Going back in time: Daniel Gould’s 3D List, Art in Amsterdam #48
As if there isn't enough to do in Amsterdam, culturally speaking,then we are subjected to THREE art fairs in one week! Go figure. So this list is devoted to two of them.
One has been omitted for two reasons. One, it was poorly organized and, two, well there just isn't the time to do it and write about it before it becomes history. I refer to the Affordable Art Fair. Generally speaking, this had been a well organized effort. However, this year, 3D first heard about it when I received announcements from participating galleries. I had received nothing form the AAF's PR department until last Friday. I was told it would open the 11th May, Wednesday, the same day as ArtAmsterdam. Bad timing, guys and gals. Another fair, Art Spot Amsterdam, is smaller and much more manageable than the two others. And since the organizers opened the exhibition on Tuesday evening, hey, it was easy.
Art Spot Amsterdam (Loods 6 @ Knsm-laan 143). Until 15th May. Times: 11-19:00
Art Spot Amsterdam is a small fair with big art. It was organized with 16 galleries. Basically, these are galleries that, for whatever reason, were not invited to participate at ArtAmsterdam. The reasons for that probably differ from gallery to gallery and involved several factors. The most important is that ArtAmsterdam occupies only one hall section of the RAI; and while it is large, it can only accommodate so many booths. In past years, the galleries left out have found indirect ways to be "included" by grouping together at another location.
And the result is always an eclectic collection of styles. At Art Spot they range from figurative and representational to conceptual, to minimal, to sculpture, and even African art. Hey, I forgot photography. And in that category, again, there is a broad range of types. Nor will you be short changed with minor artists. There is no work that might be described as marginal. All is at the highest level.
One artist/photographer that caught my eye is Barbara de Vries (Galerie 'EEWAL' Amsterdam) who does work that is both original and evocative of the early Man-o-Ray photos. Also, some works have been brought to Amsterdam at substantial cost. As an example, at Galerie Noordeinde (Den Haag) is a sculpture work by a Korean sculptor, Jaehyo Lee that stands about two meters high and is of considerable weight. The gallery holder told me that it cost nearly 3,000 euro to transport from Korea. Another work, by the same artist, while smaller, is close in weight to its big brother.
The best part of Art Spot is that it is DOABLE. Your legs won't get tired and your feet sore. Your biggest problem will be: What Not To Buy! There is a lot that's desirable and for every taste. Galleries include: Jos Art, Gallery 9, Lieve Hemel, Petit, Rademakers, Eksteen in Art (South Africa), et al. Entry: 5 euro. https://bit.ly/2PslYdO
ArtAmsterdam is the 27th edition of this yearly event. It is the second fair under the direction of Edo Dijksterhuis. To the practiced eye it is apparent that cost cutting has entered the picture, but, fortunately, to the general public, it will not be apparent. Another factor that may or may not have to do with new budget consideration is that several galleries, that in years past, have had large booths are now confined to small spaces. Of course, there is the positive factor that there are probably more galleries represented; and there are certainly more non-Dutch galleries showing then in recent years. Most are German as far as the foreign contingent is concerned.
Perhaps the place to start this year's tour of the fair is on the ground floor (near the coat room) where you will see We Like Art! which is organized by www.welikeart.nl. The organizer's have selected artists showing at galleries attending the fair but with an important proviso: Nothing exceeds 1,500 euro. The wall space is busy since the work is hung 19th century salon style, but do it first, jot down the names of artists that you like and the gallery and check out more of their work as you go through the fair.
"No Holds Barred" which was an initiative introduced last year is back. The basic concept could not be more simple. Galleries, participating in the fair, are invited to submit "proposals in the fields of photography, painting, performance, installations, film or whatever takes their fancy." The only perimeter is that the work must fit a 5 x 5 meter space. There are 12 examples scattered throughout the fair. The range is from the simple like Jio Xingtao's (China) "cardboard" shipping box fashioned from marble (Canvas International Art) to Simon Gush's (South Africa) video (West) of a football game played between the railroad tracks of a railroad switching yard to Tinkebell's installation (TORCH) spotlighting the fictitious(?) history of a young girl to the monumental "Temple of Doom" which comprises four VW Bugs resting vertically on their rear bumpers and forming an arch. Fun, fun, fun...and then her daddy took her T-bird, oops, Bug, away. Well, you gotta see it!
The budget crunch has had many victims and one was the bankruptcy of Thieme which sponsored The Thieme Art Award. But, fortunately, there was a white night standing in the wings. A printing company---with a small publishing house---Lecturis (Eindhoven) stepped in to support the initiative. This year there were 58 entries for the Lecturis Award and five were selected as nominees. Each artist is showing two works. A jury will select the winner on day two of the fair. There is no cash award to the winner, but something better. Next year, the person selected will have their own FREE booth at ArtAmsterdam. Last year's winner, Paulien Oltheten, is showing at Stand 106A this year.
