, the photography fair that was declared bankrupt three weeks ago, has been acquired by Art Rotterdam, Westergas and GalleryViewer.com. The coming edition of Unseen will take place from Thursday 17 through Sunday 20 September 2020 at Westergas in Amsterdam. Fons Hof, director of Art Rotterdam, will take over as the director of Unseen for the coming edition.
Fons Hof: "Two weeks ago, many galleries exhibiting at Art Rotterdam expressed their confidence in our organisation to continue Unseen. That confidence was crucial for us to make a bid for Unseen's assets. Unseen is a unique event that has meant a lot for photography in the Netherlands. Moreover, over the years it has become a strong brand. It would have been a shame if this had been lost."
Besides Fons Hof, Unseen's new management consists of Hof's business partner, Johan de Bruijn, with whom he founded the online gallery platform GalleryViewer.com in 2018. The online catalogue for the coming edition of Unseen will be available on GalleryViewer.com in September.
Johan de Bruijn: "GalleryViewer.com and Unseen will strengthen each other's position and foster each other's growth. Unseen has been very successful at reaching new groups of art lovers, as visitors often purchase their first art work at the fair. This is an audience that goes online to find out what's on offer prior to seeing a work of art in the gallery or at the fair. This collaboration, therefore, offers an excellent opportunity for GalleryViewer.com to present itself to a new target group, the audience of Unseen."
Duncan Stutterheim, co-owner of Westergas, is also pleased with Unseen's restart at Westergas, the arts and culture village in Amsterdam's Westerpark. Mr Stutterheim: "For the past nine years, Unseen has been one of the key cultural events we hosted at Westergas, with the fair attracting 25,000 visitors annually. It is a highly diverse, interested, young and cultural audience. It's great that we have managed to preserve Westergas as the location for Unseen."
The new management intends to keep Unseen's idiosyncratic character. The Unseen Book Market, which comes with more first editions than ever, will certainly return. Fons Hof: "We cherish all the important ingredients that contributed to Unseen's success, such as the beautiful Gashouder as a venue, the special layout of the fair and the buzz surrounding the fair. The coming edition, The Transformer House, the building right next to the Gashouder, will once again be home to the Unseen Book Market."