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.
Both sides took themselves extremely seriously and Giezen, as a newcomer, didn’t seem to fit in very well.
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).
He didn’t care very much for technique or aesthetics, contrary to what we had learned so diligently.
“Make a chair!” he told us, for our first assignment.
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.
His ways of seeing and working didn’t influence me immediately, but later on they did so undeniably.
As a teacher he was easy going, accessible, good humoured and never imposing himself as the master who knows all.
That is also how his work looks like.
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.
It is this warm-heartedness that shimmers through the present show of his work at GEM.
As a former student i just hope present viewers will feel the same pleasure i had looking at his works.
An excellent choice as there is a good dialogue between these and Giezen’s works.
It also goes to show that Giezen’s works are still very much of our time.
© 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
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