The best young artists in one exhibition: ‘Now their art is still affordable’

Promising young artists can be experienced every year at SBK Sprouts Young Talents in Amsterdam. Manon and Vera from the Visual Arts Foundation visit graduation exhibitions from all art academies in the Netherlands in search of tomorrow’s masters. You can see the works of these newly trained artists in the free exhibition at KNSM-laan from 29 September to 16 October.

It is the eighth edition of the exhibition of upcoming talents. Manon and Vera note that the Sprouts event is a great springboard for the new graduates they scout. Tip: It is a sales exhibition, so the exhibited work is also for sale. Manon: “Now art is still affordable. The artists have just finished. In a few years, a lot of work will be worth a lot more!”

Utrecht success

For example, an ex-Sprout and graduate from HKU is Iriee Zamble. In September, she won the royal prize for free painting and was allowed to shake hands with the king.

From all art academies

Every year a small team from SBK goes all over the country in search of the best artists graduating that year. “We are looking for people who really stand out. It can be about quality, but also about theme or materiality,’ says Vera. Manon adds: “It has to have that wow effect. We are always impressed by the students: that they are so good at translating their feelings and thoughts into form at a young age. The level is often really high.”

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For example, the team gathers young talents from the Netherlands. The artists are contacted to exhibit at SBK Budding Young Talents. Vera: “We want to offer the young artists a stage, and we feel that a large number of ‘our’ Sprouts are doing well in the art world after this. It’s nice to see.”

Every art academy is visited, but it is not a requirement for SBK that an artist is chosen from each academy. “Quality really matters,” explains Vera.

New and established

SBK has existed for 67 years and has built up a large art collection. The Sprouts exhibition revolves around new talent, but is also linked to works of art from the SBK collection and works by established artists. Vera: “In this context, we have a collaboration with the Amsterdam artist association Arti et Amicitiae, whose members are artists who often have already earned their mark.”

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What is happening to today’s candidates

19 young artists have been selected to exhibit in Amsterdam this edition, six of whom are from HKU. Variety is not lacking in the work of these young artists. Installations, paintings, spatial works – there is a lot to see and sell during the exhibition.

Still, there are themes that return. “The same themes appear at different academies. It’s interesting to see, because the artists and academies are not necessarily related,’ says Manon. Vera: “Some themes keep recurring every year, but there’s always something new.”

Recurring themes in recent years include the environment, social inequality and (anti-)racism. Much of the work in 2022 is also autobiographical or investigative. Manon: “What stood out this year is the superhero theme. We see a lot of fantasy and alter egos, a kind of escape from reality.”

Manon explains how these themes are recognised: “Sometimes it’s very obvious. Bobbi Essers and Safae Gounane do autobiographical work, for example, literally painting their world. But the themes are not always so literal or easy to define.”

Giving the Rhine a voice

For example, one of the young talents, Martine van Lubeek, has researched the river Rhine. She wanted to answer the question of what and who this river is in its essence. Vera: “Her work contains the results of experiments she has carried out for a year with and around the river. For example, she has dipped cyanotypes, a type of photographic paper, into the Rhine in order to ‘capture’ the flow of the river.

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Know what it’s about

Is all that art talk too much for you? No problems! All works have QR codes. If you scan it, you will get an explanation from the artist. This way you understand (better) what the work entails. Or have a chat with the artist himself. They are in the exhibition from time to time, for example at the opening on 29 September.

Two awards will also be presented during the opening: the SBK Young Talents Award and the SBK-Otto Hetterscheid Incentive Award. Both winners get a solo exhibition. Works by the winner of the SBK-Otto Hetterscheid Incentive Award will also be purchased by the Otto Hetterscheid Foundation for use in the SBK loan collection.

Buy art

It is a sales exhibition. This means that during the exhibition’s two weeks you can also buy works that are on display. Who knows, maybe you can print a beautiful work of an as yet unknown artist, who will soon become one of the greatest! Don’t you take a risk? You can also rent art from SBK Amsterdam.

Are you curious about the works of this up-and-coming talent from the Netherlands? Then go to the exhibition Budding Young Talents! The exhibition can be seen from September 29 to October 16 at KSNM-laan 307-309 in Amsterdam.

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