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Art Rotterdam's Great Leap Forward: Your Guide to the Fair and More...
by ArtSlant Team


Edo Dijksterhuis looks at a growing fair and its newest exhibitors

Fifteen years into the game Art Rotterdam has comfortably settled into the role of top contemporary art fair in the Netherlands. But director Fons Hof is not resting on his laurels. Edition 2014 signals a Great Leap Forward. This is to be taken quite literally as the fair is moving from the Cruise Terminal on the Kop van Zuid to the monumental Van Nellefabriek. The new venue, with its peripheral location bringing to mind Frieze New York, has a lot going for it: the catering – slow and poor at the old location – is now controlled by the fair itself; the numerous side-shows can easily be accommodated; and parking is not a problem. But most importantly: there is a lot more space. Visitors do not have to cross the street and enter another building to see the video section Projections. And the New Art section with young galleries is no longer tucked away on the ground floor, which in the old location unwittingly suggested a hierarchy amongst participants.

The move to a larger space also means numerical growth. For years Art Rotterdam drew some seventy-something galleries, with a pretty stable Dutch delegation at the core. Increasingly, though, foreign participation grew, doing so at the expense of national input. Art Rotterdam was developing in the direction of a boutique version of Artissima: high quality art but rather restricted to a niche, mostly neo-conceptual. With the present expansion of the fair this anemic tendency seems to have been halted. With 112 presentations spread over three sections Art Rotterdam 2014 offers a much broader, multi-faceted art experience. A closer look at the no less than thirty-six galleries debuting in this edition confirms this...  

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Teodora Kotseva explores the week's top events south of the river

Recently Rotterdam placed prominently in a number of travel guides’ 2014 lists – Rough Guides named it eight out of its Top 10 Cities to visit this year, while The New York Times charted it at ten on its 52 Places To Go list. An abnormally warm winter makes February the perfect time to dive into the city’s most exciting month when it comes to contemporary art. The IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam) will warm up the public with its selection of global cinema, followed by Art Rotterdam Week, which kicks off on February 5th. With Art Rotterdam, the main art fair in town, the third edition of RAW Art Fair, the TEC Art exhibition, and numerous off-site shows in galleries, pop-ups, and art initiatives, the art week promises to be fun.

One thing is for sure, the art marathon from last year will be less intense, as two big participants, namely Art in the Warehouse and RE:Rotterdam, will not take place, leaving visitors more time to concentrate on the city’s many other events. This comes as a bit of relief to art lovers who won’t be quite so torn between several happenings occurring simultaneously, though the risk still remains. In the end we need not talk about quantity, especially when it comes to art, but rather we should stick to quality...

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Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai’s elaborate video works mix imagery from popular culture with highbrow art historical notions. This month a monumental video installation by the artist makes its European debut at Kunsthal Rotterdam. Chiurai’s work is also on display at Galerie West in The Hague and in the gallery’s booth at Art Rotterdam. Edo Dijksterhuis talks with the artist about his latest projects…  

ED: Could you expand a bit on the process of finding the fitting cinematic format?

KC: It was trial and error… I didn’t want it to be overly dramatic; the figures in the picture and their expressions should be the focal point. I was aiming for an understated way of presenting so as to engage the viewer in a more interesting way. I am not trying to be a filmmaker. I am a visual artist searching for the best way to express an idea...

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Samuel Henne, Untitled (Brancusi), 2012, Fine Art Print, 140 x 100 cm, ed. 3 (+1AP); Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Jette Rudolph, Berlin. At Art Rotterdam Main Section.

Jacco Olivier, Pav de flore, 2013, HD animation, 2:20 min; Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam. At Art Rotterdam Projections.

Maarten Vanden Eynde, Paleontologic Plastic III, 2014, plastic, wood, glass, 48.5 x 41.5 x 17 cm; Courtesy of the artists and Meessen De Clercq, Brussels. At Art Rotterdam New Art Section.

Melanie Bonajo, Matrix Botanica - Biosphere above Nations, 2012, single channel video projection, 22:25 min; Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Akinci, Amsterdam. At Art Rotterdam Projections as winner of the 2013 MK Award; The MK Award Foundation is represented by Art Consultancy Tanya Rumpff during the fair.



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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 2/5/14

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