Art in corona times 21. Gerard Verdijk, Works on paper; Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Thanks to a donation of works on paper by Gerard Verdijk (1934-2005) there is a small presentation of his work at the Kunstmuseum, just next to the big A.R. Penck exhibition.

Though he wasn’t born in The Hague, he lived for a major part of his life in this town and undeniably left his artistic marks here.

There have been retrospectives of his work in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and even twice in Dordrecht, but in spite of that Verdijk has only become a household name to very few artists and art lovers.

The present exhibition – recently reopened when anti-corona measures were alleviated a bit, difficult to find on the museum’s website, and unclear in how long it will be there – may give a clue to that underrating.

Almost each work on show has the magic to suck you into the intimacy of its composition, such that you may even feel a voyeur; that is, if you really surrender to these works.

I have no idea how long these works will be on show, so hurry to see them!

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of Gerard Verdijk and to the Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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

Art in corona times 7b. Mondrian Route, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (second leg: Mondrian & De Stijl, Lucassen)

Günter Förg

This is the second part of two about the reopened Kunstmuseum in The Hague and the exhibitions of the so-called Mondrian Route. Click here to see pictures of the first part, about A.R. Penck and Navid Nuur.

Bart van der Leck

The second leg of the tour leads along the permanent exhibition about Mondrian and De Stijl and the great solo show of Lucassen.

Bart van der Leck

Of course the KM is famous for its Mondrian collection, works by other De Stijl artists and their contemporaries.

Piet Mondrian

Usually i take that exhibition for granted.

I’ve seen it a few times, it’s good to know that it’s there and that’s it.

Piet Mondrian

As following the Mondrian Route means it is obligatory to see the De Stijl & Mondrian section, i took the opportunity to check if my favourites are still there.

Piet Mondrian

Of course they are and they never disappoint.

Vilmos Huszár

Apart from the obvious works by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) there are other personal favourites like Bart van der Leck (1876-1958) and Vilmos Huszár (1884-1960).

Vilmos Huszár

Again, under the tranquillity of the Covid-19 measures at the museum, it was a great joy to see these works in all their preciousness again, without the pressure of any other visitors who may disturb your attention.

Bart van der Leck

After all, art watching is an egotistic activity.

Bart van der Leck
Vilmos Huszár

At best it’s you and the work of art, and nobody in between or around.

Piet Mondrian
Lucassen

However, i couldn’t  spend much time there as i needed time for the Lucassen show. Reinier Lucassen  (1939) has built an impressive oeuvre of paintings.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

He started in the 1960s as an artist who combined elements of figurative and abstract art and of high art and consumer culture, like other artists in the Netherlands and Belgium, usually called Nieuwe figuratie (New Figuration).

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

In the case of Lucassen it has become an art intermingled with the beauty of the banal and the absurd.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

Lucassen’s work is also linguistic, as such it may be even more mysterious to a non-Dutch speaker than it is for a Batavophone.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

As usual in these big shows at the KM there is an overload of works.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

The works are not presented chronologically.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

To an extent, that works, as mutual correlations between the paintings of different periods may become clear.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

On the other hand, after watching intensely (which is now really possible!) for some time, one gets the idea of getting a bit dizzy of all these different voices that shout, sing and whisper at you.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

To be short about visiting the KM at the moment: it is now possible to really look at the works intensely, or even reflect on them while looking, which is great and unique for this period of the crisis.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

However, as the exhibitions are quite big – apart from Navid Nuur’s, although his is big in its reflective content – you need to plan ahead what you really want to see.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

Otherwise you may not fall victim to the Covid-19 virus but to the Stendhal syndrome.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of the artists, to Lucassen and to the Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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

 

Art in corona times 7a. Mondrian Route, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (first leg: A.R. Penck and Navid Nuur)

This picture report is in two parts, otherwise it would be too long and you might have problems opening it. Click here to see the next part, Art in corona times 7b.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

June 1st the Kunstmuseum (let’s abbreviate it to KM) here in The Hague reopened its doors after two and a half months of closure because of the Covid-19 pandemic, just like other museums in this country.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

There are very strict restrictions to enter and to move around in the museum.

A.R. Penck

Reservations have to be made online for a two hours timeslot, there is an obligatory choice between two routes and only one-way traffic is possible, but generally everything is very well organised and staff seem to be more friendly than usual.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

The two routes are the so-called Berlage Route and the Mondrian Route.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

When i visited on June 2nd i took the Mondrian Route which leads you along the A.R. Penck exhibition, Navid Nuur’s presentation, the permanent De Stijl collection and the Lucassen exhibition.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

Although two hours were obviously not enough for me, i very much enjoyed seeing all these works in real.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

Because of the restrictions and the maximum number of visitors (which is indicated for every room) i had a very tranquil afternoon.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

No crowds of people who are in your way, just silence and very little noise of another visitor now and then, that’s how i like it! In this report you see some aspects of the first leg of my tour: A.R. Penck (1939-2017) and Navid Nuur (1976).

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

I am planning a review for Villa la Repubblica (in Dutch) about at least one of the three not-permanent shows, so keep yourself posted!

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

As for A.R. Penck: I saw his work first in a solo show somewhere in the 1970s in the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam (digitally i can’t find any reference to that exhibition).

A.R. Penck

That was quite an experience to me as an adolescent (which, i must say, is quite a broad definition in my case).

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

His works were exhibited on partitions, creating small rooms where you were confronted with his graffiti.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

It was both artistically and for its presentation a revelation to me. Now he has become one of the classics of German art.

A.R. Penck

The present show at the KM is quite a big retrospective.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

It has all the pros and cons of such a blockbuster.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

It is quite  overwhelming, and even some huge paintings were pushed into the very inner of the museum in one way or another.

A.R. Penck

A few smaller parts of the show are closed because of the corona measures, but, as it’s such a big show, you don’t really miss that.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

I felt privileged having all these works practically for my own.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

Navid Nuur

No idea how old Navid Nuur was when i saw my first Penck exhibition, but the times of revelations seem to be far behind us.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

After the savagery of Penck’s painting Nuur offers you more introspection in the KM’s so-called project space.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

Nuur shows you the almost eternal life of dead matter, its transformation into minerals, into life, into light, into history, into philosophy, permeating and indeed being part of us and the rest of the world.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur, Philip Galle, Pieter Bruegel
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

He has made a fine ensemble out of it.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

Another visitor walked around in the room as well, reading her booklet about the show, when at last she asked me if i understood it.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

To me that is a question of conscience, for, as an art historian, one knows all too well that one can never fully understand a work of art…..

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

Next leg of the tour (Mondrian & De Stijl and Lucassen) is in the next report. Click here to get there.

Navid Nuur

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of A.R. Penck, to Navid Nuur and to the Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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