Lieven Hendriks & Thomas Trum, Modern Pictures for Modern Rooms; Billytown, The Hague

Lieven Hendriks

Modern Pictures for Modern Rooms was an exhibition in London in 1936 showing art buyers how to live with modern painting in a modern interior.

Lieven Hendriks
Thomas Trum

It happened to be the same year Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times was released;1936 was in the middle of the world wide economic crisis.

Lieven Hendriks
Lieven Hendriks

In Modern Times people are struggling to take part in the rat race for survival in times of modernism, while in London a gallery tried another strategy to sell modernist art to survive the crisis in a country with a predominantly conservative taste.

Lieven Hendriks

More than 80 years later we live in a post-postmodern era but we still feel the tremors of the great social, economic and artistic modernist age that was the 20th century.

Lieven Hendriks

Rianne Groen – who closed down her gallery in Rotterdam only recently – co-operated with Billytown – the Hague platform that constantly struggles for new perspectives – to make a new Modern Pictures for Modern Rooms show with Lieven Hendriks (1970) and Thomas Trum (1989), in which she tries to take a fresh look at what decoration means in the context of art in daily life of the post-postmodern present.

Lieven Hendriks

Billytown’s space is hardly the place to create a cosy living room, but with some adaptations a place with familiar elements which suit a former school building was created as an environment for Hendriks’ and Trum’s works.

Lieven Hendriks

Abstraction (which historically became the hallmark of modernism) is clearly a principle of Trum’s lively material improvisations, while Hendriks brings back abstraction into hyper-reality with his trompe l’oeil paintings.

Lieven Hendriks
Thomas Trum

With its big windows the art doesn’t just seem to give context to Billytown’s space but also to the reality of street life outside the gallery.

Thomas Trum
Thomas Trum

Trum’s monumental One Purple Line seems to become part of the square outside Billytown.

left: Lieven Hendriks, right: Thomas Trum

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Lieven Handriks, Thomas Trum and Billytown, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT REPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE AND REGRETS ANY IRRITATION IT MAY CAUSE!

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Melle de Boer, De laatste romantische schilder (The Last Romantic Painter); The Kitchen, Billytown, The Hague

Schneeige Nacht!
Ihr dunklen Schläfer
Unter der Brücke
Von Zerbrochener Stirne
Tropft kristallner Schweiß euch

(Snowy night! / You dark sleepers / Under the bridge / From your broken foreheads / Crystall sweat drips) Georg Trakl (1887-1914), Fragment 11

As you have seen in this blog (and if you haven’t, subscribe to Villa Nex Door!) Melle de Boer (1972) and your blogger met in his studio last spring to discuss his new paintings and painting in general.

Little did i know that an exhibition of his new paintings would follow so soon in Billytown’s Kitchen.

Its title The Last Romantic Painter may sound both tongue in cheek and pathetic, but that doesn’t mean this show isn’t serious stuff.

It might be tempting to compare De Boer’s paintings to his drawings and his work as a singer-songwriter, but let’s not do that, as there are no drawings or songs in this exhibition.

His paintings try to strike a balance between the escape from reality (whatever that is, in any guise or disguise) and the embrace of the reality of painting.

Many details of the works may work associative, on the other hand they are pure paint and brushstrokes etc.

In these paintings the nights may be snowy, the foreheads may be broken or the sweat may even be crystal, but in the end the paint dictates its own way of thinking.

I was quite happy seeing this exhibition, also knowing that the best has yet to come.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Melle de Boer and Billytown, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT REPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE AND REGRETS ANY IRRITATION IT MAY CAUSE!

Katrein Breukers & Lily Lanfermeijer, I Laughed “To Hell With Them” I Said; Billytown, The Hague

In Billytown’s Kitchen Katrein Breukers and Lily Lanfermeijer have created a crime scene.

Reminiscences of what might have happened are there, but to reassure you, there are no traces of bloodshed.

The scene is based on amongst others detective stories and the Cluedo detective game.

Some aspects may refer to earlier events, but you may as well find yourself in your own detective story.

And, as said before, there is nothing to worry about.

© Villa Next Door 2019

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

Bertus Pieters

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, There is only one art … L-if-E; Billytown, The Hague

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (1950) seems to be a bit of a blind spot in modern and postmodern art history.

Genesis P-Orridge is generally seen as one of the founders of Industrial music with his bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV.

Already by the end of the 1960s he founded the artist’s collective COUM Transmissions.

Genesis P-Orridge has been active ever since, preferably in co-operation with likeminded people, to seek the extremes of existence and indeed of aesthetics in music, art and design.

Billytown has given Grauzone a platform to organise a retrospective exhibition about Genesis P-Orridge’s work.

Art historically long overdue though the exhibition might be, the relatively peaceful white cube-like presentation which isolates every individual work from its context may not fully confront the visitor with the overwhelming impact of the aesthetics of the work and life of the artist and his many collective projects.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Genesis Bereyer P-Orridge, Grauzone and to Billytown, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Manor Grunewald, Laura Jatkowski & Ricardo van Eyk, Be My Billy; Billytown, The Hague

Manor Grunewald

At first sight one may not think of Manor Grunewald (1985), Laura Jatkowski (1990) and Ricardo van Eyk (1993) as partners in a group show.

Manor Grunewald
Manor Grunewald
Manor Grunewald
Manor Grunewald

However, in Billytown’s new gallery space they seem to be the perfect trio to open a potentially challenging program of exhibitions.

Laura Jatkowski
Laura Jatkowski
Laura Jatkowski
Laura Jatkowski

The emphasis of the show is characteristically on the merging of making and thinking and its spatial consequences.

Left to right: Manor Grunewald, Laura Jatkowski, Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk

All three artists focus both on the overall impression of their works as well as on the details.

Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk

Conceptual thinking is mixed with the possibilities of the used materials, in Jatkowski’s case even acoustics and video.

Laura Jatkowski
Front: Laura Jatkowski; back: Manor Grunewald
Left to righ, Ricardo van Eyk, Laura Jatkowski
Front: Laura Jatkowski; back: Ricardo van Eyk

The day i visited to make these photos the autumn weather was grey and gloomy, which made it next to impossible to make some clear pictures in spite of the building’s  big windows.

Front: Laura Jatkowski; back: Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk
Ricardo van Eyk
Left to right: Manor Grunewald, Ricardo van Eyk, Laura Jatkowski

On the other hand, it gave the works and the space a more monumental and concise character.

Left to right: Ricardo van Eyk, Manor Grunewald
Laura Jatkowski
Laura Jatkowski
Laura Jatkowski

On the whole it is a very promising first show in a new chapter of Billytown’s existence.

Laura Jatkowski

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Billytown, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters