De Appel

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De Appel is an Amsterdam based art contemporary art institute. With an experimental, open-minded and inclusive focus, the programs of De Appel serve the intellectually and emotionally curious, (non-) specialized art enthusiasts as well as seasoned art professionals.

De Appel organizes exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures and gatherings that cross boundaries between the arts and other disciplines. These programs facilitate artistic and socially relevant dialogues with various cultural and societal organizations, both in Amsterdam and beyond.

In addition, De Appel is home to a renowned curatorial programme and houses an extensive archive and library. De Appel is continuously developing its programs and goals in order to remain critical towards its changing societal and cultural contexts.

Since 2017, De Appel is based in the Urban Resort Lely, next to institutions such as Steim.


Established in 1975, De Appel has become a prominent space for contemporary art within the Dutch cultural sector, and is related to fellow institutes such as Witte de With in Rotterdam and BAK in Utrecht. At the international level de Appel serves as a benchmark for determining relevant trends in contemporary art and curatorial practice. De Appel arts centre is named after its very first location, a historic warehouse called De Appel, located on the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam. De Appel was founded in 1975 as an initiative of Wies Smals, making it one of the oldest non-profit contemporary arts institutes in the Netherlands. Under Smals’ inspired leadership between 1975 and 1983, de Appel developed into a well-known centre for performance, installations and video art. These art forms were still in their infancy at that time. Under the subsequent management of Saskia Bos De Appel became a centre with an international reputation. The programme focused on the promotion of young artistic talent. After she left De Appel in 2006, became the Dean of the School of Art at The Cooper Union, New York. Between 2006 and January 2014 director Ann Demeester added cutting edge programming. She also worked to improve the transparency and accessibility of the institute. Currently Demeester is director of the Frans Hals Museum/De Hallen in Haarlem. Demeester was succeeded by Lorenzo Benedetti (former director of De Vleeshal in Middelburg) in 2014. After finishing the Curatorial Programme at the Appel arts centre he curated a variety of exhibitions, including the Dutch Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. From July 2016 moniNiels van Tomme served as the director of de Appel. As a curator, researcher and critic, Van Tomme works on the borders of contemporary culture, social studies and aesthetics. He holds an MA in Cultural Studies at the University of Leuven and was affiliated with the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at UMBC in Baltimore, where he translated academic research into accessible, often confrontational exhibitions. (2019)

Between 2019-2022, De Appel was directed by Monika Szewczyk, and from 2023 by Lara Khaldi. (2023)

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