3D regrets that it is impossible to review all the participants at ArtAmsterdam but what follows is a selection which was predetermined by the route I took. In previous years, the fair has required from four to four and one half hours to see everything. This year it took six hours. The extended time requirement had to do with one of two factors, lots of good art to see or 3D is just physically slowing down. But it is proably a combination of the two because there truly is a lotta good things to see and experience. So, on with the show...
For the novice there are FREE tours to the exhibition every half hour; and at 13:00 and 16:00 the tour is in English. No reservation required. Nice.
While the following numbers don't seem to indicate a systematic approach to viewing the galleries it is. If you turn right, as you enter the fair, an proceed to following in a straight line and along the outer perimeter of the area you will find each gallery next to each other or across the aisle.
Stand 141: "Frueh-sorge" (Berlin) shows only contemporary drawings which represent a full range of current styles.
Atand 121: Vous Etes Ici and Galerie Michael Sturm (Stuttgart) are showing together separately. Well, sorta. Expect to see the artists showing at VEI own space; and M. Sturm is showing paintings, sculpture and wall hangings.
Stand 138: Galerie La Ferronnerie (Paris) shows metal wall hangings that are rectangular geometric abstractions. If drawings are your fancy, check out the work of Richard Müller, Marie-Amëlie Porcher and Frédéric Coché. Nice contemporary examples of the technique.
Stand 124: Art Affairs exhibits the photography of Katrin Korfmann exclusively. While all the examples are representational, her perspective views of the subject matter is conceptual resulting in imagery that is more abstract than its reality.
Stand 101: Phoebus (Rotterdam) hangs a variety of conceptual works ranging in technique from very, very minimal to drawings and works on canvas. A little of everything and nearly every piece a surprise.
Stand 136: Galerie Van der Meiden (Antwerpen) hangs a neon work by a Mexican artist which is, in a word, spectacular! It is two meters in diameter and with four colors. It is also provocative in that all the imagery consists of guns, knives and swords.
Stand 134: Galleri Thomassen (Goteborg) shows Plexiglas three dimensional rectangles that pay homage to Piet Mondrian linear abstractions. And very nicely, too. The gallery is also showing several drawings. One is truly remarkable because the imagery explodes from the paper's surface. Really! From the main composition, a bird seems to fly from it and as it "leaves" the surface it becomes three dimensional. This technique could be kitschy, but it is so well done it becomes masterful.
Stand 098: Dick de Bruijn Contemporary Art left Amsterdam a few years back and relocated to Middelburg. Lucky Middelburg. At this fair, De Bruijn has an eclectic collection of styles and techniques. A linear abstract oil on metal is unusual in that it sits on a pedestal resting on the floor and standing about 10 cms., high...Joost Hoekstra presents wall hangings made from acryl and "papydur" which are conceptualy redundant abstractions.
Stand 130: "Hunchen toot" (Berlin) hangs the lino cuts of Philipp Hennevogl. If you like print work and think you have seen it all, well, check this out. It is impossible to explain in words the incredible detail that the artist achieves in these representational linear abstract b/w over sized prints. The editions are small: four. The price is expensive for a print, but once you have seen them you will understand why. And,you gotta see it to believe it...Sharing the space is b/w photographic work by Gregor Stephan in a style and technique that is uniquely his own. He experiments with technique and especially likes the serendipity element to play a role...And with pleasing results.
Stand 129: Galerie VIVID (Rotterdam) presents a truly mixed bag of objects from a chair and table set (not to be found at Ikea) to an "installation" consisting of a wall painting and a rug. The colors are all kitsch, but the overall effect is conceptual as well as abstract.
Stand 080: BORZO is spotlighting the work of Corrie de Boer (1932|) who is a minimalist that likes simple geometric abstract designs and she hangs naturally along side of Jan Schoonhoven. A wall of 64 A3 charcoal drawings by Carlijn Mens is dramatic. Recent work by Patrick Sauze is conceptual minimalism in b/w and shades of gray.
Stand 079: De Rijk Contemporary Art (Den Haag) exhibits conceptual minimalistic work on paper as well as sculpture pieces. Huibertje Kant exemplifies the latter.
Stand 030: Bruto Gusto (Berlin) shows crochet dolls by Johanna Schweizer, but these are not the type that little girls play with. The sizes range from 10 cms., to 150+ cms., high. The images include skeletons, the devil and African-like masks. All are very colorful.
Stand 033: Galerie Clement exhibits Suzanne Hartmans geometric abstraction fashioned from wood. The work for the most part is monochromatic white or gray with whatever colors added almost subliminally...Sandra Kruisbrink works with pencil, pastel and tempera and the imagery is generally trees with an expressionistic or abstract background.
Stand 016: De Witte Voet has Satoru Hoshino works in ceramic. One series on view is what might best be described as free-form conceptual. But, at this exhibition, there are two walls hangings each consisting of hundreds of pieces and all are in b/w or shades of gray. Three scrolls in black ink wash reflect the themes of the ceramic works.
