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

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Art in corona times 68. Zhang Shujian, Face; PARTS-Project, The Hague

Visiting the exhibition Face with works by Zhang Shujian (1987) at PARTS-Project i decided to write an article about it for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

As i have written quite extensively in VLR about the show, i leave you here with some more pictures and some details, which can be seen as additional to the VLR article.

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

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Zhang Shujiang, CLC Gallery Venture, Beijing, owners of the works and PARTS-Project, Den Haag

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Art in corona times 67. Nour-Eddine Jarram, The Wait; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Dreams are usually deceptive and aspirations may be dashed by changing perspectives.

As such we are all in the same shaky boat, wherever your roots lie.

Another thing is that we are all shaped by our experiences, which give us a wide pallet of remembrances, feelings, emotions and ideas.

However, one can’t simply expect that everybody is able or willing to share this wide range of experiences.

It is almost impossible to give answers to questions like: how did it smell in your school, how did the sun burn on your skin in summer or, more horrible, what was it you felt would be lost when you nearly drowned in the sea?

Still, all these unknown experiences shape the most inner self and the way they are shaped are dependent on even earlier experiences and the culture with which one has learned to cope with them and give meaning to them.

All that makes a person and stays within him or her.

It seems Nour-Eddine Jarram (1956) in his present show at Galerie Maurits van de Laar tries to show different aspects of this process of shaping the self.

It is an exhibition full of drama.

Especially where Jarram reflects on migration to Europe, where he doesn’t really pay attention to the human suffering, but rather to how people survive by who and what they are.

It is however not all about these stories of misfortune, he also shows a variety of people who try to pretend and others who can’t pretend, and still others who are forced to pretend.

In the mean time ideas and spirituality roam in between, as if to show that the pictures are visions of spirituality rather than everyday reality, albeit in the tiny far-off shape of a shark’s dorsal fin.  

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Nour-Eddine Jarram and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 66. Harry Markusse, Berliner Luft; Daniele Galliano, Bella mostra; Livingstone Gallery, The Hague

Harry Markusse

On Livingstone Gallery’s ground floor are at the moment two very different shows.

Harry Markusse
Harry Markusse

One is with works by Harry Markusse (1990) recently made on the occasion of his stay at Livingstone’s residence in Berlin.

Harry Markusse

It must have been a very special experience to be in Berlin during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Harry Markusse

It inspired him to make works with wavy patterns.

Harry Markusse

He usually works improvising on the canvas, which results in two kinds of works, more or less structural works with two colours, and compositions with specific point and counterpoint in its volumes.

Harry Markusse

As afterthoughts there are parts of discarded but reworked works collected as a kind of in-depth collages in plastic boxes.

Harry Markusse

Altogether this looks like an interesting, almost frivolous, development in Markusse’s work, which was usually lively anyway, but also with straight lines, sharp edges and sharp corners.

Daniele Galliano

In the other exhibition space Daniele Galliano (1961) shows amongst others this marvellous work called Zombie (Morti viventi); a work made before the Corona crisis, but one would almost think it is foretelling something of its atmosphere.

Daniele Galliano

There are recent and older works by Galliano on show.

Daniele Galliano

There is a strong sense of both remembrance and of a kind of parallel world in his works.

Daniele Galliano

This parallel world shows a kind of ghost-like alternative for what can be perceived as reality.

Daniele Galliano

Sometimes quite subtle, sometimes quite less so.

Daniele Galliano
Daniele Galliano

It is as if he works with a camera which obstinately but intriguingly  changes the picture, showing the spirits of things and people.

Daniele Galliano

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Harry Markusse, Daniele Galliano and Livingstone Gallery, Den Haagt

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Art in corona times 65. Yuk Kan Yeung & Antonius Nijssen, Verstilling (Stillness) – The Bliss of Solitude; Kadmium, Delft

Yuk Kan Yeung

There is a ‘soft’ emancipation going on in works by artists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Chinese diaspora.

