publication date 24-1-2018

The Gallerists: radical mediators in contemporary art from the sixties onwards

On four Tuesdays in January and February, Rijksakademie hosts 'The Gallerists', a series of intimate conversations with renowned (former) gallery owners from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, discussing their motivation, vision and experiences in running a gallery for contemporary art.

With Galerie René Block, Wide White Space, Konrad Fischer Galerie, The Living Room, Galerie van Gelder, Art & Project en Lumen Travo.

Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten

Dinsdag 30 januari, dinsdag 6 februari, dinsdag 20 februari, dinsdag 27 februari

17:00 - 19:00 hours
Doors open at 16:30 hours

8 euros (students 5 euros)
Tickets will be sold at the door.
Reservations via


Daniela Apice, Noor Mertens, Dorothé Orczyk


Established and former gallery owners from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are invited to share their visions, motivations and practical experiences through a series of public conversations. The discussions will focus on galleries that have played an important role in positioning contemporary art and artists in the recent past, such as Wide White Space, Konrad Fischer Galerie,
Galerie René Block and Art & Project, as well as galleries that now stand in the footsteps of these ‘pioneers’ of the post-war period. For the latter, the focus is on the Dutch gallery landscape with contributions from Peer Veneman and Bart van de Ven (The Living Room), Kees van Gelder
(Galerie van Gelder) and Marianne van Tilborg (Lumen Travo).

This series of conversations aims to provide insight into the functioning of galleries for contemporary art by drawing on the experience of an older generation of renowned gallery owners.

30 January 2018

Galerie René Block (Berlin, 1964-1979)

René Block opened his gallery in 1964 in former West Berlin with the exhibition ‘Neodada, Pop, Décollage, Kapitalistischer Realismus’, presenting at the time unknown artists such as Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell. Two years later he launched Edition Block. Block’s continuous work with artists resulted in the publication of portfolios with prints and multiples, the organization of concerts and performances and subsequently the opening of a branch in New York in 1974 with the happening ‘I like America and America likes me’ by Beuys. 

Lumen Travo (Amsterdam, 1985-present)

Marianne van Tilborg opened a gallery in her apartment on Amsterdam’s Spui square in 1985. From the outset she presented artists from abroad and, with equally strong ties within the local arts scene, she was the first to put on a solo exhibition of the work of the legendary Peter Giele. Since 1993 the gallery has been situated on the Lijnbaansgracht. With its continuous broad focus, the program consists out of exhibitions with artists such as Shirin Neshat, Meschac Gaba, Monali Meher, Otobong Nkanga and Ni Haifeng.

6 February 2018

Galerie Van Gelder (Amsterdam, 1985-present)

In 1985, Kees van Gelder started a gallery on the second floor of a industrial building in the Planciusstraat in Amsterdam. His aim was to create an open-minded space where artists, particularly those from abroad, could express themselves. His programme is often of a contemplative nature. For several years Van Gelder has been running an online platform dedicated to multiples ( and is also the publisher of the bilingual art magazine CUT.

Wide White Space (Antwerp, 1966-1976)

Wide White Space was founded by Anny De Decker and artist Bernd Lohaus in Antwerp in 1966 and was managed by them both until it closed in 1976. De Decker and Lohaus were instrumental in making collectors, critics, institutions and the public appreciative of new ways in which artists were attempting to come to terms with reality. They also contributed actively to a change in mentality towards contemporary art by giving ‘avant-garde’ artists a platform and working in close collaboration with them.

20 February 2018

Konrad Fischer Galerie (Düsseldorf, 1967-present)

Konrad Fischer Galerie was inaugurated in October 1967 in an archway that served as a tiny exhibition space in the centre of Düsseldorf. The gallery opened with an exhibition of works by Carl Andre, when minimal and conceptual art were virtually unknown in Europe. Together with his partner Dorothee Fischer, Konrad promoted new tendencies and forms in contemporary art, without focusing on a specific medium or stopping at a certain artistic trend, thereby engaging their widespread network consisting of artists, collectors and institutions.
The Living Room (Amsterdam, 1981-1993)

The Living Room was launched in a small third-floor apartment in East Amsterdam in 1982 by art history student Bart van de Ven and artist Peer Veneman. The gallery’s focus was on painting and sculpture, most often from a select group of Dutch artists working in the typically anti-academic, ‘wild’ style of the early 1980s. After moving to Amsterdam’s city centre in 1983, and up until its closure in 1993, the activity of the gallery became increasingly formalised. The gallery’s production of catalogues and its participation in several international art fairs, underlined The Living Room’s professional acclaim and secured their influence well beyond the borders of the Netherlands.
27 February 2018
Art & Project (Amsterdam, 1968-2001)

The Amsterdam-based Art & Project gallery was founded in 1968 by Geert van Beijeren and Adriaan van Ravesteijn. In its 20 year existence, the gallery supported an international group of artists associated with different movements, a.o. minimal and conceptual art, by both organizing exhibitions and distributing an information bulletin. The gallery worked with artists like Robert Barry, Alighiero e Boetti, Daniel Buren, William Leavitt, Sol LeWitt and Lawrence Weiner.