Unseen Photo Fair 2021: Spectacular edition will be held from September 17-19

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Unseen Photo Fair 2021: Spectacular edition will be held from September 17-19
Martin Essl, Wassermelone, 2020. Photo: Galerie Esther Woerdehoff.

AMSTERDAM.- During 3 days, on 17th, 18thand 19th September, Unseen will host a spectacular edition of the photography fair. With the presence of 65 galleries in the main fair, 54 publishers in the book market and 14 participants showing large scale installations in the new section Unbound, the photography fair will showcase a broad and dynamic spectrum of new photography.

Roderick van der Lee, the Director of the fair: "Despite the difficulties of the times, such a large number of international participants will be present with great enthusiasm and exceptional presentations. For the most part coming from throughout Europe, but we are also pleased to welcome galleries from further afield, such as from Tokyo and New York. The fact that this will be such a strong and spectacular edition is particularly something the participants themselves may be proud of. I am thankful for their resolve, vision and the dedication they have to their artists."

National and international photography

Unseen will see presentations of some of the great, institutional Dutch photographers of the past decades such as Bertien van Manen (Annet Gelink Gallery), Erwin Olaf (Ron Mandos Gallery) and Ruud van Empel (Flatland Gallery), but also by a new generation of movers and shakers in Dutch photography such as Jan Hoek (Vriend van Bavink) and Melanie Bonajo (AKINCI). Internationally, the fair will showcase work by established names such as Valerie Belin (Flatland Gallery) and Isaac Julien (Ron Mandos Gallery), but also rising international stars like Antony Cairns (Stieglitz19) and Hassan Hajjaj (193 Gallery).


The new section Past/Present showcases dialogues between vintage and contemporary photography. Galerie Julian Sander will present the work of legendary photographer August Sander alongside a direct reflection on those images by artist Michael Somorrof. Especially for the fair, GRIMM Gallery asked multidisciplinary artist Saskia Noor Imhoff to make a reaction on the estate of conceptual artist Ger van Elk, which will be exhibited alongside the new work. Gerhard Hofland and Paul van Esch have a duo presentation with the intimate, vintage nude snapshots of John Kayser in combination with the uniquely personal perspective on nudity of young photographer Lara Verheijden.


The new section Unbound explores the outer limits of the photographic universe. In the 700m2 Transformatorhuis hall at the fair, this section focusses on multidisciplinary photographic projects, often on monumental scale. The independent curator of the section for this edition is Marcel Feil, the former Artistic Director of photography museum Foam, who selected 14 projects relating to the central theme 'Filling the Cracks'. Marcel feil: "It is clear as day, for almost everyone, that humanity needs to form a new relation to Nature, especially from the idea that nature is not something external to us, but something within us with which we are inextricably linked. The search for a different and more responsible relation with the planet is urgent and has economic social, psychological and spiritual aspects. Many artists are focusing on this fundamental shift, that is ultimately intended to heal our relationship with nature. Sometimes quite literally: what is broken, what has cracks, must be made whole again. Hence the title 'Filling the cracks'. At the same time the title refers to the importance of skin and surface in many of the exhibited projects."

Artistic exploration

In slightly smaller sizes, many presentations at the fair also are an exploration into the nature and the surface of the photograph as an object. Lucas Leffler (Galerie Intervalle) presents unique mud prints, of photographs developed directly onto mud in a dark room process. Galerie Fontata shows literally brilliant photographs of salt crystals by Ilanit Ilouz and Arwe presents impressive photographic quilts by Tomas Baker Feijo.

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