Art in corona times 88. Matthias Grothus & Yaïr Callender, Jam Session; Kadmium, Delft

Studio view; Yaïr Callender

As i initiated this show of works by Matthias Grothus (1982) and Yaïr Callender (1987) at Kadmium, Delft, this report is a bit different.

Matthias Grothus sketching in his studio
Yaïr Callender; studio view
Matthias Grothus; studio view
Yaïr Callender; studio view

The idea was to make a show with objects and/or installations that would cause a sense of wonder, a bit like in a Kunst und Wunderkammer, something both Grothus and Callender would be good at.

Matthias Grothus; studio view
Yaïr Callender; studio view
Matthias Grothus; studio view

We decided to leave a lot of room for improvisation.

Yaïr Callender; studio view
Matthias Grothus; studio view
Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery

Callender has his studio in The Hague and Grothus in Zaandam, so it wouldn’t be easy for the artists to visit each other and exchange ideas.

Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery
Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery

That meant the actual making of the exhibition would be a kind of jam session on the day of installation at the gallery.

Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery
First parts of Matthias Grothus’ works have arrived
Parts of Matthias Grothus’ work, waiting to be assembled

Happily the artists got on quite well together and they had a good feel for each other’s works.

Assembling Matthias Grothus’ work is like reconstructing a fossil
The artists attaching Matthias Grothus’ flying creature
… and there it flies!

Although the works were challenging, real problems didn’t happen.

Attaching a work by Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender adding some finishing touches

As a result I think some of the tension and the joy of making the exhibition can still be seen.

Matthias Grothus working on the flying creature’s head
The flying creature has a head!

Centre piece is of course Grothus’ flying creature, which is both strong and transparent.

Matthias Grothus fixing the head
It flies head on!

It flies like a phoenix supported by Callender’s works and accompanied by the deep, earthly humming of a sound work by Grothus.

Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender

Callender’s works try to let the surrounding world speak for itself.

Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender

Although the show was originally planned for last spring (but had to be postponed because of Covid-19), it obviously works very well in this autumn of anxiety, where it might bring a moment of reflection to the viewer.

Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender
Matthias Grothus
Matthias Grothus’ sound installation

It has become a show of both deep seriousness and freaky humour.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Matthias Grothus, Yaïr Callender and Kadmium, Delft

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 87. After Daan van Golden; PARTS Project, The Hague

Mirthe Klück

Some time ago i visited PARTS Project to write a review about its present exhibition After Daan van Golden. Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

Mirthe Klück

It is a very full and rich show and as i’ve written quite extensively about it i just leave you here with some details and impressions of it.

Maurice van Es

However there is far more to see than these impressions suggest, so do plan a visit and take your time!

Maurice van Es
Carel Blotkamp
Daan van Golden
Fergus Feehily
Marijn van Kreij
Maja Klaassens
Maja Klaassens
Daan van Golden
Niek Hendrix
Robbin Heyker
Magali Reus
Magali Reus
Magali Reus
Alice Tippit
Daan van Golden
Riëtte Wanders
Just Quist
Annemarie Slobbe
Indigo Deijmann
Indigo Deijmann
Fergus Feehily
Daan van Golden
Richard Aldrich
Marijn van Kreij
Ronald de Bloeme

Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

Ronald de Bloeme

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to all artists, the estate of Daan van Golden, all owners of the works and PARTS Project, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 86. Erik Pape, Things That Struck Me; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Erik Pape (1942) shows paintings, sketchbooks and videos at Galerie Maurits van de Laar. If you want to see it, you have to be quick, as tomorrow (Sunday, October 10) will be the finissage already.

There is a strange dichotomy in Pape’s paintings. On one hand they show that it is not important what subject you choose for a painting, on the other hand they show that it is of the utmost importance.

For years Pape painted and drew elements of Place Stalingrad in Paris. But why that square in that city?

Today he paints “Things That Struck Me” while strolling in Paris from his lodgings to his working place and back.

Again, it doesn’t seem of any importance how futile or kitschy these “Things” are, or whether they were seen in Paris or not, but then again it also makes a great difference.

Moreover, the kitschier and the more insignificant the better, one might think looking at his paintings.

Even then, these objects seem to become even more mysterious, in a strange mix of near-wistfulness, near-humour, near-admiration, near-rejection and something indefinable.

He also shows something of his wanderings in Paris in videos, both in colour and in black-and-white.

They have the same atmosphere as his paintings and also give them context, but at the same time they stand on their own.  

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Erik Pape and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #138

Seven blocks of flats along 2de Sweelinckstraat, Lübeckstraat, Valeriusstraat, Stadhouderslaan and Stadhoudersplantsoen.

Designed by Jan Wils (1891-1972), they were built in the 1950s.

The German occupation left deep scars in The Hague.

The building by the Germans of the Atlantic Wall (the Antlantikwall) along the western European coast left one of the most significant scars still visible today.

Parts of the western suburbs of the city were demolished by order of the Germans for the building of the defensive wall.

Not just the houses were destroyed, social and suburban structures were erased too.

Part of the project was a deep anti-tank-trench which ran amongst others through the present Stadhoudersplantsoen.

After the Germans left, different plans were made to rebuild the area.

A plan by architect and urban planner Willem Dudok (1884-1974) to restructure the area was taken as the base for renewal.

Dudok, of course, was a famous modern architect in the Netherlands.

Architect of the wonderful and still functioning Hilversum Town Hall, he was also renowned for his achievements in urban planning already before the War.

Dudok however didn’t design any of the new buildings in this area when restructuring post-war The Hague.

Jan Wils was one of the architects who made designs for the new buildings.

Wils, during his long career, started out with Jugenstil.

When he was in his twenties he moved to The Hague where he worked for Hendrik Petrus Berlage, probably the most influential Dutch architect during the Interwar period, and responsible, amongst others, for the design of the (nearby) Gemeentemuseum, now Kunstmuseum.

Through Berlage he discovered the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, which had a great influence on him.

Wright’s work strengthened his idea that man and his surroundings should be central in architecture and not architecture itself.

For a short time he was associated with Theo van Doesburg and De Stijl.

Already before WWII he was engaged in social housing construction and designing residential buildings in general.

As such he is seen as one of the founders of the so-called Nieuwe Haagse School (New Hague School).

Therefore the choice of Wils as one of the architects for the restructuring of this area was obvious.

His low blocks of flats in a lush green area, were a clear modernist break with the original 19th century idea of chic façades along the street with private backyards and very limited public space.

© Villa Next Door 2021

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

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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