Amsterdam will become a hub for contemporary photography next month, as Unseen Amsterdam returns to the city for its eighth edition, from September 20 to 22. Based at the Westergas creative complex, it will host 53 galleries and events, including on-site exhibitions, the Living Room (a programme of guest speakers) and the Book Market, which will feature 70 independent publishers. The fair will represent 300 artists, both up-and-coming and established. Much of the work has never been seen before, and it has all been created within the past three years.
“This year will see important sociopolitical projects – such as Marcel Brodsky at Rolf Art – and a focus on climate change (Ang Song-Nian at DECK gallery), as well as a strong female presence at the fair, with celebrated photographers Dana Lixenberg (GRIMM), Pixy Liao (Fotogalleri Vasli Souza) and Andrea Grützner (Robert Morat Galerie) all exhibiting,” says Marina Paulenka, artistic director of Unseen. “As part of the exhibition programme, we will present works from Tabita Rezaire, dealing with identity, technology and sexuality, and Zohra Opoku, who is influenced by heritage, family and feminism.”
There will be 19 new international galleries, from countries as diverse as India, Singapore, Ghana and Argentina, and many returning names, such as Ag Galerie from Iran, which will showcase work by four female artists: Matin Abedi, Parisa Aminollahi, Ghazaleh Rezaei and Shahrzad Darafsheh. GRIMM, which has outlets in The Netherlands and the United States, will be showing works by Dana Lixenberg and Saskia Noor van Imhoff, while Metronom from Italy will present artistic duo Christto & Andrew and Elena Aya Bundarakis. Flowers Gallery will show Scarlett Hooft Graafland and Lorenzo Vitturi. Meanwhile, Germany’s Robert Morat Galerie will feature Péter Puklus and Lia Darjes, and première art by Andrea Grützner.
Works are on an eclectic scale, with widely differing prices. K4 Ultra HD II, from the series K4 Ultra HD (2018) by Inka and Niclas at Dorothée Nilsson Gallery, is €7,085. A sumptuous portrait of a tree and surrounding plants in an arid region, it positively oozes colour and sensuality. Magic Swirl, on the other hand, from the series A Myth of Two Souls (2013-19) by Vasantha Yogananthan, is a watery landscape offered by The Photographers’ Gallery (from €1,635, edition of seven).
Waves Under My Eyelids (€12,500), from the series Alba’hian by Joana Choumali at Gallery 1957, is almost a dreamscape – a presentation of what would appear to be migrants on the waves, the soft colours of the work contrasting sharply with their desperation – while How to Carry a Weight?, from the series The Hero Mother – How to Build a House (2016) by Péter Puklus at Robert Morat Galerie, is a charming representation of a father and child that is priced from €3,500. And finally, Prima Materia (2019) by Koen Hauser at The Ravestijn Gallery can be taken home for €5,095.