Art in corona times 102. The end of ‘Art in corona times’. What next?

Art in corona times 1. 2 May 2020, SinArts Gallery

From May 2nd 2020 onwards i started categorising photo reports about exhibitions in Villa Next Door under the header Art in corona times.

Art in corona times 4, 15 May 2020, Topp & Dubio
Art in corona times 7a, 4 June 2020, A.R. Penck, Kunstmuseum, The Hague
Art in corona times 11, 23 June 2020, Mazen Ashkar, 1646
Art in corona times 18, 29 July 2020, Janice McNab, Stroom
Art in corona times 23, 19 August 2020, Caravaggio, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

By that time the corona restrictions were already intensely experienced by the arts sector. These days Covid-19 is still there but the heaviest lockdown measures have been lifted, so Art in corona times will be history for the time being. Art in corona times started with a visit to SinArts Gallery . I hadn’t seen Alex Lebbink, SinArts’ gallerist, for quite some time and he had organised time slots for individual visitors. The idea was that the corona measures would be very temporary and that i would use the label Art in corona times for a few postings, just to see how galleries and other art platforms were doing during the crisis and after that it would be more or less business as usual. However, that proved to be quite naive. Corona became a way of life in which the arts were not seen as an essential need in life. At first artists and other professionals were more or less empathetic to that idea, but as the crisis went on and on, the government’s sheer lack of interest for the arts became a thorn in the flesh of many an art professional, especially after the health minister’s remark that if you cannot go to the theatre you might as well stay at home and see a dvd, as if there was no difference between the two. Last week i posted Art in corona times 101 with some extra footage of the interesting exhibition about Aad de Haas at the Chabot Museum in Rotterdam and that was the last one under the corona banner.

Art in corona times 29, 17 September 2020, Steamboat, Trixie
Art in corona times 34, 28 September 2020, Jessica de Wolf, Artist Support Fair, Quartair
Art in corona times 37, 13 October 2020, Robbin Heyker’s Birding Club, featuring Arjan Dwarshuis
Art in corona times 43, 7 November 2020, Simphiwe Ndzube, Nest, The Hague
Art in corona times 48, 30 November 2020, Sjimmie Veenhuis, …ism

For those who want to have an idea of what was on show during the pandemic Art in corona times is easily locatable in Villa Next Door.

Art in corona times 52, 14 December 2020, Ellen Yiu, A Finger in Every Pie, Royal Academy students’ pre-graduation show

Lockdowns etc are over now but that doesn’t mean the worries about this or any other virus are gone.

Art in corona times 56, 20 February 2021, Ingrid Rollema, PIP Den Haag
Art in corona times 59, 14 March 2021, Paul van der Eerden, Romy Muijrers, Galerie Maurits van de Laar
Art in corona times 64, 9 April 2021, André Kruysen, Galerie Ramakers
Art in corona times 68, 30 April 2021, Zhang Shujian, PARTS Project
Art in corona times 75, 11 June 2021, Marion van Rooi, Jan Wattjes, Luuk Kuipers, Quartair

Covid-19 may return with a more dangerous version, and an altogether new and equally or more dangerous virus may come. The question is not if it will come, but when it will come. The bird flu virus being one of the most obvious contenders in the real viral world. Another worry in the aftermath of corona is the questionable urge of authorities to control everything and everybody, if possible with modern technology. This urge is understandable as authorities of any political colour try to influence social processes for the benefit of society as a whole. However, even before the Corona crisis it has already been proven that this urge to control has turned against citizens, as a holy faith in the objectivity of modern technology, market forces and a reduction of the state to a kind of control device has replaced a democracy in which different opinions in society play a role. Villa Next Door is not the place to make a deep analysis about society, politics, the free market, modern technology, the influence of debilitating conspiracy theories, and a considerable chunk of society that rather believes in so-called alternative facts than in real facts, that prefers evil tales to science. However this is the framework – as i see it – in which art is made, seen and presented today in this country, and i want to be clear about the context in which i give you my reports about exhibitions and art in this blog. After all, you don’t have to agree, but you should know. Another worry is the new situation with the war in Ukraine. One might suggest i should replace Art in corona times with Art in war times. However, the Netherlands are at the moment not at war with any other country. Also, it should be said that another devastating war is going on in Yemen for seven years now. Although this is principally a civil war, it has become internationalised, with other countries in the Middle East intervening. The conflict in Ukraine may have a global significance, or rather, it will have, even if the war itself remains physically limited to Ukraine. That, together with the devils unleashed during the Corona crisis, will bring us interesting but also ominous times. So, in the mean time, i repost some pictures here of some highlights of Art in corona times.

