bye bye twelve twelve

Anna Fafaliou

Well, there you are, another fact of life:

Gert Scheerlinck
Seyran Kirmizitoprak

Twelve twelve gallery closes its doors.

Jeroen Blok
Joran van Soest

It was still a young gallery and full of energy.

Katleen Vinck
Marin de Jong

In spite of its small space it always featured very diverse artists, always well presented and with much dedication and devotion to both content and aesthetics and to both artists and viewers.

Rutger van der Tas
Sam Lock

I’m sure i won’t be the only one who’s going to miss that.

Sam Lock
Saskia Tannemaat

However, Twelve twelve’s Silvia Bakker is still young and full of good ideas, so i am sure we can regard the gallery as just a stepping stone to a next level.

Saskia Tannemaat
Tamara Dees

A big thank you to Silvia and to the artists whose work she presented in the gallery!

Tamara Dees
Gert Scheerlinck

Hope to meet you all again soon!

Wycliffe Mundopa

© Villa Next Door 2019

Content of all photographs courtesy to all artists and Twelve twelve gallery, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Towards the end of a break

Hendrick ter Brugghen, Fluteplayer, 1621

Dear Villa watchers/readers, i decided to extend my holidays as the weather is improving a bit and i must say i like the feeling of not being pressed.

Orazio Gentileschi, Judith, a Servant and Holofernes’ Head, 1620s

What does your editor do when not visiting art exhibitions?

Simon Vouet, David & Goliath, around 1621

Well, visiting art exhibitions, i guess.

Caravaggio, Medusa, 1598/9

There were and are some interesting shows these days.

Valentin de Boulogne, TheCrowning with Thorns, 1620s

In England the brexit crisis is quickly gaining momentum, in this country a narcissistic  appendix has won the elections, but in the mean time i saw more important things.

Spadarino, Christ showing his Wounds, 1625/35

Not in the least in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht where i visited the much touted exhibition Utrecht, Caravaggio and Europe. I am usually not an enthusiastic visitor of the Centraal Museum as i always find it a bit gloomy and depressing, in spite of its interesting collections.

Orazio Gentileschi, The Crowning with Thorns, 1610/15

Happily the caravaggists exhibition had nothing of that spirit.

Gerard van Honthorst, The Liberation of St peter, 1616/18

Great painting was presented in a grand way.

Medieval reliquary

As i had some time left in Utrecht i also visited the exhibition of the Münster Cathedral Treasure at Museum Catharijneconvent.

Medieval reliquary
Medieval reliquary

Highlight was the collection of medieval gold and silver reliquaries which were very well presented, although i must admit i am not a great fan of gold and silver objects, but it is the medieval awe and wonder these objects evoke i am really interested in.

Cornelis van Cleve, Mary with Child, mid 16th century
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Baptism of the Man from Ethiopia, 1628

The museum also tries to profit a bit from the upcoming Rembrandt mania this year by showing some smaller works from its own collection by masters from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, amongst which a very early work by the master himself.

Henrick Douwerman, St. Christopher, around 1525
Anonymous, Theodosia Altar, around 1545, Gueldres
Anonymous, Christ and his Disciples in the Garden of Getsemane, around 1440, probably Worms
Anonymous, Christ and his Disciples in the Garden of Getsemane, around 1440, probably Worms
Anonymous, St. John under the Cross, around 1200, Meuse region
Anonymous, St. Lambert Triptych, 1470/80, Utrecht
Anonymous, St. Lambert Triptych, 1470/80, Utrecht

The presentation of its own collection of medieval objects is probably the best one can think of, with some great pieces, including the loan from the Parisian Musée du Moyen Âge, the 15th century Saint Lambert triptych.

King and former general Horemheb and the god Horus (14th century BC)
The goddess Sekhmet of both disease and healing (14h century BC)
Feet of a lost sculpture (around 600 BC)
Small statue (around 600 BC)
Detail of a mummy coffin (700-300 BC)

A lover of Old Egyptian art and aesthetics, i visited the Gods of Egypt exhibition at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden.

Ptahmose, vizier of Amenhotep III, 14th century BC (relief from the 13th century BC)

However, the educational aspect and the presentation of the objects and statues were so uninspiring that i preferred a stroll around the museum’s own Egyptian collection.

Wall of the chapel of the tomb of Hetepherachty (around 2400 BC)
Wall of the chapel of the tomb of Hetepherachty (around 2400 BC)

Even so i have my doubts about the presentations of these antiquities.

Donkeys on a threshing floor (around 2400 VC)
King Horemheb and his wife (1335-1320 BC)

What does the museum want? Does it want to show the aesthetics of the objects? Does it want to tell their stories? Does it want to be educational?

Canope (jar with intestines of the deceased; 14th century BC)
Queen Hatshepsut’s royal steward Senemut and Princess Neferure (1479-1458 BC)

I am sure it wants all of that at the same time, but there is a kind of scientific objectiveness in the presentation that seems to deny the aesthetic specificity of these objects and their different contexts (both the archaeological, the historical and the present day).