Yuk Kan Yeung
Yuk Kan Yeung

Of course this is not about the big investors’ art, but about ‘smaller’ art which tries to reshape its Chineseness in dialogue with the rest of the cultural world, with the strong conviction that neither tradition alone, nor radical rejection of it will bring something original.

Yuk Kan Yeung
Yuk Kan Yeung

Yuk Kan Yeung’s (1959) works are wonderful examples of that idea.

Yuk Kan Yeung
Yuk Kan Yeung
Yuk Kan Yeung

In the case of Yeung the use of porcelain and calligraphy may seem obvious for an artist with Chinese roots.

Yuk Kan Yeung
Yuk Kan Yeung

However, folding the very delicate porcelain into something characteristic without the idea of making a vase, a plate or a cup, and using calligraphy to let the porcelain breathe, so to speak, is quite a different story.

Yuk Kan Yeung
Yuk Kan Yeung

Presently Yeung shows porcelain objects and works on paper at Kadmium in a duo show with works by Antonius Nijssen (1955-2018).

Yuk Kan Yeung
Antonius Nijssen

His works may be described as geometric abstract.

Antonius Nijssen
Antonius Nijssen

One might even think about the so-called North Atlantic light, once observed by Willem de Kooning who had seen that light from both sides of the Ocean. However, Nijssen was quite a different painter.

Antonius Nijssen
Antonius Nijssen
Antonius Nijssen

Amongst others he has made some very interesting objects/paintings, with right angles in them.

Antonius Nijssen
Antonius Nijssen

In these works Nijssen makes the colours shine to compete with the shapes and shadows.

Antonius Nijssen
Antonius Nijssen

He seems to be less delicate with colours in these objects than in some of his ‘normal’ paintings, making them bright and playful but also reflective.

Antonius Nijssen
Antonius Nijssen

Being lucky to have had a private view of this – indeed – quiet exhibition, i hope Kadmium (closed at the moment because of Covid-19 restrictions) will be open to the public again soon.

Antonius Nijssen

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Yuk Kan Yeung, the estate of Antonius Nijssen and Kadmium, Delft

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Art in corona times 64. Ton van Kints & André Kruysen, What’s on; Galerie Ramakers, The Hague

Ton van Kints

Galerie Ramakers presently shows works by Ton van Kints (1955) and André Kruysen (1967). In Villa La Repubblica i wrote an article about one of the sculptures on show by Kruysen, Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

André Kruysen
Ton van Kints

Kruysen shows new works.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

As i’ve written quite extensively about one of the presented sculptures by Kruysen in VLR, i leave you here with some pictures of the other works on show.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

For one reason or another the works by Kruysen fit very well with Van Kints’s.  

André Kruysen
Ton van Kints

Works by both artists show a craftsmanship with a kind of what-you-see-is-what-you-get mentality.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

However, what you get are not just the materials but also the ideas and the individual characters of the works.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

With both artists this creates a kind of tension between the pragmatism of their practice and the eloquence of the characters they create.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

Van Kints shows the sequel to his so called 1+1 series in which he has piled up older works to make new ones. 

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

The way he piles them up differs per work, rendering new characters.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen, Ton van Kints

Sometimes they work as reliefs, sometimes they are more fully fledged pieces of sculpture.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

In the sequel he has added bee-queen cells (which are usually built by bees on the lower edges of their combs), as Van Kints has become a keen beekeeper.

Ton van Kints, André Kruysen
Ton van Kints

This adds an interesting new element to the new series.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

The combs are extremely small pieces of natural architecture.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

As such they fit in very well with the works, at the same time they are a kind of foreign body, as if the works have been colonised.  

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

For those who find visiting galleries is still a bit risky under the present circumstances, i added a few more pictures than i would usually do.

Ton van Kints
André Kruysen

Still i recommend wholeheartedly to go and see these works for youself.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

Click here to read the article about André Kruysen’s work in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)

André Kruysen

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag

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Art in corona times 63. Marcel Wesdorp, Wandering in a Digital Adventure; Galerie Helder, The Hague

With this monumental, vast turquoise print Marcel Wesdorp arguably made one of his most tender works so far.

