Top Ten Galleries in Amsterdam
We put together a list of the Top Ten contemporary art galleries in Amsterdam to help you narrow down the best selections, artists and essential themes not to miss in the city. Think of it as a road map for any art aficionado looking to take in the best the Dutch capital has to offer. Below is the list in no particular order and the link to the left is a pictorial slideshow of the galleries.
1. KochxBos. Located in the idyllic Jordaan neighborhood, KochxBos swiftly seized its niche market in comics, pop surrealism, low-brow and 3D art through its association with artist Ray Caesar. It is also at the forefront of progressive-thinking art dealing, displaying its prices on its website, emulating new trends started in New York and Los Angeles. It uses technology to optimum effect, with a recent vernissage featuring the artist’s presence via skype. Website HERE.
2. Gerhard Hofland. Hofland stays at the cutting edge of the German art scene, with frequent visits to Berlin. Specializing in scuptural art and housed in a Jugendstil print foundry, this gallery has cemented its name since its early beginnings as a squat in the 1980s. Website HERE.
3. Upstream. Founded in 2003 in the funky De Pijp quarter, it quickly gained a prominent position in the Dutch art market. The gallery focuses on the top contemporary art market and features a mix of artists from the Netherlands and abroad. Never steering away from bold or controversial material, it has featured installations of female murderesses and sooted, excrement-textured sewage piping. Website HERE.
4. NASA (formerly Smart Project). Situated in the trendy oud-west neighborhood and housed in a former anatomy laboratory, this space screens films from all over the world while Lab 111 preserves the building’s original purpose by offering meals on the dissection table complete with surgical lighting. Artist-driven and alternative, New Art Space Amsterdam (NASA) is a permanent workshop and lively urban space with real life events happening all the time. It’s a dynamic, complex and mutating system of creation and exchange; a place of stimulation, refreshment, and adventure which reaches out beyond the confines of its walls to involve those in the City and far beyond. The latest exhibition features Nicoline van Harskamp’s study of politics and language and the anarchist tradition, analyzing the correspondences of late Dutch anarchist Karl Max Kreuger. Website HERE.
5. Fons Welters. Located in Amsterdam’s romantic Jordaan area and opened in 1988, the padded door entrance to this classy gallery leaves a lasting impression on the visitor’s mind. The gallery space itself is lofty with smart-looking interior design and accommodates installation, painting, sculpture, performance and multimedia work. The sculptural element has been and is still a central element of the gallery. Fons Welters’s main aim is working with Dutch and international artists in the early stages of their careers, indeed the front space of their gallery – called ‘Playstation’- is dedicated to younger artists. Many notable Dutch artists have had their careers launched at Fons Welters. Website HERE.
6. P/////AKT. Founded in 2003, P/////AKT endeavours to create a different outlook on contemporary thinking, showcasing artists who dare to adopt bold artistic interpretations, distinguishing themselves through unique, authentic language. Website HERE.
7. W139. Squatted and founded in 1979 by artists wanting to present an alternative to the collections and exhibitions at city museums and commercial galleries, it is located just off Amsterdam’s world famous Red Light district. Over the last three decades it has transformed from an anti-establishment squat into a professional non-institutional platform for contemporary art. This hard-edged space features music gigs, film screenings, debates, parties, book premieres, exhibitions and offers a “room for risk”. Website HERE.
8. Mediamatic. Recently moved from its original central situation near Rembrandtplein to the east docklands at VOC kade 10-12, this space operates exhibitions, workshops, lectures, performances, concerts and conferences, exploring relationships between technology, media, culture and society. Breaking at the seams with events, equipped with an aquaponics farm and mycology lab, Mediamatic offers a dizzying, fully-loaded agenda year-round with enough variety to satisfy every taste. Website HERE.
9. Torch. Torch gallery was founded in 1984 and focuses on modern techniques as well as introverted painterly photography. It has a strong international orientation, with a presence at art fairs in Miami, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, featuring new and established Dutch names such as Terry Rodgers, Loretta Lux, TINKEBELL, Eelco Brand, Ellen Kooi, Philip Akkerman en Teun Hocks. Website HERE.
10. Radar. Radar’s aim is identification, creation and exhibition of artistic forms such as sculpture, painting, printing, photography, architecture, video art and music. The gallery is continually on the look-out for material that is radical, current and urgent, with a specific interest in young artists. Website HERE.
by Thomas Lundy
Gloobbi Contributor based in Amsterdam