Janneke de Vries

Biographical Information

Janneke de Vries, born in 1968 in East Frisia, has been the director of the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen since 2008.

De Vries studied art history, modern German literature and European ethnology in Marburg and Hamburg. She began her career as a freelance art critic for various newspapers and magazines (including the Frankfurter Rundschau), and also worked as a freelancer at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. From 1999 to 2003 she was editor-in-chief of the magazine art kaleidoscope, then went on to become an assistant curator at the Kunstverein in Hamburg from 2003 to 2006. Together with Kerstin Stakemeier, De Vries also ran the temporary, independent project space INNENAUSSTATTUNG, which explored the boundaries between the private and the public.

From 2006 to 2007 Janneke de Vries was the director of the Kunstverein Braunschweig, where she organized solo shows by such artists as Claire Barclay and Mark Wallinger, the group exhibition “Um-Kehrungen” and developed a guest curator programme. At this time she was also writing for various art magazines, including Dare and Texte zur Kunst.

In addition to her work for the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Janneke de Vries curates independent art projects (among others at Autocenter – Space for Contemporary Art, Berlin), lectures on contemporary art and is the author and editor of numerous publications on this subject. At the GAK, besides organizing process-oriented solo shows (by Chisa & Tkacova, Mariechen Danz, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, FOS, Matt Mullican, Kate Newby, Kathrin Sonntag, John Stezaker, Vlassis Caniaris and Cathy Wilkes, among others), she develops group shows that examine social discourses on a variety of topics. For example, the exhibition “Inside the City. Public Space and Free Space” (2015) looked at how public space is trapped between the fundamental notion of freedom and the constraints of reality; “Girls can tell” (2013) identified a change of tone in the way contemporary artists engage with feminist issues; “Beyond Words” (2012) examined the relationship between imagery and language; “One Fine Morning in May…” (2010) showed how failure, mistakes and disappointed expectations can be productive forces in the creative process; and “Space Revised #1. Friendly Takeovers” (2009) focussed on artistic strategies of space appropriation.

In 2012 the GAK received a commendation from the jury of the ADKV–Art Cologne-Preis in recognition of its work. That same year, the New Zealand artist Kate Newby won the Walters Prize – the most important contemporary art award in her home country – for her exhibition “Crawl Out Your Window” at the GAK in 2010.


Exhibitions (selected)

  • "Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova. Ah, soul in a coma, act naive, attack", GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2015
  • „IM INNEREN DER STADT. ÖFFENTLICHER RAUM UND FREI-RAUM. Arno Auer, Eva Berendes, Bouillon Group, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, dilletantin produktionsbüro, FORT, Knut Henrik Henriksen, Marcel Hiller, Tobias Hübel, Till Krause, Kate Newby, Ahmet Ögüt, Tim Reinecke, Julika Rudelius, Max Schaffer, Z. Schmidt, Maya Schweizer“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2015
  • „Re-Discovery II. Marianne Wex mit Shannon Bool, Nina Hoffmann, Matt Keagan, Julika Rudelius und Jeremy Shaw“, Autocenter – Space for Contemporary Art, Berlin 2014
  • „Koenraad Dedobbeleer. A Quarrel in a Faraway Country Between People of Whom We Know Nothing“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2014
  • „Peles Empire. EVER BUILD“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2014
  • „Sanya Kantarovsky. You Are Not an Evening“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2013
  • „GIRLS CAN TELL. Dirk Bell, Juliette Blightman, Shannon Bool, Kajsa Dahlberg, Nina Hoffmann, Verena Issel, Maria Loboda, Anna Ostoya, Marlo Pascual, Seb Patane, Jeremy Shaw, Dirk Stewen und Susanne M. Winterling“,GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2013
  • „Vlassis Caniaris“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2012
  • „BEYOND WORDS. Saâdane Afif, Jesse Ash, Nina Beier & Marie Lund & Francesco Pedraglio, Ruth Buchanan, Cabinet Gold van d’Vlies, Kajsa Dahlberg, Jacob Dahl Jürgensen, Ryan Gander, Alexander Gutke, Kitty Kraus, Karolin Meunier, Albrecht Schäfer, Norbert Schwontkowski, Kathrin Sonntag, Mark Wallinger und Lawrence Weiner“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2012
  • „Mariechen Danz. Cube Cell Stage“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2012
  • „Cathy Wilkes“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2012
  • „Shannon Bool. Inverted Harem I“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2010
  • „AN EINEM SCHÖNEN MORGEN DES MONATS MAI... Bas Jan Ader, John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Juliette Blightman, Carol Bove, Liudvikas Buklys, André Cadere, Cyprien Gaillard, Sebastian Gräfe, Wade Guyton, Gareth Moore, David Sherry, Fiete Stolte und Guido van der Werve“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2010 (gemeinsam mit Imke Itzen)
  • „Kate Newby. Crawl Out Your Window“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2010
  • „Matt Mullican. City As A Map (Of Ideas)“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2009
  • „SPACE REVISED #1. FRIENDLY TAKEOVERS. Cezary Bodzianowski, Bob Braine & Leslie C. Reed, Trisha Brown, Christian Haake, Guillaume Leblon, Daniel Maier-Reimer, Katrin Mayer, Rosalind Nashashibi und Peles Empire“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2009
  • „Kathrin Sonntag. Superkalifragilistixexpialigetik“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2009
  • „Cezary Bodzianowski. Maybe“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2008
  • „John Stezaker. Fumetti“, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen 2008
  • „Mark Wallinger“, Kunstverein Braunschweig 2007
  • „UM-KEHRUNGEN. David Blandy, Alexandra Bircken, Carol Bove, Kathrin Horsch, Sofia Hultén, Udo Koch, Anita Leisz, Klara Liden, Jonathan Monk, Peter Piller, Patrick Rieve, Gert Robijns, Daniel Roth, Hans Schabus, Silke Schatz, Annika Ström, Özlem Sulak und Malte Urbschat“, Kunstverein Braunschweig 2007
  • Projektraum INNENAUSSTATTUNG, Hamburg, Juni – Nov. 2006: Ausstellungen mit Cezary Bodzianowski, Ruth May, Martin Hoener, Gregory Sholette, Annika Ström und Peter Wächtler (gemeinsam mit Kerstin Stakemeier)

Tobias Hübel
Tobias Hübel
Janneke de Vries
Director | GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst | Bremen

Keywords
Contemporary art
Interdisciplinary projects
Processed-based projects
Architecture/space
Installation
Art in public space
Gender
Culture and knowledge production

Contact:
Janneke de Vries