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Art Rotterdam 2021: A European first. First international art fair to take place again
Ruri Matsumoto, Line broken gamma ray 2020. Courtesy: Livingstone gallery.

ROTTERDAM.- Very soon, from 1 July to 4 July, Art Rotterdam will be presenting its twenty-second edition at the iconic Van Nelle Fabriek, for the first time during the summer. Outdoors, as well as indoors across a surface area of over 10,000 m2, more than 100 galleries will be exhibiting the work of up-and-coming and established talents alike. Art Rotterdam 2021 is the first international art fair in Europe to open its doors once more and to guarantee a safe and responsible event for all visitors. Collectors and art lovers are very much looking forward to the event and this unique summer edition, says Fons Hof, Director of Art Rotterdam. For those interested in a sneak preview, the Art Rotterdam catalogue will be available online at on 24 June.

Safe and responsible visit guaranteed

It goes without saying that Art Rotterdam 2021 complies with the most recent measures and guidelines issued by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environemnt (RIVM) and the already tested Dutch Museum Association protocol. Face masks and social distancing (1.5 metres) are required and tickets with a starting time are available online only. Only a limited number of people may enter each hour but once inside, they may stay as long as they wish. In addition, there will not be any food service on the exhibition floor. The organisation is strongly committed to offering the public, participants and staff a safe, responsible and inspiring summer edition. The opening time, for instance, has been pushed back to 10 am and the evening closing time on Friday extended to 9 pm. The safety measures guarantee that there will be half as many visitors as in previous years.

NN Art Award: five-year anniversary

The summer edition of Art Rotterdam 2021 marks a special occasion: the fifth anniversary of the NN Art Award. The NN Group is been a partner of Art Rotterdam since 2017 and, each year, presents an incentive prize to contemporary talented artists with a unique visual language and innovative perspective. These artists have all completed an art programme in the Netherlands. Not only are up-and-coming artists selected, but also those who have progressed further in their career. The jury of art experts for this anniversary edition will comprise Imara Limon, curator of Amsterdam Museum, Reyn van der Lugt, collector, Suzanne Swarts, Director of Museum Voorlinden, Koen Taselaar, artist and nominee for the NN Art Award 2020, Elisah van den Bergh, curator of the NN Art Collection.

Last December, the jury announced the nominees for the NN Art Award 2021: Priscila Fernandes (Division of Labour, London), Lilian Kreutzberger (CINNNAMON, Rotterdam), Claudia Martinez Garay (GRIMM, Amsterdam) and Erik Mattijssen (Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam). The work by the four nominees will be presented at the NN Art Award stand on the exhibition floor. The winner will receive an incentive award in the amount of €10,000. The presentation of the award will take place on Wednesday 30 June. Past winners are the Quistrebert brothers (2017), Pauline Curnier Jardin (2018), Katja Mater (2019) and Ana Navas (2020).

NN Art Public Award

The twenty-second edition of Art Rotterdam is an edition of firsts. The public can vote on the four nominees and the winner will receive a cash prize of € 5,000,-. Interviews with the nominees can be found at and the public can cast their vote for the NN Art Public Award on the same website from 3 June. Visitors can also vote during the event itself at the NN Art Award booth. The winner of the NN Art Public Award 2021 will be announced by Dailah Nihot, member of the NN Group Management Board, during a livestream recorded on the final day of the event, Sunday 4 July, at 3 pm.

Outdoor artworks

Art Rotterdam 2021 is taking full advantage of the summer season, with leading galleries and project spaces presenting a record number of impressive outdoor works of art on the factory grounds. Trendbeheer will be welcoming visitors with a site-specific work of wall art by Marcha van den Hurk: waving flags will be hanging from the windows of the Van Nelle Factory adorned with texts from inmates from the penitentiary De Schie on the other side of the water. The texts include quotes, slogans, wishes and messages to loved ones. When the wind dies down, the texts on the canvas can be easily read. When the wind blows, the flags wave back as it were at the penitentiary across the waterway. The wind creates an awe-inspiring and dramatic sight. Other outside works on display: Frank Taal Galerie will be exhibiting work by Bram Braam, while Nest will be showing the art of Müge Yilmaz and Brook Andrew and Kersgallery will be display work by David Bade. Roy Mandos will be contributing the work of Maarten Baas and Murals Inc. will be presenting a modern mural by Anan Striker. As part of Prospects, the Mondriaan Fund will be displaying the work of Lin Gerrites, Lliada Charalambous, Olle Stjerne, Rowan van As and Lucas Sloot on the outdoor grounds.

Prospects - Mondriaan Fund showcases talent

During Art Rotterdam, the Mondriaan Fund will be presenting the ninth edition of Prospects, showcasing the work of artists who recently received funding to launch their professional career.A total of 74 artists will be taking part in the exhibition.Just as in 2020, the guest curator will be Johan Gustavsson, co-director of 1646, The Hague, board member of The Naked and Page Not Found and a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK).To carry out the exhibition safely in these coronavirus times, Prospects will not only be exhibited in the former Distribution Centre building this year, but also in the Schiehal across from the entrance to Art Rotterdam and on the outside grounds of the Van Nelle Factory.Design agency Tom Postma Design has once again been brought in to help with the design.

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