Some things in life are as they are, but they don’t always seem what they are.
One of these things is the way we see.
Our stereo view gives us an idea of space helped by linear perspective.
We tend to take this linear perspective for granted as a tool to automatically measure the distance around us.
However, perspective can play tricks on us and as such it has been used in art since the Renaissance.
By the end of the 15th century you can almost speak of a perspective-mania amongst painters; they all wanted their viewers to believe their paintings were three dimensional.
Architects have also known for centuries how to create space that isn’t really there by means of linear perspective.
There are many examples in architecture, one of the most famous is St. Peter’s Square in Rome which looks bigger than it really is as Bernini manipulated the height of the colonnades around it.
And that is the idea that clearly obsesses Reinoud Oudshoorn (1953): creating space that doesn’t exist.
Maybe that isn’t really the right description as space is already there; it can’t be created, whatever architects are trying to tell you.
Space can only be limited by walls and signs. In Oudshoorn’s work only these signs remain.
They are the signs of space that has never existed, they are the signs that create space in the mind of the viewer.
And it is real space in the sense that the signs are not two-dimensional, but it is not the space it pretends to be. Space, as anything in art, needs to be pretended.
Oudshoorn’s works look like carefully made and measured situations, but they are not just clever stuff; they invite you to look actively; it’s the art of seeing with its own playfulness and its own aesthetics.
Presently his works are on show at Galerie Ramakers.
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© Villa Next Door 2022
Contents of all photographs courtesy to Reinoud Oudshoorn and Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag.
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