New Gallery Season – Amsterdam - ART FIX
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New Gallery Season - Amsterdam

Art openings are often glamorous, crowded affairs sprinkled with eccentric outfits and flutes of champagne. While this year may look a little different, our favourite city of Amsterdam has reemerged from the lockdown months to breathe new life into the gallery season. Art Fix is here to give you the much-needed inside scoop of what not to miss during this “unprecedented” gallery season. Let us give you the Amsterdam fix, whether behind the screen or in person. And please don’t forget: if you’re lucky enough to visit these galleries IRL, ask the gallerists for more information! Art is always better when the story behind it is told.

THE RAVESTIJN GALLERY

Patrick Waterhouse – Restricted Images

We first discovered the collaborative work between British artist Patrick Waterhouse and the indigenous Yuendumu and Nyirripi Aboriginal communities of Australia at The Ravestijn Gallery’s booth at Art Rotterdam. And oh, it was truly love at first sight!

The works are magnificent. There is beautiful tension between tradition and revision, brought to life in the photographs of Aboriginals, which are carefully restricted and amended through the process of traditional dot painting. Why not show the photographs without dots, you may be wondering? Australian Aboriginals believe that taking a photograph disrespects the spirit world, in fact stealing their soul. That is why the contemporary bank of photography depicting Aboriginals is limited, and historical images are often “restricted”, technically meaning they are painted over.  

TIP: All arted out? Grab a glass of wine at De Gouden Reael, from the same owners as the legendary French bistro Cafe Caron. It won’t disappoint!

As you leave The Ravestijn Gallery, hop on the ferry at Central Station to travel across the water to NDSM, where you’ll find the following two interesting exhibitions!

PROJECT SPACE ON THE INSIDE

Sgabello Collection – In Search of the Miraculous

“In Search of the Miraculous” displays a selection of approximately 125 works from the private art collection of Casper van der Kruk. This relatively young collection has been established in the past two decades and covers works from all disciplines in the contemporary arts. What of the title, then? “In Search of the Miraculous” refers to the title of a work by Aukje Dekker based on the legendary work of Bas Jan Ader, the artist who never returned from his transatlantic sailing trip. This quest is a recurring theme in several works from the collection. See it for yourself to search for the recurring thread throughout the works.

NXT MUSEUM

Shifting Proximities

An interactive and cool immersive art experience: the perfect weekend activity for kids or a date. Did we mention it was founded by two women?! Opening their first exhibition last week in Amsterdam, Nxt Museum currently displays “Shifting Proximities”. This exhibition explores human experience and interaction in the face of social and technological change. Global events and developments have a significant impact on how we communicate, move, and live in the world, and this experience emulates these changes through movement, sound, and light. Tired of this uncertain and crazy world we live in? Step into a new one with Nxt. 

GALERIE VAN GELDER

Henry Byrne – Tell me when to stop, OK?

For this show at Galerie van Gelder, the Irish-English Henry Byrne has used old canvases that were originally rejected by various artist friends of Byrne. After treating them with a milky-like layer, Byrne adorned the canvases with almost-eligible comments, such as “I am done with it” and “Tell me when to stop, okay?”. Many of us will find solace in the difficulty of handling rejection. We loved that Byrne leans into this shared feeling in this exhibition. There’s something cheeky yet masterful about using rejected work and appropriating it to make it your own. Perhaps it’s even Byrne’s way of backhandedly complimenting his artistic friends on their neglected works!

ANDRIESSE EYCK GALLERY

Michael Landy – What’s Left?

Keep the step counter on, because next up is the Andriesse Eyck Gallery on the Leliegracht, where you will find works by the epic British artist Michael Landy. You may know Landy from his monumental installation “Break Down” in 2001, in which he publicly and systematically destroyed all of his belongings, shredding everything from his Saab car to his birth certificate, and all in a public demeanor in the shopfront of a former C&A department store in London.

Of the three different bodies of work Landy shows in Amsterdam the Art Fix team found the Scaled-Down sculptures the most interesting. He used a compactor designed to crush industrial waste, turning his earlier work into a series of compacted cubic sculptures. The cubes are an embodiment of Landy’s personal artistic history; and we recommend Googling “Break Down” before you check out Landy live in Amsterdam.

GRIMM

Elias Sime – Tightrope: Concave Triangles

The exhibition “Tightrope: Concave Triangles” by Ethiopian artists Elias Sime is a must-see exhibition. The artist presents a set of 8 large-scale brightly coloured triangle sculptures, made from recycled consumer goods. Sime sends a clear, confrontational message about the impact of life on a post consumerist world, covering the triangular sculptures with electrical wire, old watches, keyboard keys and other computer components. 

Sime collected and sourced all his materials from the large municipal market in Addis Ababa in his native Ethiopia. While the materials may come from a city far away from the Amsterdam canals, there’s something very global about his works, uniting viewers in our shared challenge of consumerism. 

