Symptom Bauhaus; West, The Hague

John Barker, László Vancsa

Some time ago i visited West at the former American Embassy to write a review about the exhibition Symptom Bauhaus for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

John Barker, László Vancsa

As i have written quite extensively about the show in VLR i leave you here with some impressions without comments, and with the recommendation to save an afternoon to see it all for yourself.

Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung, 1931

Fernando Bryce

Alexander Kluge
Alexander Kluge

Lisa Rave
Lisa Rave
Ella Bergmann-Michel

Chad Freidrichs
Chad Freidrichs

Mona Mahall, Asli Serbest
Mona Mahall, Asli Serbest

Jan Peter Hammer
Jan Peter Hammer

El Lissitzky (and Marcel Breuer)
Daniel García Andújar (and El Lissitzky)
Daniel García Andújar

Click here to read the review in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch).

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists, to the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart and to West, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Ton Kraayeveld, Labyrinth; Galerie Helder, The Hague

Ton Kraayeveld (1955) presently shows works at Galerie Helder.

It is not a big exhibition.

There are four more or less monumental works, a few smaller paintings and some drawings, but their great quality makes well up for their small number.

The exhibition seems to be composed around the four bigger works of which each shows a different aspect of Kraayeveld’s art.

The drawings appear to tell quite a different story.

Where the paintings are quite controlled, the drawings have a more expressive outlook.

Some of them are re-workings of (much) older drawings.

However, when looking at them closely, they show the same idea of constantly balancing between order and chaos, both in their compositions and in their ideas.

In Kraayeveld’s works there may be artistic and literary connotations of the modern and postmodern world, with sometimes peculiar contradictions.

In Kraayeveld’s works these contradictions translate into compositional contradictions, which gives them a slight sense of absurdism.

This is a compact showcase of Kraayeveld’s wonderful artistry.

Be sure to go and see it, as this is the last week of the exhibition.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Ton Kraayeveld and to Galerie Helder, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #100

Façade of nursing home De Schildershoek, Jacob Catsstraat corner Parallelweg.

Its style is characteristic for the 1980s.

There is a certain playfulness in the façade but it also looks quite cheap, as if the message is ‘we love you as long as you don’t cost us too much’.

© 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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Studio Visit #8, Tanja Smit

Artists who are not represented by a gallery have to find their own ways to catch the attention of their audience.

Having an open studio weekend is one way of doing so. Last weekend Tanja Smit (1961) had one in her studio in The Hague.

I’ve known Tanja for decades and there has always been a remarkable and wonderful consistency in her work.

In the past she has stayed for quite a few years in Barcelona and last year she visited Xiamen in China for a residency at the Chinese European Art Center.

In her work there has always been a sense of wonder about the world, its shapes and its signs, what they might mean and how that could be visualised.

In the actual artistic visualisation there is still this sense of wonder as the materials seem to dictate their own ways of expression and finding meaning.

During her already long career Smit has used different materials. However, paper and water based materials like ink and water colour seem to have become the most prominent, although she also uses photography.

One room of her studio was dedicated to her so-called text works.

She has taken newspapers, magazines and books and has re-edited them. For each work she has chosen a certain ‘key’ to re-edit it.

The ‘key’ could be certain words or groups of words and their meanings, or the shape of certain words, or the open spaces in a text, the shapes that seem to be hidden in texts, or even the lay-out of a page.

In that way pages with texts – sometimes with illustrations or advertising – seem to show another meaning than just the meaning of the words and sentences while being transformed into a new composition at the same time.

She uses both Dutch and foreign texts. In China she wasn’t able to read the texts, but still she has made text works based on Chinese texts as a visual meaning could still be distilled from them.

These text works also have a very rhythmic appearance and some of her works have been used as music scores.

Recently this year she was invited to make text works from Bible texts on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Dordrecht Synod.

She co-operated with musicians to create a musical performance at Pictura in Dordrecht on the base of these text works.

Some scenes of that performance were presented on video as well. In fact, with music she has brought the sense of visual wonder even one step further.

Apart from these fascinating text works she also makes drawings, but, in one way or another, the procedure seems to be the same as in the text works.

The paper already seems to bare the shapes in it and Smit’s only task seems to be to literally draw the shapes from the paper, just as she draws the shapes from a text.

In her drawings the interaction between paper and ink or water colour is crucial.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Content of all photographs courtesy to Tanja Smit.

Bertus Pieters

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negen10drie&7tig (9teen7ty3); Stichting Ruimtevaart, The Hague

Jan de Weerd

The present show at Stichting Ruimtevaart (Space Travel Foundation) is based on an artistic conversation of four artists who met each other in 1973 at the former Vrije Academie  (Free Academy) in The Hague.

Jan de Weerd
Nies Vooijs

By that time the Vrije Academie was the more progressive institution, compared to the then quite conservative Royal Academy (KABK) of The Hague.

Pim Piët
Nies Vooijs

However, there is no place for nostalgia in the show.

Pim Piët
Nies Vooijs

Each artist has his/her own way of working and thinking and in fact, their works have nothing to do with each other.

Pim Piët
Jan de Weerd
left to right, Pim Piët, Nies Vooijs, Jan de Weerd

In spite of or maybe even due to that, it has become a very accessible exhibition.

Pim Piët
left to right, Jan de Weerd, Pim Piët

Works on show are by Pim Piët, Nies Vooijs and Jan de Weerd.

Pim Piët
Jan de Weerd

Alas, the fourth artist, Marion van Rooij, unexpectedly died only a few days before the opening of the show.

Nies Vooijs
Nies Vooijs

Because of that her works could not be presented, so she is now represented by some open spaces.

Marion van Rooij

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and to Stichting Ruimtevaart, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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