Art Rotterdam 2021: Recap
A few months ago we started seeing first post-Covid art fairs sprouting around the globe, from Art Dubai, MARFA Invitational in TX and Frieze in NYC, to over that Pacific at Art Basel Hong Kong, and now this past weekend Western Europe with the comeback event being the summer edition of Art Rotterdam. We were able to attend this event and must say it was pretty surreal to take part in such a crowded indoor event but also, it was great to catch up with familiar people and obviously, see so many new works by artist's we've been following and get introduced to a bunch of new names.
Numbers wise, Art Rotterdam, the first international event that dared to open its doors as soon as the government restrictions allowed for it, "was a resounding success", according to the organizers. With a large number of visitors coming through, 16 outdoor artworks, 74 artists in Prospects, more than 100 participating galleries, and overall enthusiastic and keen vibe, this annual art event for the twenty-second time proved its importance for the region. Alongside local, Dutch-based galleries that formed the majority of the fair, there were a number of Belgian, French, German, Danish, Italian, Slovakian, Slovenian, and Austrian presenters, all introducing works from their artists from around the globe.
Some of the works that stood out for us, in no particular order (yet likely following the floorplan of the fair), are the heavily textured portraits on burlap by the Colombian-born Raquel van Haver at Kers Galerie; Lilian Kreutzberger's technical abstract explorations of paint liquidity and Robert Roest's portraiture of angry canines at Cinnamon Rotterdam; Jordy Kerwick's raw still life renditions, Daan Gielis' quirky critique of contemporary culture and social systems, and Nicolas Holiber'ssculptural paintings at Everyday Gallery; Jasper Hagenaar's realistic renderings, Austin Eddy's stylized bird-based compositions, and Yuri Rodekin's eerie surreal portraiture at Althuis Hofland Fine Arts; Iriée Zamblé solo presentation with depictions of Afro-Dutch people at Van Zijll Langhout / Contemporary Art; Pim Blokker's line based paintings at Galerie Stigter Van Doesburg; Afra Eisma's vibrant tapestry works at No Man's Art Gallery; Arno Beck penplotter-drawing explorations and Cathrin Hoffman's large triptych piece at Marian Cramer Projects: Laurens Legiers' surreal scenery and Ritsart Gobyn's systematic study of trompe l'oeil at PLUS-ONE Gallery; Amber Andrews' vibrant oil and oil pastel nods to art history greats at Sofie Van de Velde; Pat Andrea visions of sexuality, fertility, fear and desire at Galerie Ramakers; Koos Buster's quirky ceramics and Erik Mattijssen's vibrant guoache on paper documentations of everyday objects and at Cokkie Snoei; Alex van Warmerdam full body portraiture at GRIMM Gallery; Shertise Solano's solo presentation of collage works explorating the Black identiy at Joey Ramone; Saar Scheerlings' textile sculptures, ceramics and collages at Gallery Fleur & Wouter; Bas De Wit's mockery of classic bust sculptures at Galerie Gerhard Hofland; Thijs Jansen realistic renditions of persepctive-rich interiors at Rutger Brandt Gallery; Vera Gulikers' The Model (Hush and Hurl) new sculpture at Prospects section; and Sarah Maple's The World As We Know It outdoor installation. —Sasha Bogojev