Art in corona times 81a, 12 July 2021, Joseph Palframan. Royal Academy, The Hague
Art in corona times 82b, 26 August 2021, Farkhondeh Shahroudi. Sonsbeek 20-24, Arnhem
Art in corona times 88, 27 September 2021, Yaïr Callender, Kadmium, Delft
Art in corona times 95, 17 December 2021, Casper Verborg, Galerie Helder
Art in corona times 97, 21 January 2022, Yesim Akdeniz, Dürst Britt & Mayhew

Hope to see you soon in real life or in this blog, stay healthy and sane, and keep your eyes open!

Art in corona times 101, 16 February 2022, Aad de Haas, Chabot Museum, Rotterdam

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to all artists, galleries, art platforms, museums and owners of the works.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 89. Robine Clignett & Elsbeth Ciesluk, Tuna Enda; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Robine Clignett

At first sight there isn’t much that connects Robine Clignett’s (1948) and Elsbeth Ciesluk’s (1986) works.

Robine Clignett
Robine Clignett

However, in their present exhibition at Galerie Maurits van de Laar there is a fine balance between the two.

Robine Clignett

Clignett needs a bit more daylight, so her works open the show.

Robine Clignett

Clignett’s nuanced colours have the power to make the viewer lose him/herself in their composition. Although shapes are usually basic for compositions in art, in Clignett’s works they are subordinated and unimportant due to the character of the colours.

Robine Clignett
Elsbeth Ciesluk

With their enchanting transparency it’s the colours that speak.

Elsbeth Ciesluk

In Ciesluk’s works one can see a kind of banners, or prayer scrolls or even towels. However, they have changed and become what they are by sudden fleeting thoughts.

Elsbeth Ciesluk

As far as i know this is Ciesluk’s first comprehensive presentation in The Hague and i must say it leaves me wanting to see more.

Elsbeth Ciesluk
Elsbeth Ciesluk

Be sure to see it, as the exhibition is in its last week!

Elsbeth Ciesluk

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Robine Clignett, Elsbeth Ciesluk and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, 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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Art in corona times 70. Robbie Cornelissen & Karin van Dam, Places We Have Never Been Before; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Front: Karin van Dam; back Robbie Cornelissen

In the back space of Galerie Maurits van de Laar one can get caught in a two and three dimensional situation of wonder and discovery.  The space is filled with objects by Karin van Dam (1959) and drawings by Robbie Cornelissen (1954) .

Robbie Cornelissen
Front: Karin van Dam; back: Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

As a visitor you have to move with some care. This may invite you to look with care as well. Van Dam’s objects are lying on the ground and hanging from the ceiling, while on the walls are two gigantic works by Cornelissen.

Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam

One of these two works has a strong sense of perspective, while the other, a composite work, gives an idea of space where perspective plays no role anymore.

Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam
Karin van Dam

Van Dam’s objects look like a reconstitution of the things that surround us in an imaginative amalgamation of nature and culture.

Karin van Dam
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

The middle space shows a lively dialogue with smaller works by both artists.

Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

The front space shows two monumental works: an installation by Van Dam and a composite drawing by Cornelissen.

Robbie Cornelissen
Front: Karin van Dam; back: Robbie Cornelissen
Karin van Dam
Front: Karin van Dam; back: Robbie Cornelissen

Combined they may give you the idea of more dimensions than you might usually experience.

Robbie Cornelissen

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Karin van Dam, Robbie Cornelissen and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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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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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 59. Paul van der Eerden & Romy Muijrers, SUITE; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

As discussed in the last two postings about the present show at Nest (click here and here) co-operation between artists is a tendency of the last few years.

In the case of the prolonged exhibition SUITE at Galerie Maurits van de Laar it is a co-operation of two artists of different generations.

Paul van der Eerden (1954) and Romy Muijrers (1990) started their project in 2018.

Both are gifted draughtsmen, and having made drawings together for some years, now it is time to show the results to the public.

The procedure is quite simple: one starts a sketch and the other will work it out.

Through the years their drawings have developed as if they were made by one – albeit very versatile – artist.

Muijrers usually makes quite detailed drawings in which she sometimes seems to drown in a parallel world of remembrances, dreams and feelings.

Van der Eerden creates more robust shapes in which a life in modernist and postmodernist times can often be traced in a sometimes cartoonlike design.

The partnership is not based on competition or to make improvements and corrections in each other’s ideas.

The idea is to inspire each other and to make drawings that have a character of their own in spite of being created by two individuals.

They very much succeeded in doing so.

Both artists’ ideas and preoccupations breathe through the enormous amount of works shown in the gallery, but in the end it is like two pianists playing four-hands.

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Romy Muijrers, Paul van der Eerden and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 42. Andrea Freckmann, Peter Vos; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Peter Vos

What have Andrea Freckmann’s (1970) and Peter Vos’ (1975) paintings to do with each other?

Andrea Freckmann
Andrea Freckmann

Well, pretty little, i‘d say.

Andrea Freckmann
Peter Vos

So little in fact, that their works seem to keep each other in balance at their present show at Maurits van de Laar’s gallery.

Peter Vos
Andrea Freckmann

While Freckmann’s way of painting constantly reminds you that it could all be but a dream, Vos’ works make you believe that the characters he paints are both real and abstract.

Andrea Freckmann
Andrea Freckmann

Freckmann changes her daily life, including herself, people and objects around her, into a theatre in which every element adds to the dream of wonder and remembrance.

Peter Vos
Peter Vos

In these theatres animals – dogs, birds – frequently act as a kind of messengers from a parallel world within the parallel worlds of her paintings.

Peter Vos
Peter Vos

Vos shows you the more or less monumental characters of his birds (and some moths too), i’d even say in their full humanity.

Andrea Freckmann
Peter Vos

In three recent paintings he added a lady to his birds, competing with each other in their enigmatic beauty.  

Andrea Freckmann

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Andrea Freckmann, Peter Vos and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag.

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Art in corona times 31. Susanna Inglada & Charlotte Schleiffert, Parom(e)is; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Susanna Inglada

Both Susanna Inglada (1983) and Charlotte Schleiffert (1967) recently had a residency abroad, Inglada in Rome and Schleiffert in Paris.

Susanna Inglada

 

Susanna Inglada

 

Susanna Inglada

They both show their works at the moment at Galerie Maurits van de Laar .

Susanna Inglada

Susanna Inglada

Susanna Inglada

Inglada came home with works full of convulsive bodies and faces, mainly of men. Her impressive works may remind you of a nightmare about Cinecittà, but made with the same excellence.

Susanna Inglada

Susanna Inglada

Susanna Inglada

Susanna Inglada

This is what happens behind the scenes, in the shades, the margins and the minds of La Grande Bellezza.

Charlotte Schleiffert

Charlotte Schleiffert

Charlotte Schleiffert

Schleiffert was drawn to nature and apart from some wonderful drawings with more or less classical themes and subjects, she also surprises with quite a few colourful landscapes, mostly with trees and woods.

Charlotte Schleiffert

Charlotte Schleiffert

Charlotte Schleiffert

They have a fairytale-like quality full of expectation.

Charlotte Schleiffert

Charlotte Schleiffert

Charlotte Schleiffert

Quite different and interesting aspects of Schleiffert’s art appear in these small drawings.

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Susanna Inglada, Charlotte Schleiffert and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag.

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Art in corona times 15. Dan Zhu, Tobias Gerber, Martin Assig & Ronald Versloot, Drawing Now (and Unlocked/Reconnected); Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Dan Zhu

Drawing Now art fair in Paris didn’t take place this year because of Covid-19. So Maurits van de Laar is presently showing in The Hague what he might have shown in Paris.

Dan Zhu

Dan Zhu (1985) is (as far as i know) the newest in the quartet of draughts(wo)men presented by Maurits van de Laar.

Dan Zhu

As she already showed some years ago at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, she has a fine sense of the transparency of the medium, combined with a haunting imagination.

Tobias Gerber

As part of the national art online show Unlocked/Reconnected, Tobias Gerber (1961) is showing a series in which the world is seen through a keyhole in a closed chest.

Tobias Gerber

Tobias Gerber

Tobias Gerber

Martin Assig

Martin Assig (1959) is showing works of his ongoing St. Paul series, partly homage to Paul Klee (though very influential, Klee seems to be condemned to a minor role in art history because of the small size of his works and their content, which is stylistically difficult to define), but especially stylistically inventive in its own right.

Martin Assig

Martin Assig

Martin Assig

Ronald Versloot

Very rich in their moods and ideas are the fine crayon drawings  by Ronald Versloot (1964).

Ronald Versloot

Maurits van de Laar is able to show this profusion (in these pictures you see only a tip of the iceberg) of drawings because he left the partitions of the gallery, made for Chritie van der Haak’s show, intact, enormously increasing the capacity of the gallery space.

Ronald Versloot

The exhibition itself shows a very strong quartet of draughtsmen indeed, with inspiring and very imaginative drawings, and it will take you some time to see it all.

Ronald Versloot

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to all artists and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, 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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