As usual there is a military link to De Bree’s work.
In the background you’ll hear short wave radio codes spoken and other sinister radio noises which are clearly not meant to be understood by a nosy listener.
That is probably also the best way to appreciate these copper works: copper as a conductive metal on which codes are splashed and painted, even engraved, on which the changing light also brings a kind of sinister visible noises.
Codes disguised as neat abstract paintings.
But i must admit i like the paintings apart from all that.
Genesis P-Orridge has been active ever since, preferably in co-operation with likeminded people, to seek the extremes of existence and indeed of aesthetics in music, art and design.
Billytown has given Grauzone a platform to organise a retrospective exhibition about Genesis P-Orridge’s work.
Art historically long overdue though the exhibition might be, the relatively peaceful white cube-like presentation which isolates every individual work from its context may not fully confront the visitor with the overwhelming impact of the aesthetics of the work and life of the artist and his many collective projects.
Façade of Praktijkschool De Poort (Practice School ‘The Gate’), 2de Sweelinckstraat corner Lübeckstraat.
The school was built in 2014 with classrooms for practice on the ground floor and for theory on the second floor.
Built in a late modernist style the edifice is not really a highlight of present day architecture, but despite its eclecticism it looks quite friendly, it even shows some elegance and it is well situated in the neighbourhood.
The phrases in the text works seem to be a hotchpotch of disconnected profundities and ironic remarks, splinters of the human condition.
Of two bigger paintings one has phrases in the first-person singular and the other in the third-person singular, commenting artists’ life.
Modest as the exhibition is, the idea of language and its meaning and feeling expands from the purely visual language of the installation, along the paintings to a video in which jokes about artists are told in two different ways.
Some of the drawings are made on brown wrapping paper which gives Van Erp the opportunity to extra accentuate white and some bright colours, a bit like Jheronimus Bosch in the dark scenes of his apocalyptic fantasies.
However Bosch’s monsters have turned into common present day, somewhat balding men, accompanied by the achievements of postmodern leisure society.
Constant struggle, violence and self-inflicted disaster seem to be the only aim of day to day consumer life, presented by Van Erp with a strong sense of humour and without bitterness.
They are the laughing nightmares of painting and drawing history.
Additional to the drawings there are some paintings on show as well in which Van Erp puts his subjects in a sometimes hallucinating light and dark.
The works are concentrated in the two main exhibition rooms, but they are also presented in the rest of the gallery, more or less embedded in Heden’s collection.
Indeed all three artists need space.
They were brought together as they make use of found objects, found footage if you wish.
Chuang, who graduated last year from the Royal Academy in The Hague (KABK), takes chairs in different types and styles as her starting point.
She transforms them into sculptural characters and even gives them individual names.
Her works function as a kind of beacons in the show.
It will be interesting to see how her work will develop.
De Benedictis already graduated some years ago and his work has very much grown since.
In his drawings rigorous precision and a clear graphic pencil line are his hallmarks.
Their ‘coolness’, completed by objects that reflect the subjects of the drawings, seems to mask a world of falling and rising, including the pains, the joys and the discrepancies.
Joncquil’s world has expanded gradually octopus-like with the different interests and different disciplines he incorporates in his practice, of which painting, film and on-the-spot happenings are not presented in this show.
But, well, art is always ‘happening’ the moment you see it anyway, especially in Joncquil’s case.
Heden’s choice to make this rich and expanding show with these three artists is a very happy one indeed.
Undeniably Gögel is a painter in the German tradition (which is a much longer and richer tradition than most Dutch art viewers seem to realise).
Painting itself in Europe is an act in which tradition weighs heavily on one’s shoulders.
So if you really want to be a good painter you must take that for granted, whether you like it or not.
Gögel seems to be well aware of that; he survives it and builds his own work on top of it.
His work has very much matured since it was last seen in this city about a decade ago.
Some echoes of the Neuen Wilden of around 1980 are clear in this exhibition, also in his combining of the figurative and the abstract.
But there is a big difference as the sense of life has changed radically since the 1980s.
Today we live in a post-almost-everything culture in which Gögel has chosen to fly the banners of painting, not to be stubbornly traditional or to vehemently jump on the brakes of time, but clearly because it is (probably at least to him) the self-evident way of expression.
The German aspect is especially in the constant battle between content and composition, between imagination and expression.
There are some exceptionally fine portraits on show, but the exhibition on the whole has a lot more to offer, so it is warmly recommended as far as i’m concerned.