The old masters might be on show in Amsterdam – but Rotterdam is showing off the Dutch art world’s new starters.
‘We are showing the new developments, the new generation, techniques like video and performance art, but also a revival of painting,’ said Fons Hof, director of Art Rotterdam.
‘The focus is international, they connect online, and most modern artists are multidisciplinary, combining painting with performance, installation and video art. The market is open for everything, from minimal and conceptual to figurative painting.’
Hof said The Netherlands still has a tradition of people buying art, thanks to its history.
‘There was not a very powerful church that gave commissions: the Protestant tradition is of human portraits, and everybody bought a piece, a seascape or portrait,’ he said. ‘You see that back. The Dutch market is a large group of people with small collections. This tradition to have a piece of art in your house is really Dutch.’
He pointed out that the old masters were supported by the 17th century privately wealthy, who commissioned works for private and civic collections – and this tradition continues. Art at the fair starts at around €500, rising to tens of thousands and ranging from 73 emerging young artists to a late polaroid sculpture series from 20th century avant-garde artist Karel Appel. The NN Art Award will be presented to a Dutch-educated artist during the fair.
‘It’s an event to discover what is going on,’ said Hof. ‘Artists weren’t really harmed by the Covid period: they were still working and the market was quite good as many collectors didn’t have anything to do, were at home and quite reachable. For the galleries, it wasn’t a bad period.’
Standard tickets to Art Rotterdam cost €22.50 for adults, there are extra buses from Rotterdam central station to the Van Nellefabriek, and the fair opens daily from Thursday to Sunday, with off peak and student rates.
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