This year, through my internship with This Art Fair, I’ve been very lucky to meet talented Amsterdam based artists and get to know their works. This is also my first involvement in an art exhibition of this scale. My curiosity naturally goes to the production and curation side of things, as I investigate how contemporary artists are blending ancient techniques with new day ideas on presentation and theme.
Artists such as Britt Dorenbosch, who recently took up working with tempera, and Mariette Becu, who has had tempera on the canvas for some time now, both hand make their own paints. Examples of this method date back from the 1st centuries AD. Grinding delicate pigments with egg yolk and stand oil, until the right consistency for paint is reached. Dorenbosch describes her process as painting ‘wet-on-wet’ to create her beautiful still life’s. And Becu describes her work with tempera as, ‘the image emerges layer after layer. There’s no quick solution, it’s a path: getting more and more attached doing monkish work’.
Chatting to artists, I get to hear their thoughts on group exhibitions verse solo shows. The general feeling seems to be a preference towards group showings. Providing artists with opportunities to meet new people, discuss the works and be inspired by the other artists around. As Dorenbosch stated, This Art Fair is like a ‘4 daylong summer camp’. And Becu notes,‘Larger audience can stroll along and take time to really connect to the paintings’. It also gives collectors a space to view a diverse breadth of work from Amsterdam’s artists.
Collaborations, whilst having been around for quite some time now, are open to modern day ideas. Giving the artists and the audience a new way to experience their works. And we are lucky to have some artists exhibiting with us who have already explored this avenue. Dorenbosch and Daniela Schwabeteamed up earlier this year, giving each other an (specially made) unfinished painting which each had to finish. A very difficult but nice challenge. Dorenbosch said, ‘It shows you what is important in your paintings’ and I imagine this will also translate out to the viewers. STAFF_ROOM will take over our toilets, and toilet paper for some climate news. And Sebastian Hennig, photographer, and Daniel Zakharov, freelance artist and designer, combined their work in 2012 to bring ‘FACE THE EURO’ the the fair.
From conversations had at the end of our final workshop, it seemed the artists were already buzzing with ideas on how to setup and curate their stalls. Far removed from the white cube experience one might expect. Creating mini-installations to transport their living room, studio, garden or most indulgent space into the 3x3m stands. Calling on their ‘neighbours’ to ensure colour palettes were going to be a match or at least not cause too much fuss. I look forward to stepping into artists lounge rooms, hearing guitars being practised on, seeing a painter at her easel and strolling around to see some of the many ways art can come together. See you at the fair!