Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair seems to be on its way to become obsolete. Yes, some good galleries are present and some good artists are represented, but it fails to be an alternative to the Art Rotterdam Fair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Too much art on show seems to be made to suit the modern or postmodern living room. It seems to be made for buyers who want to feel assured about their identity (not to be confused with individuality).

RCA 03

Everything is there: some expressionism, a bit geometric abstract, a little post-modern etc., to be short, nothing special.

RCA 04 Benjamin Li
RCA 05 Benjamin Li

But happily there are exceptions. Probably one of the most remarkable projects is Te Koop (For Sale) by Benjamin Li represented by A Gallery Named Sue.

RCA 06 Jan Wattjes
RCA 07 Jan Wattjes
RCA 08 Jan Wattjes

At Livingstone Gallery painter Jan Wattjes shows an interesting, almost romantic video loop.

RCA 09 Jans Muskee

At With Tsalling Gallery Jans Muskee has a solo show, which is quite attractive.

RCA 10 Olaf Mooij
RCA 11 Olaf Mooij

Olaf Mooij shows his DJ. Wiel (DJ Wheel), which i personally prefer to real life DJs.

RCA 12

Apart from these interesting things there is more than just boring lifestyle junk. The No Walls presentation is probably more interesting than the greater part of the fair.

RCA 13

Another aspect which adds to the mediocrity of the fair is the lack of international representation. So please, for the next time, do it better or just don’t do it! It all made me long for fried eggs with ham and cheese (an uitsmijter) which i ate in Witte de Withstraat.

RCA 14
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Art The Hague, Fokker Terminal, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Art The Hague is quite a small fair but it takes some time to see it all. There is a kind of limbo before you enter the real art fair,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

which gives you the idea that things are not really important in that vestibule. The Hague Historical Museum shows some pictures of its sympathetic project Den Haag, Stad van aankomst (The Hague, City of Arrival) by Conny Luhulima and Geert van Kesteren, while

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WTC-Gallery shows some expressive postmodernity to fit modern suburbia, with amongst others this diorama by Demiak. And further on?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well, they probably forgot to put this sculpture by Joachim De Block in its right place and left it in limbo to be ignored by the visitors. And on entering the great hall

ATH 08

you might think you entered a luxury poster shop, but

ATH 09
ATH 10

do turn left to Seasons Gallery to take a look at Gerard Verdijk’s paintings. Verdijk (1934-2005) was one of the best painters in The Hague.

ATH 11

Work by Lauren Hillebrandt at With Tsjalling, playing with colour, shape and meaning.

ATH 12

Gallery Project 0.2 shows Denis Rouvre who always uses the same clair-obscure, presented by the gallery in an aesthetic, stark and clean way. A modern way of having trophies on your wall. But

ATH 13

why do i think Rouvre’s work is slick and this drawing by Arike Gill (at Vonkel Gallery) isn’t?

ATH 14
ATH 15

Talking about slick photography (and there is quite a lot on show), you can’t say Merijn Koelink’s pictures are slick. He concentrated on the use of LED in public places at night. Colour, light and dark tell a story here with more aspects. Koelink is a fresh graduate of the The Hague Royal Academy (at A Gallery Named Sue).

ATH 16
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Helder Gallery shows, amongst others, sculptures by Willem Speekenbrink and paintings by Jakob de Jonge who will both have an exhibition at the gallery soon.

ATH 18

This year some Belgian galleries are represented at the fair. Amongst others Eastmen Gallery with works by Kamagurka and

ATH 19
ATH 20
ATH 21
ATH 22

by Gommaar Gilliams, a painter who isn’t very well known in this country.

ATH 23

Nouvelles Images gallery shows, amongst others, geometric abstract works by Cor van Dijk (very fine sculpture) and

ATH 24

Ditty Ketting (painting).

ATH 25

Some galleries give special attention to just one or two artists. Others who don’t, have sometimes difficulties in showing where their priorities are, like Van Hoof Gallery (is it just aesthetics? funny but silent pets?),

ATH 26

Chiefs and Spirits (art from Africa? art from elsewhere? and why exactly this choice?)

ATH 27

or Het Bouwhuis (the aesthetics of nature? or aesthetics based on nature?).

ATH 28
ATH 29

Compared to these Bob Smit Gallery has no qualms showing what it stands for, as these works by Stefan Gross show.

ATH 30
ATH 31

At Mirta Demare gallery Sandro Setola silently steals the show, while

ATH 32
ATH 33
ATH 34
ATH 35

in the next booth Buro Rotterdam has a small but very fine solo presentation of works by Olaf Mooij who gave cars a different, more organic life (and who also made the sculpture you can see on the very first picture of this posting).

ATH 36
ATH 37

Next year herman de vries wil represent the Netherlands at the Venice Biennial and as such he has been given a booth of his own.

ATH 38

That you can perfectly well show quite a few different artists in one booth without losing your identity as a gallery is shown by Ramakers gallery

ATH 39

and Heden, the place in The Hague where you can borrow art. Heden also

ATH 40

shows work by Anne Forest who will have an exhibition there soon.

ATH 41
ATH 42
ATH 43

Livingstone gallery pays some extra attention to small but very fine works by Jan Wattjes, while

ATH 44
ATH 45
ATH 46

Dom’Arte shows amongst others works by Marc Mulders and

ATH 47

Han Klinkhamer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But the best prominent and defining features of Art The Hague are the informal solo presentations, away from the egalitarian dictatorship of the white cube.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
ATH 50
ATH 51

On the ground floor is a presentation of works by sculptors who graduated from Belgian Academies this year. They all exhibit interesting work. I’ll give an impression here without comments: Jean-Loup Leclerq,

ATH 52
ATH 53

Marjorie Kapelusz,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clara Gallet,

ATH 55
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jeroen Van der Fraenen,

ATH 57
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
ATH 59

Joachim De Block and

ATH 60
ATH 61
ATH 62
ATH 63

Ruben Podevyn.

ATH 64

On the second floor there are some special presentations by galleries,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
ATH 66
ATH 67
ATH 68

again without much comment: Livingstone shows Simon Schrikker’s marvellous Pulpo series together with the stop motion video he made with it;

ATH 69

Bob Smit Gallery shows that being over the top says more about art and society than just being slick,

ATH 70
ATH 71

as shown here by Pieter W. Postma;

ATH 72

Helder gallery has an impressive combination of works by Willem Speekenbrink (sculpture),

ATH 73

Jochem Rotteveel (paintings with duct tape) and

ATH 74
ATH 75
ATH 76

Roland Sohier (drawings); and

ATH 77
ATH 78
ATH 79
ATH 80

Ramakers gallery shows Joncquil’s fine series 60 Ways to Hold a Rope.

ATH 81

Although the exhibition has no real surprises, this year’s edition is stronger than last year’s,

ATH 82

but it could be much stronger.

ATH 83
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters