4bid (den) gallery: the (anti) gallery in the heart of Amsterdam

by Paola Pirovano

Photocredit ©Martina Bertola

4bid was born thanks to four artists willing to develop a space dedicated to art that can exist without being subjected to the logic of the market.
A bet that is still active today, after 4 years, on the ground floor of the former squat OT301, not far from the centre of Amsterdam.

A unique place for artists who want to exhibit their works even if they lack the right networks to access commercial galleries.

The 4bid approach is informal but still professional. This has made the reputation of the gallery in the underground art world, attracting international artists.
In strong contrast to the usual commercial space practices, 4bid opens its doors to any artistic proposal without any barriers. The purpose of the gallery is not to generate profits, but rather to offer an experimental platform for artists.

Out of the four initial founders only Irina and Giacomo continue the 4bid adventure, surrounded by a small group of enthusiastic volunteers. Because of their artistic background, they are totally aware of the difficulties that young artists face on their path, especially due to the difficulty to approach “official” cultural institutions without the right contacts.

4bid focuses on the artistic value and on the importance of creation and experimentation. While the gallery space can be freely used, it’s not just about renting a place: 4bid offers artists the opportunity to discuss their works with members of the gallery and with the public. It is a rare opportunity to share projects with people outside the artistic environment allowing a fresh and unexpected look. These occasions often generate new ideas and collaborations. 4bid organises a regular programme of exchanges between artists, the public and other organisations. 4bid believes that art is fundamental for the development of critical social awareness.

Through these experimental and non-conventional practices, 4bid is also an act of resistance. Indeed, 4bid believes that in order to survive, a gallery does not necessarily need to make profits. Completely independent and counter current, 4bid is the antithesis of a commercial gallery. The name – 4bid (den) gallery – clearly explains the concept. In this space the conventional concept of the gallery understood as an elitist place reserved for a few is forbidden.



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