Herengracht 254
Amsterdam

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Mission + Canal House

The Merchant House (TMH) presents contemporary art with sales of art as a funding strategy. Marsha Plotnitsky, TMH’s Founding Artistic Director, curates a project-based program involving extensive research and work with the artists. Each project brings together a thematic exhibition, cultural events, and a dedicated catalogue/artist’s book.

At TMH we feel there is a need for a vibrant venue dedicated to contemporary art, culture, and publications. Our aim is to contribute to artists’ careers, participate in international art discourse, and stimulate an engaging dialogue in the city by inviting people for exhibitions, talks, concerts, and social evenings. Since it opened its doors in a historical canal house in Amsterdam in 2013, TMH has become known as a modern take on the Dutch tradition of a merchant—freely open to the public. TMH is also a publisher of dedicated artists’ books/catalogues.

Herengracht 254: Canal houses of the 1600s and squatter houses of the 1960s are an integral part of Amsterdam. These houses, and life within them, formed the avant-garde of their time and proposed a way of life to emulate.

Spreading to the outdoors Amsterdam-style, TMH’s artworks can be exposed through the high windows to the eyes of the passersby, part of the city’s shop displays and the play of light on the canal—“YouTube” in real. TMH’s stijlkamer boasts an 18th-century ceiling painting by a Dutch master. The beautiful Flora of his hand is there as if to preside (her “embarrassment of riches” notwithstanding) as we endeavor to develop new ideas and programs.

Artistic Director

In curating the art projects in the Amsterdam canal house, Marsha Plotnitsky explores the artistic, spatial, and organizational possibilities of an art merchant construct.

The program builds on her extended art historical and sociological research and experience with ICAR Foundation (New York, from 2001) as well as her twenty-year New York career in business, as a Managing Director at DLJ, New York. At ICAR, she developed an art collection and exhibited Dennis Oppenheim, Vito Acconci, John Coplans, and JCJ Vanderheyden among other artists. Born in the former Soviet Union, Ms. Plotnitsky studied in the US, at the University of Pennsylvania: BA Linguistics, Summa Cum Laude, and MBA, Wharton School, 1980. Before moving to the Netherlands, she has lived and worked in New York.

She values sensitivity to people and places. Her favorite quote from the TMH press is: “… the merchant of dreams” (Amsterdam’s Het Parool).

Team

The Merchant House works with a group of dedicated professionals and young people, known as TMH Associates, interested in developing their organizational skills and experience in the art world. Brina Orozim is the current associate in our program. Our dedicated professional partners include: Dirk van Weelden, Drukkerij Cultura, Hans Abbing, Nina Svenson, Martin Whitehead, and Inge-Vera Lipsius.

Press

  • Parool, Aug ’19 EN/NL
    Painting & Performance
  • Parool, Dec ’18 NL
    Matter of Masters
  • Financieele Dagblad, Nov ’18 NL
    Marsha Plotnitsky
  • Parool, May ’18 EN/NL
    Making Things Happen III
  • NRC, Nov ’17 NL
    Amsterdam Art Weekend
  • Parool,
 April ’17 EN/NL
    Pino Pinelli: Disseminations
  • Financieele Dagblad, Feb ’16 EN/NL
    Marsha Plotnitsky
  • Groene Amsterdammer,
 Dec ’15 EN/NL
    The Merchant House
  • Financieele Dagblad,
 Oct ’15 EN/NL
    Art & Project Bulletins
  • Hyperallergic, May ’15 EN
    André de Jong
  • Parool,
 Oct ’14 EN/NL
    André de Jong: Folds and Drawings
  • Parool, May ’14 EN/NL
    Marsha Plotnitsky

Publications

Our Catalogues/Artists’ Books:
Available on Issuu

Monograph:

  • André de Jong: Acts of Drawing
    (Amsterdam, July 2021)
    Drukkerij Cultura, Mondriaan Fonds

Catalogues:

  • Mengzhi Zheng (5.6)
  • Boris Chouvellon (5.5)
  • Mary Sue (5.4)
  • Elsa Tomkowiak (5.3)
  • Zhu Hong (5.2)
  • Sylvie Bonnot (5.1)
  • Pino Pinelli (4.2)
  • Judit Reigl (4.1)
  • Craigie Horsfield (3.3)
  • Pinelli, Visser & De Jong (3.2)
  • Hilarius Hofstede (3.1)
  • Chuck Close (2.3)
  • Carolee Schneemann (2.2)
  • André de Jong (2.1)
  • Jan Schoonhoven & Henk Peeters (1.2)
  • Jan Frank (1.1)

Exhibition Projects

Program curated by Marsha Plotnitsky

CURRENT & UPCOMING:

Elsa Tomkowiak: Into Color
Zhu Hong: Of Water
In Making Things Happen: Elements
Through 5 Sep at TMH

Sylvie Bonnot & Zhu Hong:
Amstel / Bridge / Delirium
In Dialogue with Photography
From 3 Sep at Capital C, Amsterdam

Kokou Ferdinand Makouvia: Of the Earth
André de Jong: Acts of Drawing
New Artist + Book Launch
From 17 Sep at TMH

Flag of Compassion
(permanent)

Museum in a Box:
Art & Project Bulletins 1-156, 1968-1989
(permanent)

PAST:

2020 / 2021

  • André de Jong, Pino Pinelli, André Stempfel, Mary Sue, Elsa Tomkowiak: The Indispensable Experience of Art
  • Dennis Oppenheim, Yoko Ono, Craigie Horsfield, Sylvie Bonnot, Mary Sue: Urban Image-Jitters II (Body)
  • Dennis Oppenheim, Pino Pinelli, Sylvie Bonnot, Mengzhi Zheng: Urban Image-Jitters I (City)

