Eyal Assulin, Virus; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculptures by the Sea) has a small exhibition around Israeli artist Eyal Assulin’s sculpture Virus.

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Virus has the features both of a machine and of a gigantic spider and it makes a noise every now and then.

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As a machine it seems to have lost its man-serving functions, but as a living creature it is quite dysfunctional as well.

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There is another flawed machine, as

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well as a video with a man (probably the artist himself) barking at a car.

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Some drawings are on show too. In Assulin’s world machines have become cohabiting the world with human beings and other creatures, too big and influential to be futile, like their creators.

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It’s in itself a nice and playful show, though not very profound, the video being my favourite.

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Bertus Pieters

Dust to dust, or digital; Helder Gallery, The Hague

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Sunday 28 February is already the last day of the exhibition Dust to Dust, or Digital at Helder Gallery, so I’m a bit late. Basically it shows two artists who are seeking a balance between the mind and the material world.

DTD 02 Otto Egberts
DTD 03 Otto Egberts
DTD 04 Otto Egberts
DTD 05 Otto Egberts

Otto Egberts makes his paintings with dust and residues of paint amongst others and in that way tries to find the essence of materiality and spirituality in painting.

DTD 06 Marcel Wesdorp
DTD 09 Marcel Wesdorp
DTD 08 Marcel Wesdorp
DTD 07 Marcel Wesdorp

Marcel Wesdorp has the help of the computer, the absolute thinking, to shape his works, as a god recreating a better world.

DTD 10 Jakob de Jonge
DTD 11 Jakob de Jonge
DTD 12 Jakob de Jonge

A week ago, halfway the exhibition, some works by Jakob de Jonge were added. In his works the thinking takes the shape of reminiscences of the real world, mixing the enjoyable with the uncomfortable. As usual the combination of the three artists makes for an interesting exhibition, so, hurry up if you want to see it!

DTD 13 Jakob de Jonge
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Bertus Pieters

Geer Steyn, Beeldhouwer (Sculptor); Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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Presently there is a small but fine retrospective of sculptures by Geer Steyn (1945) at Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculptures by the Sea).

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Steyn’s works stand firmly in what you might call a Dutch classical modernist tradition, trying as it does to find simplicity in content, material and meaning.

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I leave you with some pictures of the wonderful works without comments, but it is of course always better to visit the exhibition yourself.

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Bertus Pieters

Spring not Summer; Quartair, The Hague

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Last weekend eight students of the Royal Academy showed some of their works. As part of their curriculum they have to organize a short running show in their third year. They did so in Quartair, curated by Marijke Appelman and aptly called Spring not Summer.

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Of course such a show can only give you a snap shot of what is going on in the laboratory of art. Generally the show was promising, but with still a way to go in how to intrigue the viewer and how to manipulate context in a show in general and a group show in particular.

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Gitte Svendsen is probing into space, colour and shape. Quite basic elements so to say. Her work got the space it needed in the show. But it also needs (mental) space to find a balance in improvised and fixed composition and its meaning.

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Freerk Wilbers had his shop where he presented hand printed wrapping paper. Prints are made with real flowers. A good point to start from.

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Nina Markkula made an installation using over-the-top glitzy colours and textures; another promising starting point in which material experimenting and meaning come together.

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Spring not Summer 12 Ai Hashimoto
Spring not Summer 13 Ai Hashimoto

Ai Hashimoto has already clearly made some giant steps with her installation, set up in the small room, with a combination of tangible, physical objects and light , shadow and movie.

Spring not Summer 14 Pris Roos
Spring not Summer 15 Pris Roos
Spring not Summer 16 Pris Roos

Pris Roos is a capable portrait painter, balancing in between expression and composition.

Spring not Summer 17 Henriette von Muenchhausen
Spring not Summer 18 Henriette von Muenchhausen
Spring not Summer 19 Henriette von Muenchhausen

Henriette von Muenchhausen, like Hashimoto, also seems to have made already big strides.

Spring not Summer 20 Iris van der Graaf
Spring not Summer 21 Iris van der Graaf
Spring not Summer 22 Iris van der Graaf

Iris van der Graaf dropped a mikado set and reconstructed it with a second set. The same idea of coincidence is extant in the presentation of her works on paper.