GALERIE FONS WELTERS

Sven Kroner – πανόραμα

In the German artist Sven Kroner’s new series of paintings, you can experience the collision of the indoor world of his studio and the outdoor realm of nature in a unique way. Kroner creates scenes that challenge the viewer’s perspective by showing corners of a room in which a diorama enclosed by a vitrine is set up. Kroner masters the art of line and light blurring: allowing the natural light to creep into the works themselves. If you’re in the mood for some brooding and thoughtful art: this exhibition is for you. The works are dark but captivating and intriguing, leaving you wandering back and forth to check what you may have missed during your first viewing.

ANNET GELINK GALLERY

Erik van Lieshout – Art Blasé

Check out Art Blasé, Erik Van Lieshout’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Tackling the Coronavirus crisis and the current political and economic climate, Art Blasé – an anagram of that icon of the art fair, Art Basel – forms Van Lieshout’s account of the ‘new normal’. 

It is an interesting ode to what-could-have-been, as Van Lieshout was originally asked to create works that would celebrate the 50th anniversary of the art fair, which would also be exhibited at Art Basel itself. What was his reaction to this prompt? For one, a film on life on a cruise ship, focussing particularly on the idiosyncratic way that the cruise ship housekeeping folds towels into sculptures. Since the world’s biggest art fair was of course cancelled, the exhibition had to be postponed. In the meantime Van Lieshout made a new film that is shown in the Bakery, which you can check out right here in Amsterdam! Who needs Basel when you’ve got Van Lieshout’s sharp portrayal of lockdown’s curious combination of social unrest, boredom, and joy?

STIGTER VAN DOESBURG

Kévin Bray – Don’t Forgive/Get, Them

If you have a chance to check out the Stigter Van Doesburg gallery, grab it if you can. This hot French artist, fresh off his residency at the Rijksakademie and an amazing exhibition stint at the Parisian Palais de Tokyo and Foam Amsterdam, has now landed as a headliner for Amsterdam Gallery Season. If you enjoy art that doesn’t play by the rules, then Bray is for you: there’s likely no other artist who mixes and matches more than Kévin Bray. His work contains many art historical references but is equally apocalyptic, almost a backdrop for a science fiction story. Since there’re no new films coming out any time soon, this might be just the right experience you’re looking for.

Elsa Leydier, Untitled #7, 2017 & Untitled #3, 2016

GALERIE CAROLINE O’BREEN

Elsa Leydier – Transatlántica

Temperatures have dropped so you may be searching for a warmer environment; look no further than Caroline O’Breen! Beautiful, warm-coloured photographs welcome you at  Caroline O’Breen’s brand new space. Made by the French artist Elsa Ledyer, the photographs are mainly shot in the Amazon region. While originally from France, the artist has an international trajectory which can be seen in her work. 

Currently based in Brazil, the young artist explores the limits of this society through photography, focusing on diverting the political charge of iconic images. Leydier modifies the colors of her photographs made in the Amazon region to produce a visually explosive and luminous image. We especially love the small light boxes, placed in phone-like frames. 

GALERIE RON MANDOS

Katinka Lampe – Slow

Time for “SLOW” at Gallery Ron Mandos, showing new works by Dutch artist Katinka Lampe. In her new works Lampe has given a special role to the spectator. Here you will find unexpected views of models lying in repose, their heads tilted backwards or turned away, unbothered by the attention they receive from the viewer. SLOW is also about the gentle and rigorous procedure that assures the impeccable finish of each painting. Her works often require up to ten layers of oil paint, each taking a week to dry. They are the result of highly stylized and choreographed compositions – photographed first, then drawn on paper and consequently cut out. Watch this video to get a better insight in her work.

Brand new editions by Katinka Lampe are for sale at We Like Art for €550 (ed. 30).

TIP: If you’re a coffee geek and need some energy after “SLOW”, grab a coffee at Koffiespot – it’s just a short walk away.

MULTIPLEMADÉ

Quentley Barbara

There’s a lot of talk about the digitization of the art world, but this exhibition is one that HAS to be experienced in real life! These huge sculptures made from cardboard and ducktape may give you PTSD from recent moves you’ve had, but they’re a must-visit on your weekend. A little more about the artist: Quentley Barbara hails from Curaçao and specializes in sculptures. As like many artists, Barbara is influenced by his personal surroundings, and models his sculptures after his family, friends and relatives. After his arrival in the Netherlands, Quentley discovered that many materials, such as cardboard, are used differently than in Curaçao. As explained by Quentley: “I collect cardboard boxes on the streets, which I find often in good condition. As these materials are easy to reuse, I use them for my portraits. I collect photos of  friends or relatives and model the cardboard of the unfolded boxes with a Stanley knife and tape to their likeness as much as other sculptors do with chisels and stone or wood.” An exhibition that cannot be missed. And who knows, you may recognize the box you left on the street a few months ago?!