Alexandre Lavet: La cigarette n’a pas le même goût au soleil; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

“I don’t agree with the speed of visual perception. I think that ordinarily art takes time. And if something is worth looking at, you want to look at it again and again. I think basically art is meditative.”

Donald Judd (interviewed by Claudia Jolles, 1990)

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Alexandre Lavet has made an exhibition of conceptual art avant la lettre at Dürst Britt & Mayhew‘s.

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You may also call it post-conceptual as every detail is labelled more or less as a collector’s item, but, on the other hand, it is a successful show as far as i am concerned.

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It is all about looking and seeing in the first place.

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It is like walking in the empty spaces in between the objects of a gigantic still-life, with the objects missing that is.

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The small items Lavet has left in the room, apart from the dust, are not all what they seem.

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Reality becomes trompe l’oeil and vice versa.

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It is up to you as a visitor to have your thoughts about that and all other aspects that may spring to mind.

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As such these small things may have a maximum input on your behaviour, your thoughts (which may be contradictory) and in the end: your remembrances.

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So, go and have a look for yourself and try to have the same care for the items Lavet had when making and collecting them and composing this particular constellation in the gallery.

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It may not change your world, but it may influence the way you’ll look at art exhibitions a bit.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Alexandre Lavet and Dürst Britt & Mayhew

Bertus Pieters

Fra Bartolommeo: The Divine Renaissance; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

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The great exhibition about Fra Bartolommeo (1472 – 1517) in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is in its last week.

Study for a Flying Angel, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for a Flying Angel, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for the Kneeling Virgin, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for the Kneeling Virgin, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

There are some great master paintings on show.

Study for Saint Joseph, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

Study for Saint Joseph, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen

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They are presented with drawings, studies for the paintings, which give you an idea of how the master worked. The Boijmans has one of the biggest collections of Fra Bartolommeo drawings.

Study of Rock Formation, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Study of Rock Formation, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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In the background: God the Father and Sts Catherine of Siena and Mary Magdalen, Palazzo Mansi, Lucca

The show is extensively documented, which can be a bit of a drawback if you are waiting to take a closer look at a drawing, while somebody else is reading.

Study of the Head of a Friar, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study of the Head of a Friar, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

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In the background: Madonna della Misericordia, Villa Guinigi, Lucca

When i visited today however it wasn´t very busy.

Composition Study for The Madonna della Misericordia, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Composition Study for The Madonna della Misericordia, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study of a Man Walking to the Right, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study of a Man Walking to the Right, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The exhibition is quite spacious and the use of anti-reflective glass makes the drawings very visible.

Study for Draperies, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for Draperies, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Composition Study for 'Salvator Mundi', Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Composition Study for ‘Salvator Mundi’, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

One may or may not like the modern and rather un-intimate setup, but it makes you feel freer to move around and there are very clear sightlines.

Study for the Kneeling St. Margaret, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for the Kneeling St. Margaret, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

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The drawings are composition studies and studies of details and figures.

Study for a Flying Child Angel Playing the Lute, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for a Flying Child Angel Playing the Lute, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for St. Bartholomew, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for St. Bartholomew, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Posture and gesture are the most important elements in the figure drawings.

Study for the Head of St. Catherine, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for the Head of St. Catherine, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for St. Peter, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for St. Peter, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Due to the subdued light it was quite difficult to make some proper pictures, so i apologize for that.

Study with Hands and Friar's Heads, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study with Hands and Friar’s Heads, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Portrait of Fra Niccolò della Magna, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Portrait of Fra Niccolò della Magna, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

If you haven’t yet seen it, this week is your last chance!

Study for the Head of the Christ Child, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Study for the Head of the Christ Child, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

 

Bertus Pieters

Gagarin, Slominski and Beuys; West gallery, The Hague

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West gallery has temporarily turned into a reading room, or rather three reading rooms.

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You could easily spend the whole afternoon in the gallery discovering and being inspired without being hindered by strange noises.

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If i were you, i’d do so.

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(Grün) Die Geige, die Geige ((Green) The Fiddle, the Fiddle) by Andreas Slominski (1959) challenges or defies (it depends on your own reaction) the reader/viewer to use his/her imagination to find unknown/unexpected visions.

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The main front room gives the floor to all editions of the biannual magazine Gagarin, the Artists in their own Words.

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Initiated by Wilfried Huet  just after the turn of the century, it publishes texts by living artists only, without interference of curators, art historians, critics, interviewers or superfluous introductions.

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I must say it is difficult to decide where to start.

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The best thing to do is just to leaf through some of the magazines at random and stop at a point where you think you found something interesting, strange or intriguing.

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There is no irritating music to keep your mind from wandering.

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Not even the silence is telling you to make your choice, pay your money and go on to the next consumption booth.

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The four sketchbooks Projekt Westmensch (The Westman Project) of the late 1950s are said to contain Beuys’ base for his main ideas about art and creativity and its functions in society.

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To some Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) is the Messiah, to others he is a charlatan.

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His personality has elements of both, but generally speaking, society could do with more Beuys, even today and on a local level in a town like The Hague (or any other town or city for that matter), that tries to keep up with what time seems to demand and in doing so forgets about the potential creativity of its citizens.

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The present exhibition at West at least gives it a try.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

(Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and West Den Haag)

Bertus Pieters

Alice Neel, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

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To write a review for Villa La Repubblica i visited the Alice Neil show at the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

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Neel has been more or less a painter’s painter for quite some time, but with this exhibition it is hoped this will change for the better.

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As i wrote quite extensively about the show for VLR i leave you here with some pictures and details.

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I arranged them chronologically so as to have some idea of the development in Neel’s painting.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

(Content of all pictures courtesy to the Alice Neel Estate and Gemeentemuseum The Hague)

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #25

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Chinese arch, Wagenstraat.

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When i lived just round the corner near Wagenstraat in the 1980s, the whole area was a bit in the doldrums.

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It had lost its identity since long as it used to be a place where many Jews lived before they were deported during the German occupation.

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It was as if the municipal authorities didn’t really know what to do about it for some decades.

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When more and more Chinese settled in Wagenstraat and around, in the end it seemed the problem was solved by itself: it became The Hague China Town.

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Now street signs are both in Dutch and in Chinese, there are red Chinese lanterns in the streets and in 2009 two Chinese arches were erected of which this is the south-eastern one.

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The strange thing is, this all happened in a time when foreigners living in this country were supposed to stick to Dutch customs and to speak, write and understand Dutch.

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But of course in the case of China Town, the authorities smelled business.

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The arches are said to have been made of Chinese materials while the wooden top is said to consist of more than a thousand parts.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

All pictures were taken in March 2016.

 

Bertus Pieters