Spring not Summer 23 Boukje Ypma
Spring not Summer 24 Boukje Ypma

Boukje Ypma gives a reminiscence to this country of the eternal potato.

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Bertus Pieters

Topp and Dubio: a_Day_to_Clay_a_Bust

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After 20 years of being Topp & Dubio, the artists duo have tried to make something a bit more lasting in the shape of a sculpture.

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They never modelled anything with clay before and they invited the public to see the process for three days in a studio.

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I visited the second day and made some pictures on the third day.

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One of their great inspirations of the past few years is Vitaly Komar’s and Alexander Melamid’s 1986 installation Emergency Telephone Booth with Bust of Stalin and Herring, originally made for the red light district in The Hague.

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In an absurdist way it kept a fatherly eye on the visitors of the prostitutes, the ladies and their pimps, but these days Stalin is spending his disowned life more unseen and misunderstood than ever before, on the premises of the Gemeentemuseum.

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I went to see it the same afternoon to make these pictures

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Topp & Dubio tried to copy the Stalin bust.

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Press button in case of fire

Press button in case of fire

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'Mannen met snorren' (Men with moustaches)

‘Mannen met snorren’ (Men with moustaches)

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They made a studio exhibition in the mean time with Stalinalia, moustaches, sculpture and busts, relics of the red light district, tools for sculpture, video’s and anything that might have something to do with it.

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In one video they make a graffiti on the wall of the sculpture department of the Royal Academy, saying FUCK BEELDHOUWERS (FUCK SCULPTORS), as an homage to a graffiti that was there once before.

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Topp & Dubio’s works are always more or less absurdist, making you witness moments where you expect things and situations to have a meaning, but where these same things deny any meaning or suggest any other meaning but the one you had in mind. To be short, it is great fun.

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Anyway, Joseph Stalin (or is it his gold uncle?) seems to be exceptionally amused about it.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Charlotte Lybeer and Spaarnestad Photo, Incomplete from A to Z; LhGWR, The Hague

Charlotte Lybeer, Spaarnestad Photo

Charlotte Lybeer, Spaarnestad Photo

I visited Lief hertje en de Grote Witte Reus (LhGWR) to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about Charlotte Lybeer’s and Daan Paans’ exhibitions. To see the full review of both exhibitions (in Dutch) as well as some more pictures, click here.

Spaarnestad Photo

Spaarnestad Photo

Here are some impressions of Lybeer’s show Incomplete from A to Z.

Charlotte Lybeer

Charlotte Lybeer

Lybeer was invited to combine her photos with pictures from the Spaarnestad Archive.

Spaarnestad Photo

Spaarnestad Photo

As Lybeer makes pictures of people who are enclosed, either individually or in a group, and are given the idea of being protected, she

Charlotte Lybeer

Charlotte Lybeer

has chosen some pictures from 20th century history more or less on the same theme.

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Spaarnestad Photo

Both kinds of pictures make a great combination of estrangement.

Charlotte Lybeer

Charlotte Lybeer

It is strange to see what kinds of refuge modern times have given us.

Charlotte Lybeer, Spaarnestad Photo

Charlotte Lybeer, Spaarnestad Photo

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Daan Paans, Rhinoceros; LhGWR, The Hague

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I visited Lief hertje en de Grote Witte Reus (LhGWR) to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about Daan Paans’ and Charlotte Lybeer’s exhibitions. To see the full review of both exhibitions (in Dutch) as well as some more pictures, click here.

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Here are some impressions of Paans’ show. He named his exhibition Rhinoceros after Albrecht Dürer’s famous woodcut of a rhinoceros of 1515.

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Dürer had never seen a rhino either dead or alive but his print became the standard in Europe until well into the 18th century.

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In the same vein Paans has made pictures of landscapes based on engravings in a 19th century book about prehistoric life.

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He also photographically reconstructed the aurochs as the extinct species has been reconstructed by breeding types of cattle with the typical characteristics of the aurochs

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Paans’ pictures are both majestic and atmospheric.

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Paans also made pictures at the studio at Lascaux where duplicates of the original cave paintings are made.

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In a third project Paans shows reconstructions of meteorites as film props. He shows them in wonderful black and white pictures and as a hovering object.

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But altogether you’d better take a look yourself as these pictures are also just reconstructions of what I have seen when visiting the gallery.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters