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Art Affair

December 17 through 20, 2020, daily 11:00 – 19:00h

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Facing an Empty Calendar, Six Dutch Old Master Dealers Will Launch Their Own Humble Art Fair at an Amsterdam Hotel

The Art Affair, as the event is called, will be held in a hotel in Amsterdam.

By now, many of the major art fairs Old Master dealers rely on—Frieze Masters, TEFAF New York, and La Biennale Paris—have been cancelled for 2020. Whether or not TEFAF Maastricht, the mother of all Old Master fairs, will take place next spring is anybody’s guess (especially considering the heat organizers took after numerous fairgoers contracted COVID-19 at the March event).

That’s why half a dozen Dutch Old Master galleries are taking matters into their own hands this September with the launch of their own art fair—or Art Affair, as it’s cleverly called. The event is emblematic of the kind of hyper-local, highly specialized gathering that may become more common in the social-distancing era. 

The expo, scheduled to run from September 3 through 6 at a ballroom at the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam, will be decidedly humbler than the aforementioned brand-name international events. But while there probably won’t be any oysters or cinematic floral arrangements, you also won’t have to pay to get in. The organizers are promoting the experience as a quaint and—most importantly—spacious opportunity for collectors and causal art lovers alike to get some face time with art and the people who sell it. 

The idea for a communal event first came to the organizers, who know one another from years of participating at TEFAF Maastricht, two months ago. “It became apparent then that larger art fairs couldn’t take place due to the ongoing pandemic,” Robert Aronson, an Amsterdam based antiques dealer, tells Artnet News. “However, from our clientele, we got the message that they wanted to come visit us under proper and safe circumstances. We got together and decided to go ahead with a small-scale event.”

The expo will adhere to the current guidelines laid out by the Dutch Centers for Disease Control. There will be no tickets or timed appointments, but capacity will be capped at 40 people.  

Among the galleries participating are A. Aardewerk from the Hague, Kunstgalerij Albricht from Oosterbeek, Bijl-Van Urk from Alkmaar, Jaski Gallery from Amsterdam, and Kollenburg Antiquairs from Oirschot.

It’s a small snapshot of the country’s art and antiques landscape that is otherwise lost in the global ambitions of a bigger fair. 

“The overhead of the larger events might make it more difficult to continue with a smaller committed group of exhibitors,” Aronson notes. “So it is very well possible that for the time being we might see more of these small events, rather than full-blown art fairs.” 

As for any event in 2020, there are still a lot of question marks. Will people feel comfortable attending? Will they be inclined to spend money on art? But for the participating dealers, success in 2020 is being graded on a curve. 

“It might sound cliché, but the fact that we are finding each other as friends and colleagues and we will surely see a number of our clients already make the event successful,” Aronson says. “Who knows what the future will hold, but united we stand stronger.” 

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Art Affair at Amsterdam Hilton September 3rd through 6th, 2020
6 renowned Dutch art dealers enter an Art Affair

Amsterdam, July 24th, 2020 – 6 renowned Dutch art dealers join forces in organizing a sales exposition at the Ballroom of the Amsterdam Hilton from September 3rd through 6th. The room will be transformed into a luxurious and intimate  boutique-event at which visitors can safely roam around, in line with the latest guidelines of the Dutch CDC (RIVM).
The six international art dealers have known each other for years, in part through their mutual participation in TEFAF Maastricht, the world’s leading art and antiques fair. Because large scale events, including TEFAF, cannot take place at the moment, this group of colleagues, who complement each other’s specialialities, decided to unite in one luxurious and intimate selling exhibition which can be visited in complete safety.

“We wanted not only to see each other again, but also to receive our clientele in a seeing that they are familiar with from art fairs like TEFAF Maastricht,” says Robert Aronson. “It is easier to adhere to the guidelines of the Dutch Centres for Disease Control (RIVM) at a smaller event. It is something that we have given a lot of a[enEon to. We will only allow 40 visitors in at any moment and the building has a modern air purificaEon system, which draws outside air through HEPA filters. We adhere to the highest standards” colleague Emiel Aardewerk is quick to underscore.

The participating dealers are A. Aardewerk from The Hague, specialists in antique silver and jewellery; Kunstgalerij Albricht from Oosterbeek, specialising in 19th and 20th century paintings; Aronson Antiquairs from Amsterdam, specialists in 17th and 18th century Delftware; Bijl-Van Urk from Alkmaar, specialising in 17th century Old Master PainEngs; Jaski Gallery from Amsterdam, specialists in modern and contemporary art; and Kollenburg Antiquairs from Oirschot, specialising in 17th and 18th century applied arts.

At the sales exhibition they will show the most beautiful and special objects in their respective fields. Aardewerk will bring a series of four early candlesticks in the stand that was purpose built for TEFAF New York. Albricht will exhibit two Impressionist paintings by H.W. Mesdag and a thus far unknown work by Isaac Israels. Aronson will show a recently purchased so-called ‘tulip vase’ by Adrianus Kocx. Bijl will present one of only seven known floral still lives by Dirck de Bray from circa 1665. Jaski has a large and colourful canvas by Karel Appel from 1974, which was never shown before, and Kollenburg will show a recently acquired Japanese lacquer Cantoor on gilt wooden Régence console from circa 1690.

The Amsterdam Hilton Ballroom has a separate entrance at the Apollolaan in Amsterdam-South. The first two days, September 3rd and 4th, are by invitation only. Due to the limited number of visitors that are allowed in at any given time, we kindly ask for visitors’ patience before entering the room. However any waiting time can be carried out in the pleasant and dedicated Art Affair lounge, or perhaps by having lunch on the Hilton terrace.

12 Renowned Dutch Art Dealers Enter another Art Affair

Art Affair at Amsterdam Hilton  |  December 17 – 20, 2020


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