Art in corona times 71. Wido Blokland, Als het centrum de omtrek is (If the centre is the circumference); Galerie Ramakers, The Hague

Openness and tranparency are the magic words of today.

The words themselves should guarantee us complete insight in what is usually as full and murky as possible.

It means we are given the idea that we know everything about which we know nothing (or about which we are not meant to know anything).

While in the world of objects and space we know perfectly well that complete openness and transparency are just tools and do not mean that things are completely open and transparent.

A completely open space may be full of meaning just by its shape and the material it is made of.

It might be open, but is it transparent, if it is so full of meaning?

A reflection on a shiny object may change the shape of the object and of the things it reflects.

As such it is completely open and transparent in doing so, but in the end it’s our own eyes that see the reflection and make the new shape it causes.

Wido Blokland (1966), in his present introductory  exhibition at Galerie Ramakers, shows some works that are reflective by themselves, while others may be reflective even though they have no mirroring or shiny surfaces.

They are spread throughout the space of the gallery.

Ramakers usually has an air of openness and transparency and Blokland’s works seem to reflect that in their present constellation.

This blog only shows a few aspects of individual objects, but the way they are shown in the gallery gives you a complete constellation of which you yourself become part, and in which the objects become intrinsically interwoven..

It goes to show that openness and tranparency are indeed just tools to create fullness and opacity.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Wido Blokland and Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 70. Robbie Cornelissen & Karin van Dam, Places We Have Never Been Before; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Front: Karin van Dam; back Robbie Cornelissen

In the back space of Galerie Maurits van de Laar one can get caught in a two and three dimensional situation of wonder and discovery.  The space is filled with objects by Karin van Dam (1959) and drawings by Robbie Cornelissen (1954) .

Robbie Cornelissen
Front: Karin van Dam; back: Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

As a visitor you have to move with some care. This may invite you to look with care as well. Van Dam’s objects are lying on the ground and hanging from the ceiling, while on the walls are two gigantic works by Cornelissen.

Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam

One of these two works has a strong sense of perspective, while the other, a composite work, gives an idea of space where perspective plays no role anymore.

Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam

Van Dam’s objects look like a reconstitution of the things that surround us in an imaginative amalgamation of nature and culture.

Karin van Dam
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

The middle space shows a lively dialogue with smaller works by both artists.

Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

The front space shows two monumental works: an installation by Van Dam and a composite drawing by Cornelissen.

Robbie Cornelissen
Front: Karin van Dam; back: Robbie Cornelissen
Karin van Dam
Front: Karin van Dam; back: Robbie Cornelissen

Combined they may give you the idea of more dimensions than you might usually experience.

Robbie Cornelissen

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Karin van Dam, Robbie Cornelissen and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #132

Railway flyover at the eastern end of Vaillantlaan.

Already in 1896 it was taken into account that a viaduct would be needed instead of the then usual railway crossing.

In 1924 (in spite of all modernisation the wheels of time turned slowly) a flyover was built.

Street level had to be lowered for it, such that the place became known as De Put (The Pit), also because it soon became a nasty place for rainwater that didn’t drain off.

With the expansion of the railway line to Delft and Rotterdam the flyover had to be renewed, which was done in 2009.

The present viaduct is higher, broader and lighter in its construction than its predecessor.  

© Villa Next Door 2021

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 #10. Ton Kraayeveld

The last word about painting will probably not be spoken in the foreseeable future, though painting has been declared dead almost every decade since the 1960s.

It is not that the discipline is so phoenix-like that it heroically resurrects once per ten years.

Neither does it renew itself revolutionarily.

It just flows with the waves and the winds.

It is a very opportunistic discipline, especially because it is both witnessing and imagining, and technically it is very versatile.

Although some painting-lovers seem to prefer to live in the past, as even some painters themselves seem to, painting – like most other basic art disciplines – is actually something very much of the present.

Circumstances and situations are decisive for how painting looks like, as paint itself can be used almost seismographically.

This week i visited painter Ton Kraayeveld (1955) in his studio in Dordrecht.

He told me about decisive events in his life for his paintings.

For instance a residency in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, two decades ago, fostered more social awareness in his work.

At such a moment different things seem to come together, like – in this case – the light and colours, the influence of Modernism on colonialism and its aftermath etc.

Another decisive moment was the almost stubborn appreciation of a gallerist for a work made up of short words, which Kraayeveld himself regarded as no more than a playful joke.

It resulted in what has become an important aspect of his oeuvre.

Very short words are the mortar of our languages, they are like short jumps in time and space, both meaningful and meaningless.

What is very much visible in his work at the moment is a visit to China, a few years ago.

Again, different aspects of his trip are visible in his work: its formal language, – again – the use of Modernism, visions of political power, etc.

While outside sunshine and rain alternated in Dordrecht’s narrow streets, we talked about painting and its reasons dictated by life itself, about its past and present, about its technique, about individual and common experiences, and  the hours passed easily, almost too easily….

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Ton Kraayeveld

By the way, Kraayeveld’s work is at the moment online on show at Gallery Viewer: click on the following link:  https://galleryviewer.com/nl/galerie/54/galerie-helder/kunstenaars/715/ton-kraayeveld

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 69. Cecilia Vissers, Far North; Galerie Helder, The Hague

Presently Cecilia Vissers has a solo exhibition at Helder in The Hague (your last chance to see it is over this weekend!).

Her work is a mix of regularity and intuition, of soft curves and cool metals, of both the force of nature and the preciseness of letters or hieroglyphs.

Just like hieroglyphs her works may consist of only one piece or of more parts.

Whether a single piece work or a combination, her works indeed have the obviousness of a word, in spite of the limited number of shapes she works with.

There is however more to them.

They are not just shapes, they are objects with a surface, such that they will only fully reveal their meanings when you slowly move along them or when the daylight itself slowly moves.

In the present exhibition she shows works of anodised aluminium – in which the aluminium may turn orange –, of hot rolled steel, and prints made of metal shapes, in which – like in a wood block – the surface plays a strong role.

Still the idea of a word, a statement of civilisation within nature, dependent on both light and metal, makes these precise works very precious.

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Cecilia Vissers and Galerie Helder, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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