Anima mundi; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Erzsébet Baerveldt, Pietà

Where does human life start and where does it end?

Erzsébet Baerveldt, Pietà

Johan Tahon, Sacrifice

Johan Tahon, Sacrifice

The answer to that question seems to be obvious enough: it starts with birth and it ends with death.

Anonymous, Nkisi nkondi

Anonymous, Nkisi nkondi

Anonymous, Christ at the Whipping Post

Michaël Borremans, The Angel

But our spirit is able to animate dead matter, and if it doesn’t do so physically it tries to do so spiritually.

Michaël Borremans, The Angel

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Into One-Another II To P.P.P.

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Into One-Another II To P.P.P.

We try to grasp life and death in scientific, philosophical, religious, spiritual and artistic ways.

Michel Nedjar, Untitled, Doll

Melanie Bonajo, Matrix Botanica – Biosphere above Nations

Melanie Bonajo, Matrix Botanica – Biosphere above Nations

Desirée Dolron, Vegetarian Festival Thailand

Where are the differences between science and ritual, between description and imagination, between a Congolese nkisi figure and a robot?

Desirée Dolron, Xteriors VIII

Anonymous, Kawe

Reynold Reynolds, Secret Machine

Or are there no real differences?

Reynold Reynolds, Secret Machine

David Altmejd, Delicate Man Contemplating Options

David Altmejd, Delicate Man Contemplating Options

David Altmejd, Delicate Man Contemplating Options

Hans van der Ham (1960) has curated a wonderful and very full summer exhibition in the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam with works and objects varying from robots to Medieval and Renaissance paintings.

Paul de Reus, Doll

Boston Dynamics, Testing Robustness

Boston Dynamics, Testing Robustness

Per room the show is arranged in different chapters.

Boston Dynamics, Testing Robustness

Jeantine Lunshof, Eswar Iyer, Mark Skyler-Scott, Brain organoid

Jeantine Lunshof, Eswar Iyer, Mark Skyler-Scott, Brain organoid

Inez van Lamsweerde, Final Fantasy Series, Wendy

It tries to avoid the sentimental aspects of life and death but instead focuses on the way we try to harness or control life apart from physical human life, and in doing so create different aesthetics.

Head in formaldehyde

Baby in formaldehyde

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Augustijn Claterbos

As such aesthetics has become a matter of life and death.

Augustijn Claterbos

Augustijn Claterbos

Berlinde De Bruyckere

This is surely one of the most inspired and inspiring thematic exhibitions of the season.

Anonymous, Uramun

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works and to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Bertus Pieters

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Christie van der Haak & Suzan Drummen, Once upon a time…; Escher in The Palace, The Hague

In the museum Escher in The Palace is presently a show with works by Christie van der Haak (1950) and Suzan Drummen (1963) in the palace’s ball room and so called green room.

Drummen has composed a work on the floor in the ball room with pieces of glass and other small shiny objects.

She usually improvises her works and in this case it has become a cosmos of wonder around a big reflecting half sphere.

Van der Haak has given the ball room a radical restyling with her patterns which are, appropriately, colourful but also dignified.

Her patterns are on the walls, in the wonderful carpet, in the stylish chairs and even in a glass vase, one of her more recent projects.

In the so called green room there is a close co-operation between the two artists and even – posthumously – with Donald Judd (1928-1994) who designed the palace’s floor patterns.

Seeing this wonderful show one inadvertently gets the idea that this palace is far more suitable for shows concerning style and its impact and peculiarities than for Escher’s work.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Escher in The Palce, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

Asynchronous; Nouvelles Images, The Hague

Miek Hoekzema

There is good news and there is sad news.

Raquel van Haver

Raquel van Haver

Raquel van Haver

Gean Moreno

Let’s start with the good news: there is a wonderful summer show at Nouvelles Images.

Gean Moreno

Gean Moreno

Carlson Hatton

It is curated by Michael Tedja (1971) and it has become a, what you might call, particularly rhythmic exhibition.

Carlson Hatton

Carlson Hatton

Carlson Hatton

That results sometimes in some, what i would call, high density works like Carlson Hatton’s (1974) works on paper, Miek Hoekzema’s (1973) video, Radcliffe Bailey’s (1968) collages or even some colourful works by Moshekwa Langa (1975).

Carlson Hatton

Ronald Ophuis

Ronald Ophuis

They are “high density” in that they have more to show in one square foot than the eye can absorb in one view.

Moshekwa Langa

Moshekwa Langa

Dwight Marica

One colour or detail will distract you from another and so make your eyes jump, sometimes from dreams to nightmares.

