Art in corona times 72. Jacqueline de Jong, Plankenkoorts (“Stage Fright”); Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Plankenkoorts is Dutch for “stage fright.”  

It literally means “fever on planks”, which refers to some of the works of the 1990s in the show, being painted on sailcloth and wood.

Indeed, you could describe Jacqueline de Jong’s (1939) way of painting and drawing as a kind of fever.

Colourful, even violent works show both the pain and humour of life.

This particular show at Dürst Britt & Mayhew presents some paintings from the 1990s made on and inspired by sailcloth, which makes them relief-like and stresses their unstable contents.

Apart from that, there are two big, quite magnificent drawings from the 1990s on show, as well as some smaller drawings of the 1970s.

However, your visit to the show won’t be complete without finding the blue bunny!

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Jacqueline de Jong and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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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!

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 the artists and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Art in corona times 39. Alejandra Venegas & Paul Beumer, Frequently the woods are pink; Marwan Bassiouni, Prayer Rug Selfies; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Alejandra Venegas

Both Alejandra Venegas’ and Paul Beumer’s art have their roots in different cultures, from different countries, even different continents.

Alejandra Venegas
Alejandra Venegas

They presently  have a duo exhibition at Dürst Britt & Mayhew.

Paul Beumer

Venegas (1986) draws her inspiration from the stories, techniques and subjects, not just from her home country Mexico, but also from Asia and Africa.

Alejandra Venegas
Alejandra Venegas

Beumer (1982), as usual, concentrates more on the materials themselves.

Alejandra Venegas

Beumer’s recent work, presented in this exhibition, is made of bark-cloth, which he collected and processed in Serawak (Malaysian Borneo).

Paul Beumer
Paul Beumer

When i saw this kind of work for the first time i must admit i was a bit put off by the somewhat stiff and rectangular nature of these collage-like works.

Alejandra Venegas

On the other hand, it probably takes time to get used to the language of certain materials and the way they speak for themselves, as the works seem quite convincing to me by now.

Paul Beumer
Paul Beumer

In the end Beumer always seems to find a way in which the material and a certain, often traditional, technique can completely speak for themselves, while presenting them in an intuitive and lyrical manner.

Paul Beumer

That’s how he came with the present series of works, partly based on the colours of the different times of the day.

Paul Beumer
Paul Beumer

The combination with Venegas’ work is a particularly happy one, as she clearly found her way in another very basic technique: woodworking and painting.

Alejandra Venegas

While in Beumer’s work the medium becomes the story, in Venegas’ work the story may be born from the medium or may intermingle with the medium.

Paul Beumer
Alejandra Venegas

In that way her colourful wooden reliefs become objects of wonder.

Marwan Bassiouni

In the front space of the gallery Marwan Bassiouni (1985) shows some photographs from his series Prayer Rug Selfies.

Marwan Bassiouni (detail)

I wrote an article about these works in Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

Marwan Bassiouni (detail)

The few pictures shown here can be seen as additional to what i wrote in the article.

Marwan Bassiouni

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© Villa Next Door 2020

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

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 6. Hoogtij #61 (High Tide Festival #61), The Hague

Usually Villa Next Door doesn’t pay much attention to events like Hoogtij (Dutch for ‘High Tide’). Hoogtij is a seasonal Hague event – always on a Friday night – in which most commercial and non-commercial galleries in the city are open to the public. Gallerists and artists are present and there are always many special events. Due to the circumstances this couldn’t take place yesterday night, so the organisation decided to go online. 22 venues took part in this edition.

So i sat down in front of my computer to see everything. Most of the material can still be seen on the internet. A special event was an interview by Marie Jeanne de Rooij with Jane Huldman, sister, mother and grandmother to many an artist in The Hague.

It is a warm blooded interview, recommended for those who are interested in modern and contemporary art history of The Hague and the nitty-gritty of, amongst others, the Dutch art subsidy system. The interview is in Dutch and  it is not subtitled.

I hopped alphabetically through The Hague in order not to miss anything, so i started at …ism which showed Museum Guards, in which the inhabitants of …ism perform as guards of their own house and collection, staring at you blankly in their own paradise.

1646 has a delightful presentation by Afra Eisma  of her exhibition Feline Whispers which had to close down because of the corona crisis, but which can now be experienced digitally.

Undoubtedly hers is one of the most moving Hoogtij presentations.

Victoria Kieffer’s presentation at Aether Haga is interesting for its content, but why didn’t she present it in French with English subtitles and with more creativity in the visual materials?

