Visit Art Rotterdam: art fair with a cool factor

Art Rotterdam is a true Dutch art fair. Not only is it inside the old coffee, tea, and tobacco factory Van Nellefabriek, built in the Dutch Modernist architecture style, it’s also less elitist than most other art fairs. Gallery owners are approachable and artists come speak to you about their work. In the meantime, you enjoy the best-of-the-best art by starting and settled artists, many of which educated in Dutch art schools. A refreshing fair that makes for a great few inspiring hours!

Spotify tip while reading this post:

Art Rotterdam spreads out over various buildings of the Van Nelle factory: the first floor of the factory itself, the old machine rooms and the warehouses. The industrial decor gives a raw edge to the art on display and gives it an instant cool-factor. All parts of the fair are close to each other and the overall size of the fair is very friendly.

Tip: buy your tickets online for a discount: you pay € 13,50 instead of € 17,50 at the door.

Eye popping art at established galleries

The Main Section belongs to the established galleries, 70 in total. They are literally in the central part of the fair, where you will walk through to get to any of the other parts. This is where the ‘big money’ rolls and your eyes will pop. Many of the galleries are Dutch, but you’ll find French, Italian, English, and Swiss galleries scattered around as well. Some galleries focus on one of their star artists (in the New Art section), but most show works by a few of their artists. Most galleries have a recognizable look or feel, although some galleries seem less focused. One thing is for sure: there are heaps of impressive works of art to explore!

Affordable art and emerging artists

Art Rotterdam is very accessible to starting art collectors. For example, there is affordable art of €2000 and under. You can find these gems in the section We Like Art. The works here come in all styles from various galleries and start off at prices as affordable as € 200. Getting greedy? You can buy them on the spot.

In the section Prospects & Concepts, you find art by promising emerging artists. Most of them graduated from art schools in the last few years or are a little more advanced in their careers, so called mid-term artists. This hall has a raw feel and spreads energy. Disrupting stuff goes on in here: girls who slowly move around in their marble-looking art installation wearing marble pattern shirts. Fish gills (the openings for breathing behind fish heads) looking beautiful under their glass bell jars by Mandy den Elzen. A bouncing ball with a camera inside imitating a horizon with a setting (or rising) sun on a video screen (Sun by Philip Schütte).

Tip: make a round through the Projections hall, where a large number of video screens offer all sorts of short videos. The room is well curated and looks a bit mysterious. Sound is only heard through the headphones, giving the space a serenity among the business of the rest of the fair.

Extra points: fashion

One more tip for going to Art Rotterdam: pay attention to the fashion of other visitors. Not only can you spot the predictable round-shaped horn glasses and red lipstick, but also a fair share of architectural dresses, geometric pattern shirts, metallic jackets, brightly colored shoes with differently shaped heels, color blocking shawls, and hats of various pettable materials. A delight!

Buy tickets for the fair at

Good to see you! I'm Yvette, founder & editor at Museologue. This place serves you stories on cool careers, bold life choices, mind buzzing art, personal leadership, travel, and all the other inspiring things people do and create!
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