by Emmelie Koster

Last night was the opening of Kopstukken, an art fair centered exclusively around spacial and installation works. Nine promising and prominent galleries put up a show that is very refreshing and exciting. Some of the galleries are simultaneously showing at the KunstRAI that opened two days earlier. At Kopstukken, the galleries have taken the opportunity to show their visitors a different perspective on their curatorial practices. If you happen to be in Amsterdam this weekend, please do take some time away from the sun to go and see the show, there won’t be any regrets. Kopstukken is on this weekend only in the Huis met de Hoofden, a magnificent canal house on Keizersgracht 123 in Amsterdam, built in 1622. The location alone is worth a visit. Grande entrance, high ceilings, an impressive garden and lots of little rooms and ceilings to explore. On each floor and in every room you’ll find an interesting selection of artworks.


Roos van Haaften
Twenty little tragedies begin

Don’t stay put on the ground floor, you’ll miss a lot of good stuff including Roos van Haaften’s ‘Twenty little tragedies begin’, a careful and intricate composition of shadows that result in a narrative in an industrial landscape. Click on the picture to zoom in and see the details. Tiny woodblocks turn into fuming factories, perspective is created with scratched sheets of perspex placed on overhead projectors. The daylight coming in through the high windows of the house create an extra dimension to the work and makes one wonder which play of light is intended and which shadows are fortunate results of circumstances. Roos van Haaften’s work is a contribution by Gallery Vriend van Bavink, also the organizers of the fair. 

I had expected a few more video installations in the show, partly because Wu Junyong, a personal favorite and devoted Chinese video animation artist was announced to participate. I discovered his work during his solo exhibition at ifaGallery in Brussels last year, where the basement of their space held some of his latest video animations. Here in Amsterdam there is one work on show, identifiable by his recognizable imagery. Always a pleasure to see his work, although I had secretly hoped to see more of his hand.


Zero Degrees 8

One of the other Chinese artists that Canvas International Art has brought to the space is UNMASK, who has two works on display, a stainless steel sculpture placed in the house’s garden and a mesmerizing piece tucked away on a half floor. In a futuristic egg shaped cube a humanoid creature is placed, eyes closed, as if he is sleeping. Humanoid, not unequivocally human, because the creature is entirely covered in white fur. The sculpture forms part of the Zero Degrees series of UNMASK in which, if I understand correctly, the artist visualizes the cold economic climate that surrounds the art market. According to Canvas: “The hair symbolizes the specialization and self-protection of human in this technological and economical developed era, just like the self-protection function of animal’s hair, which helps to keep warm and to hide in the wild. Interestingly, the economical winter coincides with the hair of the creatures, which proves the self-protection that mankind needs, both physical and spiritual.”


Midas Zwaan

A fun find is in the basement of the building accessible through a tiny corridor just after the stairs. Galerie Frank Taal exhibits two works by Midas Zwaan. The young artist uses second hand objects in his installations and peep-boxes (those were not on display this time).

Torch Gallery has brought in TINKEBELL and Tessa Hendriks. Tinkebell’s project ‘Save the Snails’  shows a mini-garden filled with colorful plants and flowers, Pink Lady apple’s that still have the stickers on them and live snails. The snails are decorated with beads and glitters and happily trot around the garden. Available for purchase, for €65 each. TINKEBELL is known for her confrontational artworks that ignite discussions on morals and consumer behaviour. I didn’t read up yet on the message behind Save the Snails, but I enjoyed being tempted to buy a snail and being tempted to see the snail as a proud creature with its coat of jewels.

Tessa Hendriks

Tessa Hendriks

In the same room you’ll find the work of Tessa Hendriks. Hendriks, with wood as her preferred medium, has recently been building tree houses around Amsterdam. In this exhibition we see her miniature versions thereof and some of her smaller wood sculptures.

Go! Rush to Keizersgracht 123 if you can and see these works and plenty of other spacial works. The show is on until tomorrow Sunday June 8th, 11AM – 9PM. Most artworks are for sale from as little as €65 to five zeroed figures. If you want to thank me for writing this whole report for you I’ll have the UNMASK sculpture please.

What are the Exhibition Scouts?

No Man’s Art Gallery has art lovers worldwide checking out exhibitions with young artists and reporting about them on a voluntary basis. It is a way for us to keep our finger on the pulse of art wherever it’s being made, and for you to do the same. Want to become an exhibition scout? Send an e-mail to the Exhibition Scout editor Ingeborg Røsberg.


About NMAG

NMAG organizes pop-up galleries all over the world, discovering young artistic talent locally and taking the art to our next destinations. Read more


Upcoming exhibition:
12.06 | Urban Outfitters x Maxim Santalov Solo
10.07 | Summer Exhibition Amsterdam
09.14 | No Man’s Art Pop-up Gallery OSLO (Call for Artists)