Baracca gives a trailer, or rather an announcement of its 2015 project Inside Job, which can be seen on Yvo van der Vat’s YouTube channel. It will take you more than an hour to see the whole movie.

At De Helena Hanna de Haan and Rik Buter have been working on a charcoal wall drawing, improvising on and reacting to each other’s work.

At Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallerist Jaring Dürst Britt shows you around in its first lustrum exhibition Vèf Jaaaah, with works by all the gallery’s artists. If you switch to the gallery’s Facebook and Instagram pages you can see Alexander Mayhew talking about the different works of art (in English). I reported about the exhibition here.

Galerie Maurits van de Laar presents a tour by artist and curator of its present exhibition Christie van der Haak.

As Christie has been a much valued teacher at the Royal Academy in The Hague she will be to many – like Jane Huldman – a kind of sister, mother and grandmother of the arts. It is a wonderful presentation in Dutch. I reported about the exhibition here.

At the Grafische Werkplaats (Graphic Studio) Nina van Dijk and Cedric ter Bals show you around (in English) in the exhibition Slechte verhalen fikken niet (Bad Stories Don’t Burn) while Christiaan Schoonenberg presents his own story.

All done in a wonderfully spontaneous way (at least, that is how it looks like).

At Heden artist Thijs Jaeger presents his work Four Horse Men, a small but intriguing work based on the Apocalypse. The presentation is in Dutch.

At HOK gallery, one of the very smallest in The Hague, Harold de Bree opens his own exhibition Borderlines.

His presentation is in English and there is even champagne!

At Maldoror Gallery Roeland Langendoen and Elsbeth Verheul show paintings.

Maldoror is one of the easiest accessible of the lot as it is just a shop window.

Malieveldwerk is at the Malieveld where on Saturdays you may find one or more artists experimenting. The short video is from 2013 (when snow was still a common winter feature in this country) in which the experiments are announced by Topp & Dubio. The announcement is in Dutch.

Projektruimte West end (West End Project Space) shows you around in an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs and objects featuring cats.

A must see for any cat lover or even not-cat lover.

Quartair presents the interactive exhibition stay-go.nl. It takes some extra clicks to get there, but it is fun.

Refunc is one of the very few venues which are digitally much better than in real, as far as i am concerned.

Those who need a reflective moment about space are well served by Henk Hubenet at Ruimtevaart with the short but fine video Circumstanced.

See Lab, itself located in far off Scheveningen, which makes it difficult to physically take part in Hoogtij, can be accessed now online with a presentation of the digital project Walking with Unimals by the artists of Pointer Studio. The project is presently on show ‘in real’ at See Lab.

In a very short presentation gallerist Alex Lebbink shows you the way to his SinArts Gallery.

It takes some extra clicking to SinArts’ own website to see the very interesting and worthwhile presentations of four artists and their works. Alex interviewed them all in English and it is a good way to get acquainted with their work. There are some short but beautiful video works and a recording of an impressive performance readily accessible as well.

Peter van Beveren’s The Archives has no short video. Why not? Surely all those books look interesting and intriguing enough, don’t they?

With a very short teaser Trixie announces its upcoming exhibition focus loslaten | ontspannen (let loose focus | relax) which takes place in June and for which you can apply in advance for a visit.

West Den Haag in “Onze Ambassade” (“Our Embassy” –  the former American Embassy) shows some slides of the four exhibitions it has at the moment.

Z Extra: Raamproject (Window Project), shows a short preview of a project by artist Yvette Teeuwen. Together with painter Casper Verborg – Yvette outside and Casper inside – they make a drawing on a window (at Heden). After some time a passer-by is also allowed to take part.

To end the evening i watched the short movie Dusk of the Harmonious Garden by Shen Wei, one of SinArts’ artists. A perfect and peaceful work to finish with!

Although these video presentations can never match the atmosphere and uniqueness of the usual Hoogtij events they are a good sign of life of the artists community in The Hague, and, as such, more venues could have taken part. Just to give a sign of life. Another good message is that most of the exhibitions are still on show “in real” and can be visited under conditions, so inquire at the websites of the galleries how you can visit them.

Click here to see all the Hoogtij presentations on its YouTube channel.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All photographs are stills / screen shots from the different presentations; courtesy to the artists, venues and the makers of the videos.

Bertus Pieters

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Vèf jaah! (Five years!); Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Dürst Britt & Mayhew celebrates its five years anniversary with works by all its thirteen artists (and its designer). For this occasion some works were given on loan by buyers and collectors whom the gallery has succeeded in gathering over the past few years. I leave you here with some aspects of what is on show as i’ve already written extensively about it. Click here if you want to read more by yours truly about the show (in English).

