Art Week Rotterdam 2019

Today I went to Rotterdam with my wife to visit three art fairs in one day. We were invited to the VIP openings for all three because of my wife being both an artist and an art collector. I brought a camera to take pictures of anything that piqued my interest.

Haute Photographie

The first fair was Haute Photographie, the art photography fair organized by Roy Kahmann of Kahmann Gallery in Amsterdam:

[…] a new photography fair with a concept unlike any other. Haute Photographie is centred around a group exhibition, featuring works by the grand masters from the history of photography, to the youngest and most exciting young talents working with the medium today. Haute Photographie is a boutique photography fair with the allure of a museum.

Langdon Clay (1949) - King’s Inn Car, Chevrolet Caprice, Hoboken, NJ, 1975

Barry Kornbluh - Torso (Undressing) 2006 - silver gelatin print

Marvin E. Newman (1927, US)

Christer Strömholm - Paris, Montparnasse (late 50’s, silver gelatin print, vintage)

Nora Papp - Instagram Toaster (2018) - Archival pigment print on glass

We bought this one! This work you really have to see in real life to enjoy it - it’s printed on glass that’s mounted with space behind it so the work acquires a lot of dynamic from the shadows that move as you go past the work. Compare it with the way the artist shows the work on her @nora___papp Instagram timeline:

What we like about it that it’s at the same time both the result of a very conceptual approach to making art, and a very aesthetically pleasing dynamic work of art that we probably won’t grow tired of soon.

Inspired by Instagram, Nora Papp uses the deconstruction of a digital image to collect “aesthetic data”. Every digital image is divisible into luminosity, levels, brightness, contrast, texture, warmth, saturation, colour, highlights, sharpness, creation and reproduction, distribution, storage. With the help of imaging software, she uses the data she collected from Instagram images. The choice of combining or applying these elements in a certain way, while listing the values that she considers artistically significant, creates a new abstract image.

Nora Papp graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam in 2018.


Hellen van Meene showing something on her phone to Roy Kahmann (probably pictures of her dogs 😉) with the work of Nora Papp in the background.

Christopher Anderson - Bleu Blanc Rouge No. 4: Cherries, 2014

Shen Wei (China, 1977) - James (2007)

Does this work look like a Hellen van Meene or is it just me?

Two older works made in Korea by our friend Julia Fullerton-Batten and two works from her super-ambitious Old Father Thames series. These faithful copies of famous paintings are not my favorites from that series: I like the re-enacted events related to the river Thames found in old newspaper more.

Julia Fullerton-Batten - Serie Corea 2013 - Portrait: Le Go Eun 2013 - C-Type Print

Sascha Weidner (German photographer who died four years ago at the age of 40)

A detail of a work by our friend Carla van de Puttelaar that features a marble-like fabric which might indicate a (shared) love of the work of the Baroque style of sculpture by Bernini.

Ahn Jun - One Life (2018)

Eiji Ohashi - Roadside Lights III #042 (2018)

A wall of works by Kahmann Gallery poster-boy and Alkmaar (Hellen’s hometown) citizen Bastiaan Woudt.

It’s quite likely that no hardworking taxpaying citizen’s euros were spent on supporting this fair.


New Current

The ground floor of the Cruise Terminal at the Wilhelminapier was dedicated to the work of 15 artist who graduated in the last 5 five year.

I liked this work by Quinda Verheul. It looks like it’s just made from mirror, sand and light, and could be made by any of your nephews, but hey: they don’t think of making anything like this!

Qade (Qontemporary Art and DEsign) Solo Project

Twenty-five galleries showing two solo exhibitions each. I hate the name of this fair. I don’t know to pronounce it (“quade”? “kaa-duh”?), and “Qontemporary”? Come on!

Francois du Plessis - Book Objects.

I loved this! It worked on many levels - only when you got real close you could make up how it was made.

Two nice intricate skulls by our friend Carolein Smit.

A view of a rainy and misty New Meuse river and Erasmus Bridge from the Cruise Terminal at the Wilhelminapier.

Art Rotterdam

Art Rotterdam is the biggest contemporary art fair of the Netherlands. The location is the great Van Nelle factory.

a prime example of the International Style based upon constructivist architecture. It has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014. Soon after it was built, prominent architects described the factory as “the most beautiful spectacle of the modern age” (Le Corbusier in 1932) and “a poem in steel and glass”

I’d love to link to their website but unfortunately it’s broken right now (with a quite familiar Yellow Screen Of Death):

When we arrived at this fair we first had to drop off my wife Hellen van Meene’s polaroids at We Like Art, but thankfully this year they were inside of the fair just left of the entrance!

You can buy this one of a kind instant photo (yes, it’s not really a multiple of the kind We Like Art sells - you buy a unique photo of a series of many taken of one of our daughters lying in our bathtub surrounded by flowers).

Heringa/Van Kalsbeek - Hurry Slowly (2017) - Resin and metal @ We Like Art

Hans Houwing. They look like Bic pen drawings and that’s all I need.

Robert Barta - 100 years, 2019 (electric motor, lead battery, magnets, beer coaster, classical foldable table, 80 x 113 x 50cm) at Rutger Brandt Gallery. It’s a typical Dutch round paper beer coaster magically rotating on top of a vintage table.

Maria Roosen @ Galerie Fons Welters

A work and a close-up of a work by our friend Awoiska van der Molen (silver gelatin prints).

Hellen van Meene posing with Katja Mater - one of her models in the early days her career - who was an our later to become the winner of the NN Group (a too big to fail Dutch financial giant) Art Award 2019!

A page from Hellen van Meene’s first monograph (sought after by collectors, especially since it appeared in ‘The Photobook, A History Volume II’ by Martin Parr en Gerry Badger) featuring a portrait of Katja Mater.

Luis Felipe Ortega

Johan De Wit. It’s paper, but it doesn’t look like it. We are close to buying one of his works.

Tom Woestenborghs Belgian. #boobies

A work by an unidentified artist, but emblematic of a lot of other works featuring weaving.

Pim Palsgraaf

Diana Roig

Couleurs II (9luik), 2018, schuursponsjes, 8,5 x 80 x 3 cm, D.D. Trans

The Van Nelle Fabriek is a great place: my photo.

Paola Ciarska


That’s the end of part one. Part two coming soon!