Art in corona times 80. Popel Coumou, Paper and Light; Fotomuseum, The Hague

This is without doubt one of the finest exhibitions on show in The Hague at the moment.

Photographer Popel Coumou (1978) has made an installation for the Fotomuseum (Museum for Photography) in which she focuses on the modern architecture of the next door Kunstmuseum (formerly Gemeentemuseum) and the Fotomuseum itself.

At the same time she shows the way she works, which very much implies the use of paper and light, as the title of the show suggests.

Basically she makes paper collages of architecture, of which she makes photographs, as she also does with handmade still-lives.

That already gives a different idea of what reality, space and architecture are.

In this show she presents amongst others the collages themselves, with light shining through them, heightening the illusion of real space and architecture.

On the other hand she has also made life-sized collages in the exhibition space itself, by which, as a visitor, you become part of this world of illusionistic architecture.

Her work is firmly based on an essentialist modernism in which all redundant elements are eliminated. 

Sharp graphic lines and abstraction define her works.

Nevertheless, and in the best modernist tradition, her work is full of wonder.

Her works also come to life in this show because of the changing light, which is, of course, part of architecture and space in general too.

Struck by the work, the show took me far more time than i expected.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Popel Coumou and Fotomuseum, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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