Gevallen kamers (Fallen Rooms) by Petra van der Schoot at off senses/future senses, Gemak, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

During the exhibition off senses / future senses at Gemak (which

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

i visited some time ago) Petra van der Schoot has

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

been working on her installation Gevallen kamers (Fallen Rooms). She made

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a kind of diary on the wall. The project isn’t

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

finished yet, but in fact it can’t be finished as that

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

would obscure the process which is part of the installation.

Petra van der Schoot 07

So she stopped working on it. It has become a work

Petra van der Schoot 08

which produces different meanings, covering objects which still can be

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

recognised but have lost their functions, bound together in a kind

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

of web which makes them dependant on each other. As

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

such the web creates a new environment where some of

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the objects don’t just have lost their function but also

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

their weight. The late summer sun, or early autumnal sun

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

if you wish, provides the whole with some extra dimension.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the process she also wrapped up a man which

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

completes the idea of a spider’s web. But i’m happy

??????????????????????

to report to you that the man is free again.

Petra van der Schoot 18
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

Advertisements

Everything in its Right Place, Jochem Rotteveel and Sander Reijgers at Helder Gallery, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At Helder Gallery there is a particularly colourful show at the moment with works by Jochem Rotteveel (1976) and Sander Reijgers (1977).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rotteveel works with duct tape and so his works are also reliefs, while

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reijgers shows paintings that could work as sculptures made out of acrylic paint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In spite of the unruliness of the material Rotteveel’s works have a lively and lyrical quality, while

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reijgers’ smooth and flexible material produces introverted works. However,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this contrast works well in the exhibition.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reijgers shows both transparency and closeness in the way he conceives his paintings. As usual

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

conceiving is both making and thinking, which is THE great aspect in Reijgers’ works on show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Comparatively there is hardly any closeness in Rotteveel’s recent work, with which he tries to show a maximum of transparency. The way

Helder 21 Jochem Rotteveel
Helder 22 Jochem Rotteveel

the works are made, their content and meaning become clear almost at the same time, while

Helder 23 Sander Reijgers
Helder 24 Sander Reijgers

Reijgers’ works show the long way they have gone.

Helder 25
Helder 26

As summer is drawing to a close and

Helder 27 Jochem Rotteveel

into a, hopefully, brilliant autumn, this might be the right show to accompany that process.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

Beelden van de Binnenstad (Sculptures of the City centre); Town Hall and City centre, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I went to the town centre city centre to see the small exhibition Beelden van de Binnenstad (Sculptures of the City Centre) in the Atrium of Town Hall. There you can see miniature models of the sculptures which have been made during the last two decades for the gallery, usually called the Sokkelproject (Pedestal Project).

BvdB 02

In the first picture you see models of Adam Colton’s untitled work (1996) and Gert Germeraad’s Mansportret (Portrait of a Man; 2002) and in this picture you see Christien Rijnsdorp’s De hef (The Lift Bridge; 2007) and Maria Roosen’s untitled work (2011).

BvdB 03

There are thirty five miniature models on show. These ones are models of Rondanini (2005) by André Kruijsen (current curator of the gallery) and The Observer (1996) by Berry Holslag and

BvdB 04

here Rien Monshouwer’s Beeld (Vision/Sculpture; 1994). Although the models are all standing next to each other, they don’t really bite each other. They even look a bit like

BvdB 05

puppets in a Punch and Judy show. I can’t get rid of that idea seeing these two untitled models of works by Jos Kruit (1997) and by the old and great Carel Visser (1994), or

BvdB 06

this couple: Jan Snoeck’s La nostalgie de la lumière totale (The Nostalgia of Total Light; 2000) and Emo Verkerk’s Sperwer (Sparrow hawk; 2005). And again in

BvdB 07

Sonja Oudendijk’s Bellevue-toren (Bellevue Tower; 1993) and Atelier Van Lieshout’s Veelhoofd (Many-Head; 2010).

BvdB 08

All models have a short explanation (in Dutch).

