Aeneas Bastian.

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1 You recently took over the business. Was this something you always planned to do?

It took me a few years to decide whether to work in the literary world or the art world. I’m passionate about a certain kind of dialogue which only a gallerist can have with artists, collectors and curators. I knew about five years ago that I definitely wanted to take over our family business and open it further to the international market.

2 Why did you choose to expand to London?

London is the most vital art-trading centre in Europe. It can only be compared to New York.

3 Tell us about your next exhibition

It will be a solo show on the ground-breaking German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-86). The London show (September 20-November 16) will focus on his early sculptures and objects from the 1950s when he still worked with traditional media such as plaster, bronze or slate, before turning to felt, fat and other natural resources. The works will be exhibited for the first time in the UK.

4 What qualities do you admire in a dealer?

I admire connoisseurship and expertise. I have always thought that, in any field, collectors should buy from experts. I feel that a gallerist must have a strong independent knowledge of an artist’s oeuvre if he or she is no longer alive. It doesn’t make much sense to represent an estate when you have to pass on even the most basic questions. Today too many items are passed on from dealers to collectors with unverified information.

5 What do you collect and why?

Roman antiquities. It’s a different world and doesn’t have much in common with the Modern and Contemporary art scene.

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