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.  

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2021

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

Bertus Pieters

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