Last weekend Amsterdam’s finest Art Galleries opened their doors together as part of Amsterdam Art’s first Gallery Weekend. In concert they created what was a vast series of exhibitions, talks, tours and film screenings throughout the city of Amsterdam. We give special thanks to all those who participated and following their collective success in bringing the most vibrant contemporary art scene to life, we can’t wait for the next Amsterdam Art Weekend in April. It has to be said that despite tremendous challenges, our city’s Art ecosystem continues to prevail. Through a truly innovative and inspired combination of both online and in-person events, we created a corona-proof weekend that brought amazing art and phenomenal artists to the people.
Amsterdam Art and the Stedelijk Museum collaborated on behalf of all those stuck at home due to the pandemic restrictions. Together, we created full online coverage of the Weekend. You can still catch up on what you missed, or revisit what you loved on youtube. We left no stone unturned, going behind the scenes to talk with exhibition curators, artists and content creators. We stopped by participating galleries and institutions for interviews with all those helping make Amsterdams unique art ecosystem a reality. We caught everything from performance, art films and fascinating talks that you might otherwise have missed.
Dive in below to revisit (or discover!) all that went down over the weekend.
To keep eachother safe, we created some self-guided tours so that people could responsibly socially distance whilst taking their time to enjoy what the Gallery Weekend had to offer. People could follow the path of the tour that most closely relfected their passions or ignited their interests, with a diverse range of artists and artworks to discover along the way.
Freedom is both the ambition and mission of many artists living and passed. Some artists only discover it later in life, after they have so acutely mastered their craft there is no separation between mind and medium. Some artists use art to transcend boundaries, of how we inhabit the world or experience a work of art. How are we limited by our human perceptions? How can we challenge the unwritten rules of the exhibition space? Moreover, how can we navigate all these fluctuating understandings of life on earth? Here you can discover unconventional creative techniques and their unique results.
Galleries: AKINCI, Borzo Gallery, Flatland, GoMulan
Humankind has long dominated, challenged and domesticated nature. But how do we even define it? Is it a distinct entity, separate from ourselves? Nature is often associated with the divine, a place of both threat and healing, of pleasure and suffering. Nature is constantly shifting as our relationship with it evolves, in a constant battle between preservation and loss. Aspects of it are now confined exclusively to memory, lost to history. Are we just matter? All that we observe and create: forms, colors and structures are all composed of atoms and particles? Where do we draw the line between us and the world around?
Galleries: Stevenson, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Galerie Ron Mandos, Upstream Gallery
Collage comes from the French word to glue or assemble various diverse materials and/or images into a single work. As such, can anything be a collage? Is collage merely the assembly of sewn together materials that would otherwise be confined to terms such as paintings, ceramic or fabric. Because of this there is an infinite versatility to collage and consequently there are limitless discoveries to be made. Collage can be quiet and subtle, you may not even notice the material diversity of the work at hand. It may be noisy and self-evident, reminiscent of the chaos we experience in modernity. Because of this you can see artists of all eras deciding not to settle in one medium, but to challenge the boundaries of terminology, driven by a curiosity to combine.
Galleries: andriesse eyck, Galerie Caroline O’Breen, Galerie Van Gelder, Reflex, TORCH
History and society
Art is a distillation of culture, the pulse of the era. Because of this, it often acts as a cross-section, x-ray or window into a time, where you can feel the temperature and witness life and politics unfolding before you. Nothing exists in a vacuum, works produced today are inevitable often intentionally inspired or rooted in history. Likewise, the world around the artist does not exist in a vacuum, there is much to challenge, to dissect and disassemble. What remnants of history continue to effect our lives and how do we challenge them if they no longer serve us? Who have we forgotten that deserve to be remembered?
Galleries: tegenboschvanvreden, Fons Welters, MultipleMadé, Lumen Travo, Galerie Onrust
Color is something we have come to understand as universally understood. But individually and culturally there are no guarantees when it comes to how we experience it. Artists often search for something precise that lives in their imagination, combinations of colour that capture the essence of a thought, mood or image. What have artists discovered along their investigations? How do they create depth, space and distance in their colorful choreography? What relationship does color have to pop-culture and architecture? And how do we as an audience relate to the decisions they have made?
Galleries: Slewe, Albada Jelgersma, Gerard Hofland, Grimm Van Baerlestraat, The Merchant House
Painting binds both surface and image in flux. Texture, patina and impasto all demonstrate how painting can often become sculptural in nature. These aspects can reveal a presence or absence of an author. Some artists give themselves away, leaving remnants of their actions in the marks they make or stylistic signatures. In this way painting goes beyond representation, belonging in a network of the history of itself. It lives within a world of photography, media, sculpture. The images within carry with them not just a replication of a reality but the subjectivity of the author.
Galleries: Galerie Bart, Grimm Keizersgracht, Stigter van Doesburg, Annet Gelink Gallery
As part of the Amsterdam Art Gallery Weekend, each of the participanting galleries released an artists "Edition". These were created as part of a series guided by the overarching theme "Infra-Ordinary", a term used to describe the phenomena through which things within the banality of every day life gain a new meaning. Along our tour of the galleries we discovered many of them along the way!
Throughout the exhibitions we were amazed by the sheer productivity of these prolific artists within our city. Below is just some of the vast ouevres we came accross.
We had the priveledge to meet some of Amsterdam's key players within the gallery scene who showed us behind the scenes and provided us some key insights into the artists they represent.
We send out enormous thanks to all those who participated, everyone who came to witness the weekend unfold as wonderfully as it did. Together, we overcame a huge amount of challenge. In spite of all this, 26 galleries, many other contemporary art venues and hundreds of visitors came together to celebrate fantastic art and artists within Amsterdam, bringing it to life and injecting it with all the passion and fascination it deserves.
It gives us tremendous hope that so many people came to enjoy the weekend, what comes next? The Amsterdam Art Weekend! This coming spring 15 - 18 April, Amsterdam's Art World blooms once more and we can't be more excited.