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art and considers the influence of galleries within this ecology: in terms of artistic, economic, societal and historical content, in which way did they influence artists, art and its public?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 René Block (Berlin, 1964-1979): with René Block
René Block opened his gallery in 1964 in former West Berlin with the exhibition ‘Neodada, Pop, Décollage, Kapitalistischer Realismus’, presenting at the time unknown artists such as Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell. Two years later he launched Edition Block. Block’s continuous work with artists resulted in the publication of portfolios with prints and multiples, the organization of concerts and performances and subsequently the opening of a branch in New York in 1974 with the happening ‘I like America and America likes me’ by Beuys.
Lumen Travo (Amsterdam, 1985-present): with Marianne van Tilborg
Marianne van Tilborg opened a gallery in her apartment on Amsterdam’s Spui square in 1985. From the outset she presented artists from abroad and, with equally strong ties within the local arts scene, she was the first to put on a solo exhibition of the work of the legendary Peter Giele. Since 1993 the gallery has been situated on the Lijnbaansgracht. With its continuous broad focus, the program consists out of exhibitions with artists such as Shirin Neshat, Meschac Gaba, Monali Meher, Otobong Nkanga and Ni Haifeng.