Summer show at HERO Gallery, Amsterdam

Aukje Dekker, Spoilt Dissatisfaction (2009-2020), Giclée print, 40 x 28 cm, Edition of 5

HERO, a contemporary Amsterdam based art gallery in Noord, pulled up their garage style door to welcome the wider public to their Heroes: Opening Summer show and BBQ on the 20th July.

Opening in 2018, it is nearly one year old; fittingly, it still feels as though it is in its infancy. Inside is a white washed venue splashed with art, installations and books to browse. There was a DJ and mic set up for live music (although there wasn’t any on while I was there), a small bar being run by Amsterdam Tinto and a BBQ available. 

Guests were left to freely wander between pillars and the walls of art: there was a very relaxed and almost bohemian feel to the whole event.

I would describe it overall as a simple experience but however sparse the art, it does offer thought provoking pieces. Most eye catching for me were the original artworks which had been photographed with explosions or sparklers lighting them up, ultimately leading to the burning and destruction of the original the art for something new.

Also, in the back room area where there were more sculptures, I was drawn to a small whale and a man. Lying on its side, the whale has its mouth slightly open. Tied by chains, the male figure was strapped across the belly of the whale. Brown in colour, I assume it was pottery or clay (although no sign told me so). It was an intriguing display: was the whale alive or dead, and had the man played a part in its death if so. Or perhaps the man was being punished, drowned almost, as the whale sunk into the depths of the ocean. But why? Was this a nod to climate change or to the past, and whale merchants? No more than 30cms in length, it carried a heavy message which the gallery have left to the viewer to decide.

With an abundance of artists on show: Danielle van Ark, Broomberg & Chanarin, Fabrizio Cotognini, Shezad Dawood, Aukje Dekker, Sarah Entwistle and Diango Hernandez, the expo is on until August 24th for you to go along and make your own mind up. Would I recommend it – yes! I loved the ‘moving illusion’ of Diango Hernandez’s Poderes Elípticos (2019), pure pigments on silk.  Would I go again? Not to this viewing but I have signed up to their Facebook page to keep up with future events.

Situated behind Oedipus brewery and within close proximity to the popular Skatepark Cafe and FC Hyena, the HERO gallery on Beitelkade 4 will be sure to draw in the crowds with their upcoming events.    Rose Fawbert Mills   29th July 2019

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