My my my, has it been a year and a half already since the last edition of Art Rotterdam? This annual contemporary art fair – conveniently located minutes from where I live – was postponed due to a little pandemic called Covid-19, but now it’s back and hopefully better than ever. The online preview on Gallery Viewer definitely looks promising! And just like last year, I’ve put together a list of ten artworks to look out for. Two things before you scroll down: a) the list is in random order and b) art is a frightfully subjective topic, so chances are you’re not always going to agree with my choices – which is perfectly fine, of course!
Want to create your own Art Rotterdam list? Sure you do! Head over to the Gallery Viewer website for the official Art Rotterdam 2021 fair catalogue.
ART ROTTERDAM 2021 – 10 GREAT WORKS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
1 – The Silk Flower by Saar Scheerlings
The Silk Flower by Saar Scheerlings looks like it could be a colorful addition to my living room. Scheerlings is inspired by ethnographic collections in museums and textile crafts. Her work is – and I’m quoting from her website – a search for a sense of inspiration and meaning as we know it from ancient cultures and religious artefacts such as talismans. More info on Gallery Viewer.
2 – Motel, Raton, New Mexico, 1980 by Steve Fitch
It’s a little bit Paris, Texas, and a tad Todd Hido but hey, who cares when the result is as beautiful and melancholy as this photo by Steve Fitch. I’ve been to motels like these back and let me tell you, they’re very sad and desolate most of the time. Oh, and note to self: don’t forget to publish the Paris, Texas article I once wrote for the now-defunct (or is it?) design magazine WOTH Wonderful Things. More info on Gallery Viewer.
3 – Paardenhal by Sam Andrea
I know, I know, this painting by Amsterdam artist Sam Andrea is not exactly gezellig as we say in Dutch. But it does tell a powerful story, although I’m not really sure what story a woman in full berserker mode holding a fire extinguisher and sitting on a wicker horse in what seems like a deserted factory is supposed to tell. Wouldn’t it be great if Andrea could tell me in person at Art Rotterdam? More info on Gallery Viewer.
4 – Des Pudels Kern by Erik Mattijsen
If you look carefully, you’ll see that Erik Mattijsen’s Des Pudels Kern consists of two separate parts. Not really sure why, but it does add a little extra to this already pretty cool painting. I’d LOVE to be able to paint interiors (and doggies) like this black poodle, so I’m definitely going to check this painting out. More info on Gallery Viewer.
5 – Au bon vieux temps – Sali Muller
Oh, the selfies that are going to be taken at Art Rotterdam with this chrome-baes Rococo mirror by Sali Muller…you just *know* it’s going to be a big hit on Instagram! And rightfully so, if you ask me! After all, it’s very Zeitgeisty with its rainbow colors…and it looks FEROSH. Sometimes that’s all you need from art, right? More info on Gallery Viewer.
6 – 21143 by Klaas Kloosterboer
Let’s face it, 21143 is the painting we all love to hate…and hate to love at the same time. Painter Klaas Kloosterboer looks like he was phoning it in with a blank canvas, some leftover paint and an urge to make a quick 15.000 euros. And who can blame him? You have to agree with me, however, that the vibrant colors of the painting you see here also stir your creative juices. I know they do mine! More info on Gallery Viewer.
7 – Untitled #2047 by Thorbjørn Bechmann
So yeah, I’m probably either going to really love these colorful and metaliccy paintings by Danish artist Thorbjørn Bechmann at Art Rotterdam…or not. It feels like I need to see them IRL to make up my mind. I’ll let you know! More info on Gallery Viewer.
8 – Untitled (b&w, blue and yellow) by Hiva Alizadeh
Thanks to our local art library Kunstuitleen Rotterdam, I have art on literally every wall of my apartment. The ceiling, however, is still up for grabs artwise – and so this work by Hiva Alizadeh made of synthetic hair on canvas looks very tempting indeed. More info on Gallery Viewer.
9 – Ice Painting in Freezer on Pedestal by Daan den Houter
I’ve interviewed dozens of artists over the years, and Daan den Houter was definitely one of the most laidback. When I met up with him at his studio last year, he had just finished a series of his so-called ice paintings. Several of them will be for sale at Art Rotterdam, but only one of them comes with a special freezer on a pedestal. I haven’t taken the time yet to translate my interview with Den Houter, but you can read it in Dutch over on the website of Kunstuitleen Rotterdam. More info on Gallery Viewer.
10 – Baby You Know by Joana Schneider
I’ve been a fan of Joana Schneider ever since I saw her textile hangings at the 2017 edition of Dutch Design Week. And since then, this artist has gone from strength to strength. Case in point: her latest work, which is called Baby You Know. I can already imagine it hanging here in my living room and telling me everything I already know but don’t always do: Baby, You Know you shouldn’t buy so many new clothes at Uniqlo. Baby, You Know you really shouldn’t take that fourth glass of wine. And best of all, Baby You Know you should be finishing up this blogpost. Well, here it is! More info on Gallery Viewer.