In Rotterdam, Haute Photographie revamps the fair concept

Putting on a museum-quality collective show, Haute Photographie, held in Rotterdam from 8 to 12 February, is renewing the concept of image-related commercial events. A lowdown on the first edition… Haute Photographie is a new fair concept tested out by Dutch gallerist Roy Kahmann during Art Rotterdam Week, from 8 to 12 February. After a pilot initiative last year, Haute Photographie has just welcomed crowds of visitors to its first edition, held over five days. Organisers filled a 1,250 m2 space adjacent to Rotterdam’s FotoMuseum. Some 250 works by around fifty artists were presented by five galleries. This new type of fair was designed to offer a more intimate and convivial version of the big yearly events that punctuate the photography market, of which Paris Photo has become emblematic. “I hate the current system of fairs organised by stands that are limited in size and in which the visitor’s attention gets lost,” explains the Haute Photographie founder. “I wanted image presentation to be closer to that in a museum while offering the possibility of buying works. Here, visitors can discover pieces in a relaxed atmosphere before going off for a meal in the starred restaurant or looking around the bookshop.” Instead of the customary stands, organisers have taken the collective-hanging approach, with each artist being accorded wide picture rails. These were presented in a highly organised space that facilitated circulation and offered armchairs and benches. Particular attention was paid to lighting. Young and vintage talent At the fair’s entrance, visitors were ushered in by a selection of three large prints by Antoine d’Agata, hanging opposite three images of Rotterdam’s parks by Jeroen Hofman.  Polaroid nude shots by Carla van de Puttelaar were on offer at €1,450 while black-and-white portraits of young sailors by Belgian Stephan Vanfleteren were priced at €2,950....

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A new director for the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has announced the appointment of a new director: Taco Dibbits. He will be taking up his new position on 15 July and replacing Wim Pijbes who announced his departure in March in order to take charge of a new contemporary-art institution, the Museum Voorlinden, scheduled to open in September in a natural park near The Hague. Taco Dibbits formerly worked for Christie’s as director of the Old Masters department. He then joined the Rijksmuseum in 2002 as curator of 17th century painting prior to the museum’s renovation. He namely supervised the reorganisation of the museum’s collections and its digital shift by making high-definition visuals of many works available to the public. As of 2008, he became the museum’s director of...

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The Van Gogh Museum to sell its services to collectors

The Van Gogh Museum has found a way to raise new funds: an offer of consultancy services for collectors. This original initiative should allow the institution to make up for the loss of various public subsidies. The institution’s offer of consulting services for conservation and museum management targets companies, other public institutions, but also private collections. Finding new funds is a constant challenge for museums, especially in the current economic context. While museums are used to sharing their collections and knowledge about these collections, the commercial use of this wealth is still a taboo in this milieu. The new service, stemming from a pilot project initiated two years ago, aims at having museum staff spend 5 to 10 % of their working time offering these new services, namely for educational programmes. If demand is high, then jobs will be created. Adriaan Dönszelmann, managing director at the Van Gogh Museum sees no ethical problems in this development, but instead, a way to offer advice on the art market to collectors whose acquisitions can potentially be shown in museums. Another example of a public/private partnership, this time initiated by the public sector. The new financing model arises at just the right time to compensate for the decline in public funding going to the museum (-€7 million per year), in other words 20% of the museum’s total...

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Wendelien van Oldenborgh to represent the Netherlands at the next Venice Biennale

The Mondriaan Fonds has announced that Wendelien van Oldenborgh will be representing the Netherlands at the 57th Venice Biennale. Residing and working in Rotterdam, Wendelien van Oldenborgh has been selected for her artistic project named “Cinema Olanda”, comprising three films that explore different facets of the Dutch postcolonial past, and the impact of this past on today’s society and on contemporary Dutch identity. The artist’s work reflects on current political issues. The exhibition will be curated by Lucy Cotter and will be held in the Rietveld Pavilion. The selection committee for the Dutch pavilion comprised of Lorenzo Benedetti, Nathalie Hartjes, Aernout Mik, Mirjam Westen and Brigit Donker, chairperson of the jury (and director of the Mondriaan Fonds). The artist is enthusiastic about her nomination: “This will be a wonderful moment to share the current transformations in Dutch society with an international...

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421,700 visitors flock to the Noordbrabants’ Bosch exhibition

The exhibition “Hieronymus Bosch — Visions of genius”, held from 13 February to 8 May at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch, the artist’s town of birth in the Netherlands, drew a total of 421,700 visitors, setting a new visitors record for the museum. The exhibition was announced as being the largest retrospective to be dedicated to the artist, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his death. The exhibition offered a comprehensive study of the work of Hieronymus Bosch, in collaboration with the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP). The exhibition reunited 17 of the artist’s 24 known paintings to date, as well as 19 of the artist’s 20 drawings. The exhibition was no less than a planetary success as visitors came from all over the world (23 % of tickets were purchased overseas). European visitors represented a large share of the international public, with 7 % from Belgium, 6 % from Germany, 4 % from the United Kingdom, and 2 % from France. The museum is preparing to host a new exhibition, “Van Eyck, Brueghel, Jordaens — Masterpieces from Rumania”, from 18 June to 9 October 2016, with hopes for new...

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