Holidays 033 Egypt
Probably Queen Nefertiti (around 1340 BC)

Generally, how true is the story that Old Egypt was the great ancestor of our own present-day Western culture and that it should be appropriated as such? Why are antiquities other than Egyptian, Greek and Roman stored in another museum in Leiden? And how does this idea affect the quasi-objective presentation of the museum?

In between i visited Rotterdam Zoo, designed by Sybold van Ravesteyn (1889-1983) it was built around 1940.

Sumatran tiger

It still contains many buildings and decorations of Van Ravesteyn’s design in which modernism and neoclassicism were combined.

Sacred ibis
Spotted hyena
Reticulated giraf
Pelicans in the rain

While the former Rotterdam zoo was only open to a small elite, the then new zoo opened to the general public, so the people had to be uplifted with both science, mildly modern neoclassical architecture and art.

Later on i visited Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle to see the exhibition Freedom , an exhibition compiled by critic and art historian Hans den Hartog Jager with fifty works by fifty Dutch artists of the last fifty years. There is more to be said about this interesting show, so i’ll reserve that for a more elaborate review in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch) later next month. The building itself has been expanded with a strange and somewhat disturbing tumour on its roof.

Part of ‘The Unexpected Return of Blinky Palermo from the Tropics’ by the artists’ collective Seymour Likely

Apart from being remarkable from the outside, from the inside it has created a lot of unpractical and intrusive space. But then, of course, the swelling has to elevate Zwolle far above its provincial roots. And naturally one can make a striking exhibition even in a murky shed.

‘Peanut Butter Floor’ by Wim T. Schipper

Alas, that didn’t happen at the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam in the exhibition Manzoni in Holland.

‘This Way Brouwn’ by Stanley Brouwn

One can regard Piero Manzoni’s (1933-1963) tins with the artist’s shit as reliquaries just as the medieval reliquaries at Museum Catharijneconvent, but in Schiedam the museum doesn’t succeed in evoking the special euphoria of Manzoni’s time.

Cylinders containing lines of deifferent lengths by Piero Manzoni

The exhibition has the atmosphere of a musty antique shop, it is an auction of grandfather’s estate.

‘No. 7’ by Heinz Mack

The novelty of Manzoni’s works and his contemporaries doesn’t come to life and any link with present day Dutch art seems to have been avoided at all cost.

Detail of an Achrome by Piero Manzoni

Such while this period has had an enormous effect on Dutch art making and appreciation today.

‘Lichtballet’ (Light Ballet) by Otto Piene

Manzoni in Holland is nothing more than nostalgia, a missed opportunity.

‘Fabricator’ by Marisa Rappard
‘Nameless Streets #1’ by Lennart Lahuis
‘Undressed Days’ by Femmy Otten

More interesting were the presentations of new acquisitions and….

Funda Gül Özcan
Neo Matloga
Neo Matloga
Lonneke van der Palen
Holidays 062 Lonneke van der Palen
Lonneke van der Palen
Neo Matloga

….of works by the contenders for the Volkskrant Visual Arts Award, Funda Gül Özcan, Neo Matloga and Lonneke van der Palen.

Jan Pieters
Jan Pieters

To end this holiday report in a more or less nepotistic way here are two paintings by my brother which i saw in Spijkenisse where he is taking part in a group show.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of photographs courtesy to all artists, owners, museums and galleries involved.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #85

Antitank wall built by the German occupiers during the Second World War, Oude Waalsdorperweg.

The dunes around The Hague, as well as the city itself, has many relics and landmarks left by the Germans.

Bunker Widerstandsnest 302a
Bunker Widerstandsnest 302a

To the Germans The Hague was important politically, symbolically (as the traditional residence of the Dutch royal family, government and parliament) and militarily as part of the Atlantic Wall.

The antitank wall on these pictures functioned as a divide between a military training ground and Waalsdorper Vlakte (Waalsdorp Plain), where political prisoners were executed.

Today it runs from Oude Waalsdorperweg (Old Waalsdorp Road) to the northwest, with a bunker still known under its German name Widerstandsnest 302a in the middle.

The wall itself, as approached from Oude Waalsdorperweg, today indicates the line between a military shooting range and a small public park for people to walk their dogs (which seems to be the general destination for many public areas)..

The military still have a strong presence in the area.

Entrance sign 2017
New entrance sign 2019

Although the military serve the Dutch state, their presence, as revealed by fences, barbed wire and prohibition signs, creates an awkward atmosphere of power and secrecy in public space, as anywhere in the world.

Widerstandsnest 302a itself can only be seen from a distance from Oude Waalsdorperweg.

© Villa Next Door 2019

All pictures were taken in March 2017, except for pictures 8,9,36 and 38-41which were taken in March 2019 (these are the more sunny pictures)

 

Bertus Pieters

 

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/