Edward Krasinski; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

I visited the great retrospective exhibition of Edward Krasiński’s work at the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

The presentation at the Stedelijk is a more or less chronological one which i followed.

Those who have never heard of Krasiński (1925–2004) should see this exhibition absolutely (as should those who have).

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works and to Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

 

Bertus Pieters

Everything We Could Not Keep, works by Eva Spierenburg and Elsbeth Ciesluk; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Eva Spierenburg

The title of the show has a bit of a melancholic undertone, but that is where the absurdism of both artists, Eva Spierenburg (1987) and Elsbeth Ciesluk (1986), leads to.

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Both artists in this very well conceived show at Maurits van de Laar gallery seem to be in search of things somewhere in between being materially not there, and lost from mind the moment you think of it.

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Spierenburg does so with paintings, drawings, videos and sculptural works and Ciesluk mainly with text works.

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Spierenburg’s works have a wide range of aspects, but usually the human body is central to it.

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Eva Spierenburg

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Ciesluk’s works are in between poetry and visual art.

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

One of her works was made on the wall of the gallery.

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

Elsbeth Ciesluk

I was very late in visiting this show, the finissage will be next Sunday, so do hurry to see this fine exhibition.

Elsbeth Ciesluk

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and to Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

 

Bertus Pieters

Skulptur Projekte, Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia); Day 2

Click here to read the review of Skulptur Projekte 2017 on Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch). Click here to see pictures of the first day of our visit to Münster on Villa Next Door.

The next morning we took a fresh look at what we still wanted to see.

As the Cherry Column by Thomas Schütte (1954) of the 1987 edition of Skulptur Projekte was round the corner we went to see that one. In the small square where Schütte’s cherries are, there is a sandpit at the moment, where children are playing in the sunshine.

En route we visited St. Lambert’s Church, originally built late 14th century and first half of the 15th century with a late 19th century neo-gothic spire.

During WWII the spire, roof and choir were damaged, but the church was reconstructed after the war in the 1950s.

From gothic and neo-gothic to a disco to celebrate German super kitsch, well, what is the difference?

Brazilian duo Bárbara Wagner (1980) and Benjamin de Búrca (1975) made a film about the German Schlager phenomenon and show it in the Elephant Lounge disco.

Empty by daytime the disco has a strangely artificial atmosphere, the kitschy atmosphere where visitors celebrate kitsch both to forget and in recognition of daily hardships.

And then, passing the originally 13th century Apostelkirche (Apostle Church) to the Theater Münster, one of the first modern theatres built in Germany after WWII, to see Matrix by Studio CAMP, about which i commented in the review at VLR.

Passing along the cathedral we had a closer look at the bronze crucifix group by Bert Gerresheim (1935) we saw the evening before.

It was erected in 2004 and has to do with the catholic history of the city, presenting historical figures of Münster.

Clearly the hanging Christ was inspired by the Isenheim Altar by Matthias Grünewald of 1515 (Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar).

Near the museum you may find a work by Richard Tuttle (1941), Art and Music I and II of the 1987 edition.

They look like apostrophes or like F-clefs and are positioned on either side of a wall.

They are in a more or less anonymous alley in the city centre.

They look very unobtrusive.

On the wall somebody tells you that pornography is violence.

On the floor there happened to be more objects that reminded me of works by Tuttle (an artist i highly esteem, by the way).

Not far away from there, on a lawn alongside the late 16th century (and partly very late gothic) Petrikirche (St. Peter’s Church), is Cut Dolomite by Ulrich Rückriem (1938) from the very first edition of Skulptur Projekte in 1977.

As usual Rückriem’s method of simply cutting and rearranging a rock never seems to fail in its monumentality.

The work easily becomes one with its environment and gives it strength.

Very near along the River Aa is a very small but wonderful work by Giovanni Anselmo (1934):

Shortened Heavens of the 1987 edition.

Verkürzter Himmel (Shortened Heavens) is engraved on top, almost defying everything over it, and bringing Heaven back to Earth, so to say.

From the same edition is The Meadow Smiles or The Face in the Wall by Harald Klingelhöller (1954) in the courtyard of the law faculty of the city’s university.

It exists of mirrors and yew trees behind it.

You may or may not think it is in the shape of a smile, but it brings a smile to anyone’s face anyway, without being explicitly humorous or hilarious.

The many-sidedness of Klingelhöller’s work may also signify a difference between the law faculty and the theology faculty where Anselmo’s work is.