Dwight Marica

Dwight Marica

Dwight Marica

That in fact also happens with the whole show; it plunges you from one aspect of society into another, from Samson Kambalu’s (1975) almost meditative Boat video’s – presented as a kind of diptych – to Richard Bott’s (1972)  alternative disidentified icons for different internet media and to Ronald Ophuis’ (1968) macabre paintings.

Dwight Marica

Dwight Marica

Dwight Marica

Being happy that art galleries are one of the few places without irritating background music, i think this show makes clear that there is enough music in the works themselves and the way they are selected and presented.

Michael Tedja

Michael Tedja

Evren Tekinoktay

The sad news is that this is Nouvelles Images’ penultimate show.

Evren Tekinoktay

Richard Bott

Richard Bott

The gallery will close its doors on October 1st.

Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu

It means the oldest and one of the biggest commercial galleries in the Netherlands will stop existing.

Liv Yiva

Liv Yiva

Liv Yiva

Especially for The Hague this will be a great loss as the gallery’s space makes it more like a small museum.

Liv Yiva

Miek Hoekzema

Miek Hoekzema

Sad though this is, i look back with gratitude for what Nouvelles Images has shown.

Miek Hoekzema

Miek Hoekzema

Radcliffe Bailey

Dwight Marica

As such, the present show might be an inspiration for whatever the future will bring.

Dwight Marica

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs  courtesy to all artists, Galerie Nouvelles Images and to all other with this show associated galleries.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #68

Façade of a house with apartments, Balistraat.

It was built in 1891 in the then usual decorative, eclectic style.

Balistraat (Bali Street) took its name from the isle of Bali, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands in present day Indonesia; a reminder of Dutch colonial times.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Boor 2018

All pictures were taken in March 2017

Bertus Pieters

Soundwaves, Dick Raaijmakers and Sonologie; GEM, The Hague

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013) was a great pioneer in electronic acoustics, in its technique but also as a composer.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

In fact he was such a multifaceted and inventive figure that looking at his heritage all descriptions of him seem to fall short.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

Presently GEM honours him by showing his Ideophone III of 1971, and works by younger artists, who, in one way or another, have followed in his footsteps.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

Of the other works Yota Morimoto’s (1981) look the most akin to Raaijmakers’ Ideophone in their sculptural qualities.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

One could call them, with some modernist aplomb, sculptures of sound, with the notion that creating sound waves not just generates sounds and vibrations but also forms with an aesthetics dictated by technology.

Babara Ellison, Dick Raaijmakers

In Barbara Ellison’s (1973) work Phantasmas Materialis the whole idea of sculpture is meant to be turned into the imagination of the visitor who can listen and see (inward or outward) from the comfort of a lounge chair.

Bram Vreven

Bram Vreven

The extremely soft and silent work by Bram Vreven (1973) just shows vibrations in an almost classicist white way.

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

In his great installation Das ist die Tradition: Du füllst das Glas und trinkst es leer (That is the tradition: you fill the glass and drink it empty) Matthias König (1987) refers to German carnival traditions, their deep rooted pre-Christian  popular customs and exuberance, mixed with present day sound and colour systems.

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Video and sound (from his own composition) are whirling through each other, constantly reshaping the symbols of tradition.

Yota Morimoto

The whole exhibition, as such, is maybe the first one that really successfully fits into GEM’s new space, bringing together such diverse works as Vreven’s unobtrusive object and König’s spectacular installation and balancing the whole with Morimoto’s and Raaijmakers’ works.

Yota Morimoto

However it also makes you wonder if a far bigger exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum wouldn’t have been more appropriate, as many other artists are working in the field of sonology, and who need a much bigger audience than the visitors of GEM, which now seems to be a kind of bonus for visiting the Fotomuseum (Museum for Photography).

Yota Morimoto

Give sound more space; it is worth it!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to all artists, the estate of Dick Raaijmakers and GEM, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Tamara Dees, bare; Twelve Twelve gallery, The Hague

Ships are immensely important for seafaring nations anywhere in the world.

Their significance is not just economic; they are vessels of life, emotion, hope, hardship, fortune and misfortune and of history.

On the other hand, in our modern and postmodern times younger generations seem to have become a bit estranged to them, used as we are now to road and air traffic.

Boats and the sea have become props and backdrop of leisure and entertainment, while the notion of their monumental, almost passionate interaction has confined itself to those who work at sea and in harbours.

Tamara Dees (1971), who has a fine and intriguing exhibition this summer at Twelve Twelve gallery, seems to have a good feeling for that monumentality.

From the small scope of one small person she combines different aspects of culture with the reality and the surreal of (mostly) wooden ships.

Using pieces of the real thing and of images, her works seem to become a kind of big fragmented ghost ship.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to Tamara Dees and Twelve Twelve gallery, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters