Contemporary Art in Amsterdam

Lose yourself in art

Your visit to Amsterdam is not complete without experiencing art and culture, but the question is where to go to?

We’ve compiled a list to showcase some very interesting places to experience the mysterious and to indulge contemporary art.

Evelyn Taocheng Wang – Four Season of Women Tragedy – Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam – Photo Gert Jan van Rooij

All about photography

Foam is the go to museum for contemporary photography for over decades in Amsterdam. There is always an exhibition on display that will get you thinking.

From contemporary to historical work and from fine art to applied photography. World famous photographers are exhibited alongside young, emerging artists. Doesn’t this sound like a treat?!

This is an unpretentious place where art is presented in a very easy low key way for you to enjoy.

The building itself is steeped in history and has been holding contemporary exhibitions for almost 150 years. In 2001 Foam took over this culturally esteemed property and held their first exhibition.


Untitled from the series Boys of Hong Kong 2018 c Alexandra Leese courtesy of the artist

Supporting artistic experimentation

The Amsterdam harbour and dockyards have been in transition over the last decade. Most of the industrial buildings have been transformed into residential areas. However no urban development is complete without a place for art and culture.

Het HEM is such a place – a platform to various disciplines such as the visual arts, dance, music, light and sound art, theatre and film, as well as science, politics and philosophy. It is about the coming together of both creating and experiencing the various forms of art.

If you have the time take the ferry from Amsterdam Central Station and you’ll be treated to an architectural sightseeing of urban development.

Het Hem

Images credit Jan Kempenaars

Thought revealing art

Non-profit + exhibition space + contemporary art + large scale + emerging talent = P/////AKT

This pact requires the artists to produce something new and reveal their thoughts in the process. This enables the audience to witness the mental space as part of the art and to get a direct understanding of the context.

So no objectivity but good old fashioned subjectivity, which can lead to interesting debates and perspectives.


Pedro Barateiro, My body, this paper, this fire, 2019 Charlott Markus

Discover emerging talent

Tucked away in an old garage Galerie Fons Welters reveals rising contemporary artists. Fittingly the gallery is located in the Jordaan, which once was a hard working, radical, no-nonsense neighborhood, and currently harbors galleries, restaurants and boutique shopping.

Galerie Fons Welters opened in 1988 and since then has been pivotal in providing a platform for up and coming contemporary artists. Their distinctive focus is on installation art and sculptural approaches gaining an (inter)national reputation.

Visiting the gallery will definitely broaden your perspective and will stimulate your senses.

Galerie Fons Welters

Berend Strik, Redefining Realness, exhibition overview, Galerie Fons Welters 2016

By artists for the people

Started in the late seventies, as an alternative to the establishment, a group of 5 artists started W139 at Warmoestraat 139. At W139 the artists are in charge to initiate exhibitions from inception to the actual staging of the ‘sensory, sensitive and inclusive’ exhibitions.

What started as an anti-establishment initiative transformed into a professional platform for contemporary art. With their motto “Art comes first” it’s the perfect spot to take in some pretty impressive contemporary exhibitions. Be sure to enjoy the food they occasionally prepare at the entrance, all home made and delicious.


Shifting Spaces W139 2016  photo by Chun-Han Chiang