BvdB 09

De Beeldengalerij van P. Struycken (P. Struycken’s Sculpture Gallery) is the official title of the Pedestal Project as it was initiated by artist Peter Struycken under the auspices of Stroom. The real sculptures

BvdB 10

were all made for public space and they can be seen in the city centre in the two axes Kalvermarkt – Grote Marktstraat and Spui. In Kalvermarkt

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

it starts at the moment with For whom the Bell Tolls (1993)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

by Joost van den Toorn. The title is of course

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hemingway’s and indeed it’s a tower of resignation,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

maybe even a tower of fate and death.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carel Visser’s work, originally made of polystyrene,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

has an unstable appearance which would have worked better

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

if the base of the pedestal wasn’t more or less floating. And that’s a problem

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

with many other sculptures in the gallery, like Rien Monshouwer’s Beeld, which is constructed from the word BEELD and,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

is used as a piece of street furniture, in this case a dustbin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The rigidity with which the statues are placed at a twenty five meter distance of each other,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sometimes results in a strange situation like here with Sigurdur Gudmundsson’s work (1996). This compulsive repetition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

denies the individuality of the sculptures, of course defended by the idea that all sculptures have the same pedestal and are part of the same series. But

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

isn’t that clear enough just by that fact?.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With Sjoerd Buisman’s Phyllotaxis (2002), its use as street furniture works quite well, the bike underlining its way of stacking. The owner of the bike, probably unknowingly,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

has added to the meaning of the sculpture, while

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the sculptures of the Ministry of Defence stand guard from quite another position at the other side of Kalvermarkt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Auke de Vries’ untitled sculpture (1994) gives you

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

his usual aesthetics of finding harmony in unbalanced components.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the definitive version of Emo Verkerk’s Sperwer,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the sparrow hawk has come down.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The massive and dark volume of Jan van de Pavert’s Ministerie (Ministry; 2000) referring to the former buildings of the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, may remind you of a modern version of Kafka’s Castle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But what is it doing there next to a road sign? What has it to offer to the passers-by there and what kind of context has its environment on offer to add to the sculpture?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Berry Holslag’s Observer is especially suitable for street corners and crossings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and it does its present job very well. Next to it

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

is Karel Appel’s Frog with Umbrella (1993/2001) which has been drawn into the project but which is much bigger than the rest and so breaks the monotony of the rest of the series.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The new acquisition to the project Vriendinnen (Friends; 2014) by Tony van de Vorst

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

has the power to become iconic with its extra pedestal, monumentalising modern day common street life. On the other hand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

you may ask what two strolling people add to all the other strolling people in the street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingrid Mol’s Binnenstadgoden (Inner City Gods; 2014) is another new acquisition and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

is based on children’s drawings about the theme and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

it is another example of the democratisation of public art.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the no-man’s-land in between Spui and Spuiplein,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sculptures like Eline Vere (2012) by Thom Puckey,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maria Roosen’s untitled work,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Atelier Van Lieshout’s Veelhoofd,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

David Bade’s Calimero (2011) and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anno Dijkstra’s A Last Farewell (2011) are just trying

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

not to be obsolete, in spite of their substantive and varying artistic qualities.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Back to Karel Appel, which shows you the advantages of a non-floating pedestal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The other arm of Spui

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

is still in limbo as the Amadeus building is not finished yet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So the sculptures can only add to the limbo feeling, like Jos Kruit’s work and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

EN/OF (AND/OR; 1993) by Marc Ruygrok,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the ambiguous nature of its title underscored by its function as a parking spot for bikes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I followed the route to Grote Marktstraat which

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

doesn’t really make one optimistic about

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

its future. Because of the chaos there

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

are only three sculptures of the series on show:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mannetje met losse ledematen (Little Man with Loose Limbs; 2003) by Tom Claassen, which

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

seems to have resigned to the situation,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gisteren staat, Morgenstond (Yesterday stands, Tomorrow stood; 2005) by Arjanne van der Spek and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I Love JR (2007) by André van de Wijdeven. They seem

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

to stand there to show you how pieces of street furniture become street weeds, although as such they blossom well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Refurbishment of Grote Marktstraat will be finished by the end of the year. Stroom’s website says:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A luxurious pavement, new street furniture and a special lighting plan will create ‘The international shopping boulevard of the Netherlands’. The Sculpture Gallery of P. Struycken plays an important role (“een cruciale rol”- BP) in that area’s upgraded look (“bij die uitstraling”- BP).” So,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

keeping up appearances, that’s what it is all about! Artists who have done their best to make valuable things for public space are just being used to decorate the coop of the strutting peacock of international consumerism. Artists, herewith your works have been declared empty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shown in the stupidity of a strict order of twenty five meters distance, all on the same floating pedestal which gives them an idea of instability and unimportance,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

they will stand in the way of all these international people who will come all the way to The Hague’s Grote Marktstraat to drink a Starbucks and to spend, spend and spend. But of course dreams never come true.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

