After the acquisition of Unseen by Art Rotterdam and
GalleryViewer.com we’ve been alerted on a letter from Felicity Hammond. We’ve replied by
On 10 February we placed our final bid on the assets
of the bankrupt Unseen identities. In the media the height of the outstanding
debts were described “several hundred-thousand euro’s”. We’ve placed a bid that
would account for a substantial amount of this debt.
Because the purchase of Unseen by us is solely a
transfer of assets we were not informed on any outstanding debts (or any other
financial/management details). The only documents we received described the
assets. This is a common procedure when bankrupt entities cease their
activities (liquidation off assets).
When Felicity’s letter was published on the 11th and news
broke of our acquisition we realized that artists were not payed. Obviously
this is wrong, we feel entrepreneurs should protect artists while doing
business in the cultural sector.
We requested all outstanding debts to artists and
investigated if there were legal ways for us to guarantee full payment to this
artists. On 15 February we received a list of 26 artists with corresponding
amounts which we will pay in full.
The debt the bankrupt Unseen entities have to these
artists will shift to us and in return we put in a claim for the equal amount
at the trustee. We’ll make sure to handle this within a decent timeframe.
Please understand that we can only go on the information provided to us as we
do not have, and will not get, any insight in the financial details of the
previous business entities.
Art Rotterdam and GalleryViewer.com both have no prior
business dealings with Unseen or the Unseen foundation. We have purchased all
assets including the brand name “Unseen”.
For any additional questions please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Restart of Unseen photo fair made possible by Art Rotterdam, Westergas and GalleryViewer.com
Unseen, the photo fair that was declared bankrupt two weeks ago, has been acquired by Art
Rotterdam and GalleryViewer.com. The coming edition of Unseen will take place from Thursday 18
through Sunday 20 September 2020 at Westergas Amsterdam. Fons Hof, director of Art Rotterdam,
will take over as the director of Unseen for the coming edition.
Fons Hof: “Last week, 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 together with Westergas. 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 save Unseen for our site”.
The new management intends to keep Unseen's idiosyncratic character. The Unseen Book Market,
which comes with more firsts every edition, 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 architecture 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
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