He has turned one of the most merciless interventions of nature, crudely appropriated by man, into an almost hallucinating ocean of mystery and oblivion.

This one and other recent works by Wesdorp are presently on show along older works at Galerie Helder.

He leads the viewer from algorithmic landscapes to compositions made with satellite recordings.

A tireless seeker for the sublime, Wesdorp uses the most advanced digital means, where others would use these techniques only for rational data.

As such he combines the wonders of the world with the wonders of the mind.

It is a small show, but a good medicine against the narrow-mindedness of these days.

However, you have to hurry as next Saturday will be the last day of the exhibition.

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Marcel Wesdorp and Galerie Helder, Den Haag

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Art in corona times 62. Oskar Nilsson & Han Qin, Spirited Away; SinArts Gallery, The Hague

Oskar Nilsson

Swedish artist Oskar Nilsson used to make works drenched in death and the macabre.

Oskar Nilsson

It is as if somebody or something told him to cut it all, as now his works look like sweet dreams.

Oskar Nilsson

It is a matter of from being over the top on the dark side to being over the top on the sunny side.

Oskar Nilsson

What remains is a fairytale-like atmosphere where little white ghosts – apparently in love – sit on cut off tree trunks amid fragrant flowers bending in the wind.

Oskar Nilsson

It is all so sweet that it is almost too eerie in its own right.

Han Qin

At SinArts Gallery – in an exchange with Galerie With Tsjalling in Groningen – Nilsson’s work is coupled with works on paper by Han Qin, a Chinese artist living in France.

Han Qin

At first sight the works of the two artists go well together in their colourfulness.

Han Qin

However, Han Qin’s works appear to be more diverse both in what they look like and in their underlying meanings and emotions.

Han Qin

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists, SinArts Gallery, Den Haag and Galerie With Tsjalling, Groningen

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Art in corona times 61. Elsa Hartjesveld, Hans Ensink op Kemna, Paul van der Zande, Es malt! (It paints!); Stichting Ruimtevaart, The Hague

left: Hans Ensink op Kemna, right: Elsa Hartjesveld

In the central part of Ruimtevaart’s exhibition space Elsa Hartjesveld, Hans Ensink op Kemna and Paul van der Zande have made a painterly installation.

left: Paul van der Zande; centre: Elsa Hartjesveld; right: Hans Ensink op Kemna
left: Elsa Hartjesveld; right: Paul van der Zande

The installation is based on the circle (Hartjesveld), the triangle (Ensink op Kemna) and the square (Van der Zande).

left: Paul van der Zande; right: Elsa Hartjesveld
Paul van der Zande

As such the three painters show that one doesn’t always need objects to redefine space in a monumental way.

Hans Ensink op Kemna
Hans Ensink op Kemna

The interaction between the three volumes is quite significant.

Hans Ensink op Kemna
Elsa Hartjesveld
Elsa Hartjesveld

Being invited i was quite happy to see it all, as art spaces like Ruimtevaart are still closed due to the corona lockdown.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Elsa Hartjesveld

Like many shows this one has been prolonged and it is hoped for that it will be open to the public before short.

Paul van der Zande
Paul van der Zande

However, the present governmental restrictions are as unpredictable as the virus itself, so we have to keep our fingers crossed.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Paul van der Zande

Ensink op Kemna has recently had a solo exhibition in Delft, but seeing works by the other two artists is a bit of a rare event.

Paul van der Zande
Hans Ensink op Kemna

Especially Van der Zande’s works are rarely seen and this exhibition proves how unjust that is.

Hans Ensink op Kemna
Elsa Hartjesveld

For Hartjesveld – who shows a series of small works – this was a good opportunity to try her hand on abstract work on a more monumental scale.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Elsa Hartjesveld

There is also a wonderful dialogue between the three very individual styles.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Hans Ensink op Kemna

Hartjesveld, with her more or less intuitive kind of works, seems to open up the secret and unexpected space in between the straight lines of the works by Ensink op Kemna and Van der Zande.  