2019 / 2020

2018 / 2019

2017 / 2018

2016 / 2017

2015 / 2016

2014 / 2015

2013 / 2014

Cultural Events

RSVP to visit: info@merchanthouse.nl

UPCOMING:

Fri 3 Sep, 19:00-21:00
Sylvie Bonnot & Zhu Hong:
Amstel / Bridge / Delirium
Opening at Capital C, Amsterdam

Sat 4 Sep, 19:00-21:00
Elsa Tomkowiak: Into Color

Finissage at TMH

Sat 17 Sep, 19:00-22:00
Kokou Ferdinand Makouvia: Of the Earth
André de Jong: Acts of Drawing
Joint Opening at TMH

PAST:

2020 / 2021

  • Opening: Zhu Hong: Of Water w/ Amsterdam Art
  • Walk-Throughs: Elsa Tomkowiak & The Medium of Painting
  • Opening: Elsa Tomkowiak: Into Color w/ Amsterdam Art
  • Post-Lockdown Opening: Urban Image-Jitters II (Body)
  • Music: Tomoko Mukaiyama streamed live from Van Gogh Museum
  • Post-Lockdown Opening: Urban Image-Jitters I (City)

2019 / 2020

  • Talk: Thinking the Exhibition (Craigie Horsfield) w/ Marsha Plotnitsky
  • Music: Bach and More w/ Machiko Takahashi
  • Talk: Craigie Horsfield on Of the World We Share
  • Talk: Remembering John Coplans II w/ Marsha Plotnitsky
  • Talk: A Body of Work—John Coplans w/ photography critic Steven Humblet
  • Art Fair: Unseen Photo Fair

2018 / 2019

  • Installation: Elsa Tomkowiak at ArtZuid 2019
  • Season Finale: Painting, Performance, and the Senses
  • Talk & Video Collage: Painting & Performance w/ Marsha Plotnitsky
  • Screening & Talk: André de Jong w/ art historian Huub Mous and writer Arjen Mulder
  • Talk: André de Jong w/ writer Arjen Mulder
  • Talk: André de Jong w/ art historian Huub Mous
  • Talk: Reigl & Schneemann w/ Prof. C-M. Lerm-Hayes
  • Music: ICP Orchestra at TMH
  • Music & Talk: Luciano Berio w/ Machiko Takahashi
  • Art Fair: Independent Brussels
  • Art Fair: Unseen City Program
  • Talk: Catalogue Presentation w/ writer Hubert Besacier
  • Screening & Talk: Young Artists Remix w/ Marsha Plotnitsky

2017 / 2018

  • Talk: Time and Architecture w/ philosopher Fons Elders
  • Talk: On Collecting w/ poet Ljoedmila Chodynskaja
  • Talk: Sculpture Now w/ Prof. C-M. Lerm-Hayes
  • Music: Bach & Zhungdra w/ F-M. Uitti
  • Art Fair: TMH at Art Rotterdam
  • Talk: Image and Color w/ Gili Crouwel, The Gallery Club
  • Music & Talk: Performance and Painting w/ flutist Machiko Takahashi
  • Screening: Carolee Schneemann w/ Prof. Marga van Mechelen & artist Sands Murray-Wassink
  • Talk: Catalogue Publication w/ writer Dirk van Weelden
  • Lecture: Antoinette Vonder Mühll & Economics of Art w/ Prof. Olav Velthuis
  • Talk: On Photography w/ art writers Arjen Mulder and Steven Humblet
  • Art Fair: Unseen Photo Fair

2016 / 2017

  • Talk: Millennials on Pinelli w/ Maarten v.d. Graaff and Fiep v. Bodegom
  • Art Fair: TMH joins Tribal Trail
  • Music: Kurtag, Duchamp & Joyce w/ F-M. Uitti and C-M. Lerm-Hayes
  • Reading: Hofstede’s Microsoft Mon Amour
  • Art Fair: Flag of Compassion at Art Rotterdam
  • Music and TMH Talk: F-M. Uitti interprets Judit Reigl
  • Talk: Jarry/Duchamp w/ artist William Anastasi
  • Screening: Carolee Schneemann
  • Talk: Sandberg Institute at TMH
  • Talk: Bart Domburg’s Couperus w/ editors of De Gids
  • Benefit: TMH for De Gids
  • Art Fair: Unseen Gallery Tour
  • Talk: Adrian Dannatt talks to Craigie Horsfield

2015 / 2016

  • Screening: Films by Rini Hurkmans & Hans Scholten
  • Screening: Carolee Schneemann
  • Music: Violinist Max Zorin & pianist Marjes Benoist
  • Benefit: Flag of Compassion
  • Lecture: Wei Ji Ma on neuroscience
  • Performance: Jody Oberfelder‘s Brain Piece
  • Music: Pianist Marjes Benoist
  • Screening: André de Jong’s New York

2014 / 2015

  • Music: Tomoko Mukaiyama plays Philip Glass
  • Talk: 1960s Art
  • Performance: Emma McCormick-Goodhart’s Mouth/Body
  • Performance: Brenda Cullerton’s Jay-Z & Me

2013 / 2014

  • Screening: Carolee Schneemann
  • Screening: Man with a Movie Camera
  • Festival: Jan Frank at Amsterdam Light
  • Benefit: Tomoko Mukaiyama