Stand 014 "galerie baer" does something different. Jan Brokof shows b/w prints, drawings and a construction piece that will make you smile. It is a city' block and the street is filled with demonstrators which are represented by children's action figure toys....Stefan Lenke does colorful geometric abstract paintings and groups them together creating an added dimension. A wall has become an "installation" with a b/w linear abstraction work which more or less frames the colorful canvases.
Stand 013: Galerie Brandt has the work of Kim De Ruysscher who is a sculptor working in sandstone. She forms tree cuttings that show the bark and cross grains. There are four on display that are really big...and very heavy. Each piece is monumental.
Stand 006: LhGWR (Den Haag) hangs the quirky drawings of Johan Gustavsson which, while figurative, are conceptual in nature. The compositions are unusual in a way that the empty space creates an added tension.
Stand 004: HB Galerie (Rotterdam) hangs photographs that look like geometric abstractions, but are photos of LED lights. The artist, Davor Sanvincenti, slowly constructs the imagery over a period of about two months. Also on display are sculpture pieces that are figurative but completely different in that the material ranges from rope to nails to mirrors. The artist is Wietse Eeken.
Stand 005: Soledad Senelle Gallery hangs a solo show for the Chinese artist Zhenchen. It is an exhibition that has been banned in China. Of course, it is difficult to perceive why because there is nothing that appears to be an overt provocation. He focuses on the revolutionary changes in the city of Shanghai. The new buildings and the old which are in the process of being destroyed. And it is this latter aspect that got the attention of the authorities. More often than not, the owners of these places don't want to be relocated. There is a very intriguing video. It is made on the technical premise of a child's kaleidoscope; the toy that you looked through the hole at the end of a 20 cms tube and turn at the end. The imagery was a constantly changing geometric abstraction. He has replaced the simple geometric figuration with the faces of the 100 world leading cultural figures. Fun!
Stand 001: "Galerie bart" exhibits a video piece by Peter van der Es. Video art falls into one of two categories: Boring or mesmerizing. The Van der Es example falls into the latter description. He has made a continuous loop film (4 minutes per segment) that is a MUST see. We see the interior of an American diner with it's stainless steel trimmings and ubiquitous Coca Cola sign all in color. It is evocative of Edward Hopper's "The Nighthawks." There is a counter and tables. Above it all has ceiling fans slowly turning. Seated at the counter and at tables are seven people, all in b/w. Most are easily recognizable: a young Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Peter Lorre, Uma Thurman and all are smoking up a storm. There is a continuous cloud of tobacco smoke. It harks back to the era of B-movies and a time when smoking was seen as a glamorous pasttime. Great!
Stand 045: Galerie Willy Schoots doesn't have a "booth" per se, but an "island." They show Studio Job which is a husband and wife team. The duo tell their own story through objects and paintings. The former consist of a very unusual table as well as a very different styled desk; ceramic pieces and a beautifully designed marquetry cabinet made of Bird's Eye maple, Indian rosewood and ebony. The paintings are "framed" with utilitarian motivation. That is, a wall mirror has a detailed painted frame and a room divider is also hand painted. The colorful style is reminiscent of Bavarian and American Amish painted furniture.
Stand 147: Galerie Ron Mandos hangs the detailed pencil drawings of Rik Smits. He leans towards doing architectural monumental skyscrapers and Cathedral towers. But the imagery goes beyond the genré. He interjects surreal qualities and, sometimes, humor and/or creates representational abstractions. Nice work!
Stand 146: Galerie AKINCI has several of Esther Tielemans geometric abstracted objects on display. Some are wall hangings and other sit on pedestals. Colorful and innovative in design.
...Again, this is a sampling of only 24 galleries showing at ArtAmsterdam. The list is not meant to imply any order of excellence; it is a random selection determined more by the "geography" of their location. But, be assured that you will see true visual wonders---and some with sound---which reflects all styles, techniques and the nuances of avant gardé art.
The show closes on Sunday, so hurry. Open from 11 to 19:00. Admission price: 20 euro, 10 euro after 17:00 and FREE for children under the age of 12. More info at: http://www.amsterdamartfair.nl/
It's Party Time: Serieuze Zaken Studioos, the Melkweg in association with The Glass Center for Art, Science and Conversation presents "The Days and nights Festival Party #1." It is Friday the 13th from 22:00 to 01:00 and headlines: Philip Glass, Lavina Meijer, Tim Fain, Claron McFadden and the Attacdca Ensemble plus 17 "performers" that included F*cking PoP Queers and Ultrasexi, Chef Thor, Isis, Inez, Metropolitan Deli, et al. Tickets are 30 euro or order through the Het Parool website and pay 25 euro. Food and drinks provided. At Lauriergracht 80. More info: https://bit.ly/2mrkyDb
Photo: Daniel Gould giving an Art Tour in Amsterdam