Press release | Amsterdam, 24 September 2012
Initial Edition of Unseen Exceeds All
Strong sales and visitor figures and boosted by
ebullient atmosphere and tight organisation
The inaugural Unseen Photo Fair closed its doors last
night with reports of strong sales and a high level of gallerist
satisfaction with the collectors and institutions that visited from
the Middle East, South America, across Europe and the USA.
Gallerists were also extremely positive about the high level of
organisation, and the effort to which Unseen had gone with the
marketing and presentation of the event.
Over 22,000 visitors came to Unseen, far exceeding the
expectations of the organisers. A high number of additional
visitors were also reported at the Fashion! exhibition, the launch
of the Foam Talent edition, the Unseen Collection, Offprint, and
other programmed events. The optimistic atmosphere of the opening
night lasted to the end, aided by the 'spoke' system of
booth layout by designers Müller van Tol within the
Westergasfabriek's Gashouder building. Last week the online Unseen
Community reached over 176,000 people.
Fifty top international galleries came to Unseen, including
Robert Morat Galerie (Hamburg and Berlin), Yossi Milo Gallery (New
York), East Wing (Doha), Diana Stigter (Amsterdam) Michael Hoppen
and The Photographers' Gallery (both London), G/P (Tokyo), m97
(Shanghai), Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris), Martin Asbæk Gallery
(Copenhagen), and The Empire Project (Istanbul).
A number of strong sales were reported by galleries, including
Aando Fine Art from Berlin selling a piece by Korean photographer
Bae Bien-U priced at c. €60,000 to a new collector, and M97 from
Shanghai selling ten pieces by Huang Xiaoling, their newest artist.
The Photographers' Gallery in London sold their entire wall of
works by Julie Cockburn within the first hour of the fair to a
renowned Dutch collector. Galleria Heino (Finland) sold a print by
Miklos Gáal four times over and said that they have had a great
contact with curators and collectors at Unseen. Diana Stigter, who
brought a solo presentation by Elspeth Diederix, sold the entire
booth. Furthermore several galleries reported serious interest from
major international museums.
Fair directors Marloes Krijnen, Pjotr de Jong and Roderick van
der Lee commented: "We could not be happier with how the initial
Unseen Photo Fair has gone, and are very grateful to the four
parties of the Blockbusterfonds (the BankGiro Loterij, the Prins
Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the VSBFonds and the VandeEnde Foundation)
and especially, the winners of the BankGiro Loterij for exchanging
their vouchers for works of the Unseen Collection. We would also
like to thank the City of Amsterdam and, of course, the
Westergasfabriek for making it possible. The standard of works in
the galleries was exceptional, enticing collectors and a public
from afar and bolstering a shared festival atmosphere. We are
already looking forward to the next edition of Unseen!'
Miami collector Mr. Martin Z. Margulies commented: "the energy
and excitement of Unseen made it something special. The photos are
terrific and the dealers were very nice. The whole excitment of it
was very positive…. The prices at Unseen were also positive: they
gave people that want to start collecting a ticket of admission.
Amsterdam should be thrilled to have a fair like this."
Germany's Der Tagespiegel said: "Unseen could
establish itself as a fair for new discoveries", while Le
Figaro described the design of the fair as "clean,
efficient and ergonomic", going on to say "the first Unseen Photo
Fair captures the zeitgeist and shows…a new generation of artists."
Similarly, Belgium's De Morgen emphasised the
efforts that that has fair made to open photography out to a wide
public, be that by including the Unseen Collection, the series of
talks by people such as Simon Baker (Curator of Photography at Tate
Modern) and Fred Ritchin the former picture editor of The New York
Times Magazine. Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant
described it as a photo fair with a "museum feel", while
Amsterdam's Trouw said "Unseen is a beautiful
homage to the printed image, for both a large and select audience.
Too bad that it only lasts for four days."
Gallery responses to the fair have been extremely positive.
Aando Fine Art commented: "I am very satisfied
with the reactions of collectors…almost the entire booth is sold
and I am happy with everything. I have met many new people here, my
Dutch collectors brought their friends whom then introdued me to
their friends. Also there are new people that are just starting to
collect, this is a sign that Unseen has great potential!".
m97 Gallery said of Unseen that: "the
experience has been great, with an amazing traffic. There is a
great interest and understanding of photography in Amsterdam.
Unseen is encouraging things that are not typical for an art fair,
it gives us the chance to bring things that are surprising, fresh,
new and just finished. Everybody is talking about year 2, 3 and 4
for Unseen already, so now I think that word will spread quickly
about the quality of the fair and more and more people will come.
We are looking forwards to it!"
Martin Asbaek Gallery commented: "We can really
feel, that Unseen has put a lot of effort in promoting this new
photo fair. After only a few days at the fair it has already been a
success and we are very satisfied with the new connections to
collectors and museums we have got during the past couple of
Les Filles du Calvaire commented: "I hope that
Unseen will become an annual event. It is a good meeting point at
the start of the season. If it continues its cutting edge programme
it will become an interesting event for the professional and also
for the collector."
For more information and images please contact:
Dutch press contact
Tel: +31 (0) 551 6500
NOTE TO EDITORS
UnseenThe first edition of Unseen took place from 19 to 23
September 2012. Unseen not only offers space to established
photographers but also to young talent and unknown work. The new
generation of photographers is inspiring, innovative and unafraid
to take risks. At Unseen, they will get the chance to introduce
Unseen is a joint venture between Foam, Platform A, and
Marloes Krijnen, Foam
Marloes Krijnen is founding director of Foam Fotografiemuseum
Amsterdam. Prior to this she was director of Transworld, an agency
representing an international group of photographers. In the years
since its start in 2001, Foam has established itself as a renowned
platform for photography in all its forms: strong national and
international networks, and support of up-and-coming photographers
being two of Foam's most important ambitions.
Roderick van der Lee, Platform A
In 2008 Roderick co-founded Platform A, office for cultural
business development. Over the past decade Roderick has curated a
dozen exhibitions in contemporary art and design and has consulted
for several collections, ranging from private to large
institutional collections such as of the Ministry of Foreign
Pjotr de Jong, Vandejong
Pjotr de Jong is the creative director of branding agency
Vandejong. In 2001 Foam became a client of Vandejong and since 2006
the two organisations have jointly published Foam Magazine.
Blockbuster Fund (BankGiroLoterij, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, VSB
Fonds, VandenEnde Foundation)
Municipality of Amsterdam
Unseen 19 - 23 September 2012 / Westergasfabriek in
Foam is supported by the BankGiroLoterij, De Brauw Blackstone
Westbroek, Delta Lloyd and VandenEnde Foundation.
+ 31 20 5516500