Wieske Wester

David Roth

Sybren Renema

Sybren Renema

Alex Farrar

Raúl Ortega Ayala

Raúl Ortega Ayala

Alexandre Lavet

Willem Hussem

Willem Hussem

Joseph Montgomery

David Roth

Paul Beumer

Paul Beumer

Joseph Montgomery

Wieske Wester

Puck Verkade

Puck Verkade

Lennart Lahuis

Lennart Lahuis

Alexandre Lavet

Jacqueline de Jong

Jacqueline de Jong

Pieter Paul Pothoven, Chantal Hendriksen

Pieter Paul Pothoven

Alex Farrar

© Villa Next Door 2020

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

Bertus Pieters

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Alejandra Venegas, Timicho; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Dürst Britt & Mayhew surprises with the works of a Mexican artist, Alejandra Venegas (1986) in their front space.

At first sight her works may look colourful and exotic, especially during the grey Dutch winter.

However, taking a closer look, a number of different cultures seem to converge to create a personal world of landscape-like compositions.

The best amongst them have a dreamlike quality in which the curving hills and the meandering streams try to find an inner harmony in deeply saturated colours and flowing shapes.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Alejandra Venegas and Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Sybren Renema, Verweile doch! Du bist so schön!; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Some time ago i visited Dürst Britt & Mayhew to write a review about Sybren Renema’s (1988) present exhibition for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

As i have written quite extensively about the show in VLR i leave you here with some impressions without comments, and with the strong recommendation to go and see it all for yourself.

Click here to read the review in Villa La Repubblica.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Sybren Renema and Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Lennart Lahuis, Le Mal du Pays; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

I went to Dürst Britt & Mayhew to see Lennart Lahuis’ (1986) present exhibition Le Mal du Pays to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

As i have written quite extensively about this show in VLR, i leave you here just with some impressions without comments, of course with the recommendation to go and see it all for yourself.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Lennart Lahuis and to Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

 

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Joseph Montgomery, Joe; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Joseph Montgomery (1979) has a second marvellous exhibition at Dürst Britt & Mayhew.

I wrote a review about the first one in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch) way back in 2015 and i think aspects about which i wrote generally still stand.

As both Frits Dijcks in Jegens & Tevens and Eline van der Haak in Den Haag Centraal wrote very sensible words about it (both in Dutch) in which i find a lot of what i feel about the present exhibition, i will keep it short here.

The exhibition in 2015 was a show in which Montgomery was presented as a new artist in a pretty new gallery.

This exhibition is clearly a more outspoken one.

There are no collages this time, although Montgomery’s work remains more or less collage minded.

His works are very recognisable but the works on show also have very different personalities.

Montgomery gives you the idea that the works have been dictated by their materials, as any character has a material base – and the works are characters indeed!

Willem Hussem

In the front gallery some works by Willem Hussem (1900-1974) are exhibited, which is a great and good surprise, with the gallery’s promise that more of his works will be on show next year.

This is this year’s last photo blog of an exhibition as VND’s camera is obviously a bit fed up with the season’s darkness. So see you next year!!

© Villa Next Door 2018

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Joseph Montgomery, the estate of Willem Hussem and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Jacqueline de Jong and Wieske Wester, Fish and Chips; Dürst Britt and Mayhew, The Hague

Jacqueline de Jong

Two very painterly painters of very different generations, Jacqueline de Jong (1939) and Wieske Wester (1985), presently share an exhibition at Dürst Britt and Mayhew.

Jacqueline de Jong

Wieske Wester

The title of the show not just indicates the organic inspiration of some of the paintings, but also seems to stress the rich and ‘greasy’ manner of working.

Jacqueline de Jong

Jacqueline de Jong

To be honest i have a weak spot for Wester’s way of drawing which reminds me of a style i used myself in the 1980s.

Jacqueline de Jong

Wieske Wester

Though this personal history detail may not (and even should not) interest you at all, it does tell you something about the very subjective views your critic may have.

Wieske Wester

Jacqueline de Jong

Jacqueline de Jong

On the other hand, look at the wonderful handwriting of both painters in their works and see how both show their own and very personal command of what they are creating.

Jacqueline de Jong

Wieske Wester

De Jong actively tried to bring power to imagination in all kinds of ways during her long artistic career.

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

She still does so in works in which imagination may grab you by the throat.

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

Wester shows how organic forms turn into paint or charcoal and may at the same time transform into other organic forms.

Wieske Wester, Jacqueline de Jong

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photograph courtesy to Jacqueline de Jong, Wieske Wester and Dürst Britt and Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters