Krijn Giezen and others, An Unusual Stroll; GEM, The Hague

Semâ Bekirovic

Krijn Giezen (1939-2011) was one of my teachers at the Royal Academy in The Hague.

Krijn Giezen

When he started teaching by the end of the 1970s, there was a kind of split between traditional craftsmanship and (traditionilised) conceptualism at the Academy, and there was little room for individual artistic development.

Krijn Giezen
Krijn Giezen

Both sides took themselves extremely seriously and Giezen, as a newcomer, didn’t seem to fit in very well.

Bram De Jonghe
Chaim van Luit

He appealed to the inventiveness and imagination of his students, which was quite unusual at the time (and which is still, or again, a sensitive point at the Royal Academy and in education in general).

Krijn Giezen
Krijn Giezen

He didn’t care very much for technique or aesthetics, contrary to what we had learned so diligently.

Chaim van Luit
Chaim van Luit

“Make a chair!” he told us, for our first assignment.

Chaim van Luit
Krijn Giezen

Students who were all thumbs, like me, were initially shocked, but soon it became clear that it was nowhere necessary at all to construct a piece of furniture.

Krijn Giezen
Bram De Jonghe

His ways of seeing and working didn’t influence me immediately, but later on they did so undeniably.

Semâ Bekirovic

As a teacher he was easy going, accessible, good humoured and never imposing himself as the master who knows all.

Semâ Bekirovic
Krijn Giezen

That is also how his work looks like.

Krijn Giezen
Krijn Giezen

Giezen was very inquisitive about the playful en inventive aspects of humanity, again, not interested in technique or aesthetics, and extremely uninterested in financial and eternity values.

Krijn Giezen
Krijn Giezen

It is this warm-heartedness that shimmers through the present show of his work at GEM.

Krijn Giezen
Krijn Giezen

As a former student i just hope present viewers will feel the same pleasure i had looking at his works.

Paul Geelen
Semâ Bekirovic

His pictures, documentation and objects are accompanied by works by artists of the present generation: Semâ Bekirović (1977), Paul Geelen (1983), Bram De Jonghe (1985) and Chaim van Luit (1985).

Paul Geelen
Paul Geelen

An excellent choice as there is a good dialogue between these and Giezen’s works.

Chaim van Luit

It also goes to show that Giezen’s works are still very much of our time.

Krijn Giezen

© Villa Next Door 2019

Content of all photograph courtesy to all artists, the estate of Krijn Giezen, the owners of the works and GEM, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #91

Small sculpture, probably representing Hop-‘o-My-Thumb, by Tom Otterness (1952), Harteveltstraat, in front of Museum Beelden aan Zee.

Otterness, who started his career with amongst others the questionable video Dog Shot Film in 1977, made this far more endearing small sculpture (2004) as part of a number of fairy tale figures along the coast next to the museum.

The small sculpture used to stand in front of the museum’s entrance, but was recently removed to stand more near his fellow sculptures, pointing towards the museum (as can be seen in the last pictures).

© Villa Next Door 2019

First four pictures were taken in March 2017, last three pictures were taken in June 2019

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/

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Peter Zwaan, Skins; HOK Gallery, The Hague

There is only one big purpose in nature: staying alive at all cost, even if the time span of life itself may vary from just a few hours to more than a millennium.

The main methods nature uses seem to be coincidence and chance. Everything around us happens to be as it is.

Mind you, if evolution had – again, by chance – taken another route, forced by circumstances, we might have looked and felt quite differently (or we might not have existed at all).

In fact nature’s toolbox gives almost infinite possibilities and variations of how we, living beings, look like and what attracts and repels us to make us mentally function in life.

As human beings we can even play a bit with that toolbox and with artificial materials. Peter Zwaan (1968) makes works that give you an idea of evolution-gone-wrong.

Paper becoming skin, beer cans growing skin with birthmarks and hair or the idea of fish fingers taken quite literally, Zwaan makes it all and shows it in a retrospective at HOK Gallery.

Especially on a hot summer day in the tiny gallery – of barely 120 square feet –,  you may doubt if you smell your own sweat or that of Zwaan’s works.

Zwaan takes the fun quite seriously which makes his works both attractive and repulsive.

After seeing Zwaan’s work, drinking from a beer can won’t be the same experience anymore.

The show also proves that a retrospective doesn’t necessarily need a lot of space and hundreds of works.

Also in that respect HOK gallery and Zwaan have succeeded in making a good and imaginative show.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Content of all photograph courtesy to Peter Zwaan and HOK Gallery, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

 

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Maria Lassnig, Ways of Being; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Körperbewusstsein (Body Consciousness), 1949

I went to see the retrospective exhibition of works by Maria Lassnig (1919-2014) at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REVIEW (in Dutch).

Zwei Formen übereinander (Two Forms on Each Other), 1952

I leave you here with this non-representative selection of works, as i’ve written already quite extensively about the show in VLR.

Tachismus 4 (Tachism 4), 1958
Napoleon und Brigitte Bardot, 1961
Selbstporträt als Astronautin (Self-portrait as an Astronaut), 1968-69
Stilleben mit Apfelsäge (Still Life with Apple Saw), 1969
The Murder of ML, 1973
Selbstporträt mit Maulkorb (Self-portrait with Muzzle), 1973
Self-portrait with Butterflies, 1975
Die Atommütter (The Atomic Mothers), 1984
Jungfrau mit Stier (Virgin with Bull), ca.1988
Raketenbasis, Missiles I und II (Missile Base, Missiles I and II), 1989
Wangen-, Stirn- und Kinnsensationen (Cheeks, Forehead and Chin Sensations), 1996
Nasenfilter (Nose Filter), 1998
Die Illusion von meiner Tierfamilie (The Illusion of my Animal Family), 1999
Zwei Arten zu sein, Doppelselbstporträt (Two Ways of Being, Double Self-portrait), 2000
Ideenfischer (Idea Anglers), 2001
Die Trauer (The Mourning), 2003
Die unschuldige Blick (The Innocent Gaze), 2008
Vom Tode gezeichnet (Drawn by Death), 2011 (detail)

Bertus Pieters

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to all owners of the works, the estate of Maria Lassnig and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

 

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Petra Strahovnik and Ensemble Modelo62: disOrders 1, Through the Looking Glass; Trixie, The Grey Space, Haagse Kunstkring, PARTS Project, Galerie Helder, The Hague

Klára van de Ketterij at Trixie

Through the Looking Glass is the first part of the two-year disOrders project by composer Petra Strahovnik and performed by members of the Ensemble Modelo62.

Klára van de Ketterij at Trixie

Last weekend three-hour sessions were held by different instrumentalists each in one of five different locations, dealing each with one of five so-called mental disorders: ADHD, anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and autism.

Klára van de Ketterij at Trixie

Having seen them all at Trixie, the Grey Space in the Middle, Haagse Kunstkring, PARTS Project and Galerie Helder, I must admit it leaves me with the idea that all performances were more or less autistic.

Klára van de Ketterij at Trixie

Whether it was percussionist Klára van de Ketterij (ADHD) running around a collection of drums and other percussive instruments, cellist Jan Willem Troost (anxiety disorder) grappling with his instrument and his environment, or electric guitarist Santiago Lascurain (depression) in his bathtub with dirt, they all showed an extremely meticulous dedication to what they were doing within the sheer unbreakable walls of their supposed conditions, for three whole hours.

The Grey Space

The performance by clarinettists Enric Sans Morera and Jorge López García (bipolar disorder) and the one by trumpeter Justin Christensen (autism) were even quite similar in ideas of expression: experiments with water and plastic in combination with the unexpected properties of their instruments.

Jan Willem Troost at The Grey Space

In the case of the depression performance, the expression was almost too literal, with the performer covering himself in black mud, and even while the guitar was only playing a slowly transforming sound by itself, one could call it a melodramatic performance.

Jan Willem Troost at The Grey Space

In the anxiety act the public was invited to use a triangle now and then, but what influence that had on the performance was hard to see.

Jan Willem Troost at The Grey Space

Was it an invitation to ease the tensions with the sound of the triangle or an invitation to be cruel to the performer with an unexpected sound?

