themselves as lecturers. In May 2023, a work by the artist Simona Deflorin is the artwork of the month. You can take a look at it from home here. There is intentionally no online shop. You are cordially invited to drop by the gallery, take a look around and get a consultation. Apart from the works on display, there is also a display depot from which Frank and Sabrina Buchholz magically conjure up further treasures as required and desired. If you happen to have a wall! Or a spot to place it!