Jorg Grimm was educated at the Hogeschool voor Economische Studies in Amsterdam. He became a private dealer in 2003 and opened Grimm Gallery in 2005, in Ouid Zuid near the Museum Square in Amsterdam. Grimm’s international roster features British artists Jess Flood-Paddock and Brian Griffiths, Americans Matthew Day Jackson and Nick van Woert, Germans Daniel Richter and Gregor Hildebrandt and Amsterdam artists Ger van Elk and Alex Dorody. Grimm Gallery opened a second space, approximately 2 ½ miles away, on the Keizersgracht Canal in 2008.
“Recent British Painting,” a group show curated by Tom Morton, curator of Cubitt Gallery, London, will open at both spaces in mid-October. It will feature 11 artists from the UK born between 1930 and 1980, including William Monk, Nicholas Byrne and Alex Dorody, and follows the gallery’s exhibition “Recent British Sculpture,” curated by Morton in 2010. The show’s title references survey shows in the UK, particularly those organized by the British Council and other such bodies in the late 1970s and early ’80s when British art was being showcased abroad. Jorg Grimm spoke with A.i.A. about his gallery’s development.—TIFFANY ZABLUDOWICZ
How and why did you become a gallerist?
I started the gallery in 2005 after dealing privately since 2003. It seemed to me that there was room for another gallery in Amsterdam with an international focus, and I kept seeing great art without a platform in Amsterdam.
How do you find international artists in Amsterdam?
We have great post-academic institutions here that attract a lot of international artists. There’s the Rijksakademie and De Ateliers, which is an independent artist’s institute that focuses on fostering emerging international talent and is run by artists. I discovered Matthew Day Jackson and Nick van Woert while visiting New York and London, and showed both in Europe for the first time. At De Ateliers we discovered Alex Dordoy and William Monk, while they were studying here, and so on.
How did Grimm Gallery’s international program develop?
The gallery program for a big part has grown organically by our artists referring others to us. It’s no coincidence that when we started working with Daniel Richter, for example, more German artists followed.
Daniel Richter is one of the first artists I approached when I started the gallery. I was a fan since I first saw the work in 2003. We did an edition project first, then came a work on paper exhibition. When we got a big space on the Keizersgracht in 2008, he said, “Ah great, you have an actual gallery now!” From then on we showed the paintings. He’s also been very helpful from the beginning by suggesting we start working with Norbert Schwontkowski. The same happened when we started working with artists from the U.S. and the UK.
Please tell us about Grimm Gallery’s upcoming shows.
After “Recent British Painting,” it’s Atelier van Lieshout with an entire new body of work, and for next year, we have solo exhibitions planned with William Monk, Matthias Weischer, Jonathan Marshall, Alex Verhaest and Desiree Dolron to name a few. We currently have a solo exhibition by Ger van Elk, one of the founders of Conceptual art and a leading Dutch artist, showing his latest work.
Are there any people that inspire you?
I was greatly inspired by the book Matisse: Father and Son (1999) by John Russell, about the relationship between Matisse and his son. A part of it describes Pierre Matisse’s vision of what a gallery can be. I’m inspired by artists in all disciplines; people who get up in the morning to create something good and worthwhile. Being part of that is great.
What are the most relevant changes taking place in the art world today?
I see an amazing amount of new talent stepping up and taking over from previous generations, possibly because we’re at the beginning of a new century? A hundred years ago, in 1912, you saw the same thing happening.