Amsterdam Drawing 2016: Five years of contemporary art on paper

From September 22nd until 25th Amsterdam-Noord will experience its fifth edition of Amsterdam Drawing, the yearly art fair for gouaches, collages, aquarel paintings, charcoal, pen, oil paint and ink works on paper.

This art fair is all about contemporary art on paper. The galleries bring works of artists from all over the world to Amsterdam to present themselves to a broad interrnational audience. They show works of upcoming artists, like Tarja Szaraniec (Dapiran Art Project Space, Utrecht) and Frédérique Loutz (Galerie Papillon, Paris) but also established names like Jannis Kounellis (Livingstone Gallery, The Hague) and A.R. Penck, (C&K Galerie, Berlin) who have already earned their place in the history of art.

Besides leading Dutch galleries Amsterdam Drawing presents – just like former years – a surprising list of international galleries. These include Galerie Heike Strelow from Frankfurt, Galerie Jean Brolly from Paris and Galerie Martin Mertens from Berlin. What brings them together here in Amsterdam is the special bond with art on paper.

Frederique Loutz, untitled, 2015, mixed media on paper, 56 x 76 cm, Galerie Papillon, Paris

I visited the fair as one of the early birds and was pleasantly surprised. Just like the years before the fair is held in a big temporary pavilion at the NDSM-wharf in between MTV and De Smederij. The big white tent allows a lot of natural light to come in, which does justice to the works of art. The various galleries each have their own cabinet and the visitor follows a fixed route through the pavilion.

Hanna von Goeler, various years gouache on various bank notes, PHOEBUS Rotterdam

I got to talk to Mirjam de Winter, the enthusiastic gallery owner of PHOEBUS Rotterdam. She shows a varied collection of different artists including a few layered drawings from Toine Horvers (The Netherlands) and Joachim Bandau (Germany). The latter puts rectangular shapes in different shades of grey and black on top of each other. And however dark it gets, the black still stays transparent. I found it very intriguing to watch this close up. In the same cabinet I was also very much taken with the bank notes from various Euro countries, notes from their former currency that is, with a bird from the respective country on it (gouache). Together they form a beautiful unity. These elegant works of art are made by Hanna von Goeler (Switzerland).

Stefan Bleekrode, A view on Washington Square, Frank Welkenhuysen Gallery, Utrecht

In the cabinet of Frank Welkenhuysen, a gallery owner from Utrecht, I spoke to Stefan Bleekrode, a young Dutch artist who was busy drawing right there and then. He makes very detailed drawings of city views in India ink. New York and Italy feature a lot in his work. At the fair he will be drawing live, the whole day every day, and if you wish you can ask him anything about his work.

Amsterdam Drawing is a fair for the true art lover. The collection is of high quality and immensely diverse, in all styles and genres and in every price range. That makes it interesting for everybody, the experienced art collector as well as the beginner art buyer. Amsterdam Drawing 2016 is organised by Hans Gieles and Joost Coers.

For admission fees, opening hours and more information, have a look at the website:

Article by Anke Feenstra