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art and considers the influence of galleries within this ecology: in terms of artistic, economic, societal and historical content, in which way did they influence artists, art and its public?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?
Galerie van Gelder (Amsterdam, 1985-present): with Kees van Gelder
In 1985, Kees van Gelder started a gallery on the second floor of a industrial building in the Planciusstraat in Amsterdam. His aim was to create an open-minded space where artists, particularly those from abroad, could express themselves. His programme is often of a contemplative nature. For several years Van Gelder has been running an online platform dedicated to multiples (thearchiveislimited.com) and is also the publisher of the bilingual art magazine CUT.
Wide White Space (Antwerp, 1966-1976): with Anny De Decker
Wide White Space was founded by Anny De Decker and artist Bernd Lohaus in Antwerp in 1966 and was managed by them both until it closed in 1976. De Decker and Lohaus were instrumental in making collectors, critics, institutions and the public appreciative of new ways in which artists were attempting to come to terms with reality. They also contributed actively to a change in mentality towards contemporary art by giving ‘avant-garde’ artists a platform and working in close collaboration with them.