The Living Room
The gallerists: radical mediators in contemporary art from the sixties onwards
Established and former gallery owners from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are invited to share their visions, motivations and practical experiences through a series of public conversations. These informal talks take place across four evenings at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
The discussions will focus on galleries that have played an important role in positioning contemporary art and artists in the recent past, such as Wide White Space, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Galerie René Block and Art & Project, as well as galleries that now stand in the footsteps of these ‘pioneers’ of the post-war period. For the latter, the focus is on the Dutch gallery landscape with contributions from Peer Veneman and Bart van de Ven (The Living Room), Kees van Gelder (Galerie van Gelder) and Marianne van Tilborg (Lumen Travo).
This series of conversations aims to provide insight into the functioning of galleries for contemporary art by drawing on the experience of an older generation of renowned gallery owners. It also touches on the history and development of European networks of distribution of conceptual and post-conceptual art and considers the influence of galleries within this ecology: in terms of artistic, economic, societal and historical content, in which way did they influence artists, art and its public? And how did and do galleries relate to other public and private venues and institutions devoted to contemporary art?
The Living Room (Amsterdam, 1981-1993): with Bart van de Ven en Peer Veneman
The Living Room was launched in a small third-floor apartment in East Amsterdam in 1981 by art history student Bart van de Ven and artist Peer Veneman. The gallery’s focus was on painting and sculpture, most often from a select group of Dutch artists working in the typically anti-academic, ‘wild’ style of the early 1980s. After moving to Amsterdam’s city centre in 1983, and up until its closure in 1993, the activity of the gallery became increasingly formalised. The gallery’s production of catalogues and its participation in several international art fairs, underlined The Living Room’s professional acclaim and secured their influence well beyond the borders of the Netherlands.