Paul van der Zande
Hans Ensink op Kemna

For artistic dialogue Ruimtevaart seems to have become a very special space, while it has also opened up its ‘spare room’ as a kind of introduction space.

Paul van der Zande

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

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Art in corona times 60. Katerina Sidorova & Wieske Wester, Gläserner Mensch (Glass Man); David Roth, Augensex (Eye Sex); Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Wieske Wester

Trying to find Katerina Sidorova’s (1991) inspiration for her work The Wall – which is currently presented as part of the duo exhibition with works by her and by Wieske Wester (1985) at Dürst Britt & Mayhew – i worked through all kinds of weapon porn (one could call it “un-gay porn”) on YouTube, but found it at last in a weaponry review site.

left: Wieske Wester (“Eric”); right: Katerina Sidorova
Katerina Sidorova

(Being an art historian brings you to the most improbable cavities of the human mind).

Katerina Sidorova

I was amazed, not just with the ingenuity of the anti-riot wall (which is Sidorova’s source of inspiration), but especially with the artistry of the demonstration video.

Katerina Sidorova

The Thunderbirds of a far-away-childhood wouldn’t stand a chance against such and all the other modern devises.

Wieske Wester
Wieske Wester (“Mea Culpa”)

These would crush any childhood dream and indeed any adult dream.

Katerina Sidorova

Sidorova’s reflections are even more dreamlike, but one could doubt if it is a happy dream.

Katerina Sidorova

It is clear the violence has stopped in one way or another, and her works stand and hang in silence.

Katerina Sidorova
Katerina Sidorova

They are tender, transparent, maybe smudged, even broken fragments of hope and pain.

Katerina Sidorova (“The Wall”)

As an ensemble they are very impressive in between Wester’s robust paintings. George Orwell’s famous novel Animal Farm (Wester’s source of inspiration) was published only two years before Kalashnikov – the namesake of the modern Russian weapon company responsible for the anti-riot wall – designed the AK 47 in the aftermath of World War II.

Katerina Sidorova (“The Wall”)

As you probably know, in George Orwell’s Animal Farm the farm animals rebel and seize power in order to create a fairer society.

Wieske Wester (“Mea Culpa”)
Wieske Wester

However, the pigs manage to be on top and run a dictatorship.

Wieske Wester

In Wester’s paintings the pigs become less aggressive.

Wieske Wester (“Arthur”)

And why not, as pigs can be, after all, quite disarming animals.

Wieske Wester (“Arthur”)
Wieske Wester (“Eric”)

With their pinkish complexion they even look a bit like white Europeans, they are as gluttonous, playful and pathetic as human kind.

Katerina Sidorova (“The Wall”)

With the painting Arthur however, there is a stark reminder of death, maybe inspired by the skull of Willingdon Beauty, the patriarch of the animals’ revolution.

left and right: Wieske Wester; centre: Katerina Sidorova

As a portrait bleaching in memory, George Orwell (in the painting Mea Culpa) looks at Sidorova’s Wall, while split characters of his real name (Eric Arthur Blair) look at each other, one alive and the other as dead as a dodo.

David Roth

The front gallery shows completely different work by David Roth (1985).

David Roth

Last year, during the first Covid-19 period, i wrote quite extensively about one of his works in Villa La Repubblica (click here to read it – in Dutch).

David Roth

In Sidorova’s and Wester’s works the materials play an important expressive role.

David Roth

One could say that is even more so in Roth’s paintings.

David Roth

His works are about many aspects of the act of painting itself, both technical and spiritual ones.

David Roth

Roth draws his inspiration from the work and the material itself.

David Roth

One could even say the paint and the painter inspire each other, as the title of the show implies – and with a firm wink – it is both a physical and mental love affair.

David Roth

My visit to both exhibitions was rather last-minute: this weekend will be your last chance to see it all in real.

David Roth

If you can, do so!

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

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