Santiago Luscarain at Haagse Kunstkring

A confronting perspective is, of course, the fact that sufferers of these so-called disorders have to cope with it every day and night in all circumstances and not just for three hours.

Santiago Luscarain at Haagse Kunstkring

In the mean time one must be completely un-self-reflective or even narcissistic (!!) not to realise that we all have bits of these disorders in ourselves, in spite of the fact that most of us are thought to be ‘normal’.

disorders
Santiago Luscarain at Haagse Kunstkring.

They do not just confuse our brains, but may also make us cope with confusing or disturbing situations or stimulate dedication and creativity.

Santiago Luscarain at Haagse Kunstkring

The fact that autism can be most associated with all five acts, is maybe because art itself needs complete dedication both to the whole and to the detail and complete surrender to the performance, whether one is making music or a painting or whatever.

Enric Sans Morera & Jorge López García at PARTS Project

As for the five acts, as said they each lasted three hours which is quite a superhuman effort by the performers.

Jorge López García at PARTS Project

They performed for three hours for four days, and must have practiced and prepared for many hours.

Enric Sans Morera at PARTS Project

That in itself and the co-operation between the composer, the performers, the five art platforms and everybody technically and psychologically involved is a great job.

PARTS Project

In spite of that it should be said that none of the performances were artistically interesting enough to follow for three hours (or maybe that depends on one’s own disorder?).

Justin Christensen at Galerie Helder

Also the question asked by the composer “Can we find compassion in order to expand our concept as a society of what is ‘in order’?” may be a relevant question generally, but do these acts stimulate any answers or reflections on the subject?

Justin Christensen at Galerie Helder

And if they do, are they doing so implicitly or too explicitly?

Justin Christensen at Galerie Helder

Either the question may be too wide-ranging, or the performances need more (yes even more!) aesthetic reflection.

Justin Christensen at Galerie Helder

©Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to all performers and art spaces.

Bertus Pieters

 

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Façades of The Hague #90

Block of three white plastered houses with apartments in eclectic style, designed by Johannes Petrus Christiaan Swijser (1809-1885), built around 1860, Kazernestraat corner Nieuwe Schoolstraat.

J.P.C. Swijser, who originally started out as a carpenter and a contractor, was a very active architect in The Hague, designing many apartment blocks, villas and schools and also co-designing the royal stables.

Many features of the façade of the block are original, including the doors.

The block is a municipal monument.

© Villa Next Door 2019

All pictures were taken in March 2017

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/

 

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Carel Visser, Genesis; Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag

Scrapbook

I visited Museum Beelden aan Zee to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about the present exhibition with works by Carel Visser (1928-2015). Click here to read the review (in Dutch)

Scrapbook

It’s a serious  lack of education if you’ve never heard of Carel Visser.

Rainbow, 1980

In that case make sure to take the shortest way to Beelden aan Zee to see this show soon!

Water, 1981

I leave you here with some pictures as i’ve written quite extensively in VLR about the show.

Landscape, 1982
Untitled, 1994
Architectural cactus, 1953
Cactus, 1953
Cactus, 1953
Inchworms, 1954
Insect, 1950
Sculpture with shells, 1982
Boris, 1995
Flying fish, 1993
Flying fish, 1993
Skeleton, 1953
Skeleton, 1953
Mating birds, 1953
Pyramid, 1982
Two birds, 1954-1994
Chocolate box, 1993
Little horse, 1951
Dromedary, 1952-1953
Slaughtered hare, 1952
Mammuth, 1995
Charlie I, 1985
Breakfast plate, 1986
Speedy Six, 1988
Sagging, 1990
Fruit bowl with shoulder blades, 1988
Untitled, 1982
Female swimmer, 2001
Two sisters, 1992
Woman, 1950
Man with glove, 2004
Two sisters, 1999
Untitled, 1971
Double step pyramid, 1948
Auschwitz, 1957
Open cube, 1969
Vol de nuit, 1956
Removal, 1957-1999
Ship with lamp, 2000
Untitled, 1999
Traveling, 1992

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works and Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

 

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!