Vogels (Birds), at Museum Meermanno Westreenianum, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As i like both birds and books i visited the present exhibition Vogels (Birds) at the Museum Meermanno Westreenianum,  one of the nicest museums in The Hague, as i said before.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The show starts with some medieval and renaissance volumes, the first one on this page Conrad Gessner’s Historia Animalium and this one, Pierre Belon’s L’histoire des oyseaux, both of 1555.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Der dieren palleys of the 1520’s, printed in Antwerp (also printed in English as The wonderful shape and nature) which explains the medical use of animals and birds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here a Dutch translation Van den proprieteyten der dinghen of 1485 of the 13th century English manuscript De proprietatibus rerum by Bartholomaeus Anglicus.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is also work by the famous Bolognese scholar Ulisse Aldrovandi of around 1600.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

According to the label this bird of prey is too big compared to the lamb under its talons. However, look at the “lamb’s” legs and tail: it’s a mouse or a rat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are two wonderful manuscripts of Jacob van Maerlant’s 13th century text Der nature bloeme (The flower of nature) one mid 15th century and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

another mid 14th century and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a mid 15th century French manuscript of a bestiary.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The oldest volume on display is this 10th century medical manuscript (on a 4th century text by Sextus Placitus: Liber medicinae ex animalibus) showing the medical use of a partridge against consumption and blindness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And a 17th century gem: John Jonston’s work about birds, in a Dutch translation with engravings of the famous Matthäus Merian who also borrowed from Aldrovandi, as you can see from the bird of prey top left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here some pages from Histoire naturelle des oiseaux (1770-83) by Buffon, one of the great French Encyclopédistes. And some more works

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

from the 18th century, an age where biologists struggled with classification of the species. Here Johann Michael Seligmann’s Sammlung verschiedener ausländischer und seltener Vögel (Collection of several foreign and rare birds) and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

here Aernout Vosmaer’s Beschryving van eenen Afrikaanschen roof-vogel (Description of an African bird of prey). Vosmaer also managed Prince William V’s zoo in The Hague.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carolus Clusius’ Exoticorum libris decem of the early 17th century, describing exotic species brought to western Europe, amongst them the dodo and the penguin, thought to be a kind of goose (Anser). And from these early modern scientific days

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

to the 19th century, here with Rüppell’s Atlas zu der Reise im nördlichen Afrika (Atlas to the voyage in northern Africa) and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

with Siebold’s Fauna japonica, showing the Japanese subspecies of the common kestrel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One room is dedicated to the first book about Dutch birds, Nederlandsche vogelen, a work started in 1770 and taking 59 years to finish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After an interval

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there is more attention to literary, decorative and other cultural use of birds. Like in food and hunting in this 17th century book about game and poultry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the 16th century Visboeck (Fish book) by Adriaen Coenen from Scheveningen (now part of the Hague) geese still grow on trees.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here a bit of a morbid page from an 18th century album amicorum with real feathers, leg and beak.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Quite a few works by Theo van Hoytema (around 1900) are shown and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there is a whole glass case with illustrations of Poe’s The Raven.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A decorative woodcut and print by Dijsselhof (end 19th century).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Two volumes of Vogel-idyllen (Bird idylls) by headmaster Vijverberg who illustrated his books with photo’s he made with self made cameras in the 1920s and 30s.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is work by the unavoidable Escher but also

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

by the great Hendrik Werkman.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Birds 37

On the 3rd floor there is a small exhibition of children’s and popular books with birds,

Birds 38

amongst them the popular chicks Fokke & Sukke (Boys, can’t you just for five minutes…….spoil yoursélves?)

Birds 39
Birds 40

and there are some new acquisitions, amongst them etchings and woodcuts by Alan James Robinson for Poe’s The Raven.

Birds 41

As the exhibition was made in cooperation with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library) in The Hague, it has a strong Dutch flavour, or one might say a hollandocentric one. But it doesn’t glorify the Dutch past or present, it shows things from a Dutch perspective and does so quite well. However, from that perspective two important names are missing: Rein Stuurman and H.J. Slijper, the first one made watercolours for the first real illustrated pocket guide for Dutch bird watching, used by many in the 1950s and 60s (and an interesting book for its lay out), and Slijper was responsible for many illustrations, amongst them school plates.

Birds 42
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters