The first thing art fans can think of when hearing the name of town Rotterdam will be Boymans van Beuningen Museum where contains Bruegel’s ‘Tower of Babel’ as its collection. Contemporary art fans might have their attractions to the installation by Maurizio Cattelan, whose installation can only be seen there. But the place you’ve got to visit for sure will be Witte de With, where has opened 1990.

Witte de With

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands after the capital city of Amsterdam, and there is also a world’s leading industrial harbor. The city has arisen from a devastated land by the German Army in 1940, as being a center of business activity of the Netherlands. It’s obvious that Netherlands Architecture Institute, known as NAI, remains in existence as a world’s leading open space for the public, where there is also an annex located in Maastricht.

Witte de With
Bruce Nauman, Seven Figures, 1984 Courtesy of Stedelijk Museum Collection, Amsterdam © Bob Goedewaagen and Witte de With

Witte de With is an art center where originally founded in the basis of the concept taking the contemporary art and its theory into the context of the city, Rotterdam, instead of being a museum as a storage of art.

Witte de With

On the first floor there is an exhibition space called ‘Tent‘, where opened in 1999 and holds about 1000 sq meters open space for exhibiting mainly visual arts. As a space for introducing art in the local community to Rotterdam and then to the world, there you will be able to find social and cultural art works. As taking advantage of this community-based space, it extends to its activity beyond the field, collaborating with International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Witte de With
Gareth Moore, We both step and do not step in the same rivers, with Heraclitean bench , 2008 © Bo Goedewaagen

The director of this facility takes up his/her position for every 6 years. Chris Dercon has been a director from 1990, the opening year, to 1995, and right after that he was selected as a director at Boymans van Beuningen Museum. He is currently a director at Haus der Kunst in Munich. Bartomeu Mari, who was replaced by Chris Dercon at that time, is now a director at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. After having been a curator at Centre Pompidou and Jeu de Paume and a director for Documenta X of 1997, Catherine David was welcomed as a top from 2002 to 2004. She introduced many artists from Arab counties and has reigned as a pioneer of directing art exhibitions in the world.
In 2006 Nicolaus Schaaffhausen is appointed as a director who was a curator for the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

Witte de With
Liam Gillick, Three perspectives and a short scenario, 2008, Installation view Witte de With, Courtesy Liam Gillick, © Bob Goedewaagen

Witte de With is not only a name of the contemporary art center but also a name of the street, where the center is located on. There are galleries, cutting-edge shops, cafes, bars and restaurants gathered on Witte de With street. Both the center and the street of Witte de With together have been developed as a center for today’s art and culture in Rotterdam.

Witte de With, center for contemporary art
Address: Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)10 4110144
Fax: +31 (0)10 4117924

Text: Kana Sunayama
Translation: Mariko Takei

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