Here some tourist is trying to fix me into his holiday album.

Not all art of the present edition is convincing, like this cartoon-like work by Sany (Samuel Nyholm, 1973), which seems to be funny.

Back to the museum there is a new encounter with the fine building and Rückriem’s Granite (Normandy) (1985), here in combination with Moore’s sculpture, Bonin’s and Burr’s installation and over it Gerdes’ Angst (see the report of day 1).

At the car park (we decided to take the car to see the rest) there is a fresco on a façade called 500 Jahre Kolonialisierung und Widerstand (500 Years of Colonisation and Resistance) made in the Columbus year 1992 by an untraceable Colombian artist called Saúl Gutiérrez.

I wrote in my review on VLR about this work by Schütte, which is one of my favourites.

This is not art but the air conditioning of the LBS building, but even so it’s quite impressive.

In the building Hito Steyerl (1966) presents her HellYeahWeFuckDie.

I like her essays but i haven’t been a fan of her visual art and i’m afraid this work didn’t change my mind.

Maybe it would be interesting as an illustration of an essay.

In the park nearby is the 2007 edition’s We are still and reflective by Martin Boyce (1967). Its straight lines may remind you of a jigsaw puzzle, but also of the abstracted shapes of trees.

It’s a wonderful work somewhere in between a drawing and a sculpture and it works well with the shades of trees over it.

Again, not an official work of art but under the circumstances anything may become a sculpture in Münster.

The winter sports hall with the magnificent installation (installation doesn’t seem to be the right word for this living diorama)  After ALife Ahead by Pierre Huyghe (1962) was our last stop in Münster.

I wrote extensively about it in the VLR review.

I hope to live to see the next edition of Skulptur Projekte in 2027!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy top the artists

Many thanks to Jean van Wijk and Marion de Korte.

Bertus Pieters

Skulptur Projekte, Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia); Day 1

Click here to read the review of Skulptur Projekte on Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch). Here is a report in pictures of our first day in Münster.

We started out in a less glamorous venue: a tunnel next to the railway station where Emeka Ogboh (1977) has installed a soundscape based on the work of the famous blind American musician Moondog (1916-1999), who died in Münster.

Although it’s an interesting work the tunnel has been turned into a bicycle parking which doesn’t leave enough space for both pedestrians and cyclists who use the tunnel. Also the recorded spoken word was hardly understandable because of the tunnel acoustics.

In the mean time there was enough graffiti etc. to see on the walls.

Like many old German cities that were destroyed during WWII there is a sense of remorse and grief in Münster’s monuments. In the heyday of modernism and abstraction (1960) this work (Unteilbares Deutschland / Undividable Germany) was made by Anni Buschkötter (1913-2010) in an attempt to combine abstraction with content.

Next to it is Nietzsche’s Rock by Justin Matherly (1972).

Not one of the strongest works of  this year’s edition, as it tries to create a kind of philosophical profundity seemingly only by its title.

Nearby is the monument for Paul Wulf (1921-1999) by Silke Wagner (1968). Wulf was a local anti-Nazi hero, who was forcedly sterilised by the Nazi’s for being mentally deranged.

The statue is being used as a kind of advertising column for information about Wulf from the digital archive http://www.uwz-archiv.de/Paul-Wulf.6.0.html?&L=1 . It is a work of the 2007 edition.

In front of and behind the 18th century Erbdrostenhof (Hereditary Bailiff’s Court) is the work Privileged Points by Nairy Baghramian (1971), about which i wrote in the VLR review.

Just behind the Erbdrostenhof is the Clemenskirche (St. Clement’s Church), originally built in the 18th century after a design by J.C. Schlaun.

After destruction in WWII the present building is a rebuilt copy of the 1950s and 60s.

In the Dominikanerkirche (Dominican Church) was an uninteresting show of local art. The church itself is 18th century, was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

As the trip from The Hague was long and the weather was hot we needed some extra liquid to keep us going, meanwhile enjoying local creativity.

Prinzipalmarkt (Main Market) with its post WWII façades and with Lambertikirche (St. Lambert’s Church).

St.-Paulus-Dom (St. Paul’s Cathedral) at Domplatz (Cathedral Square) has an originally Romanesque late 12th century westwork, which was heavily restored after WWII.

The rest of the cathedral was built from the 13th century onwards in Gothic style and is said to be still quite original.

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In the LWL Museum für Kunst und Kultur (formerly the Westphalian Landesmuseum) is the impressive and strangely moving installation Tender tender by Michael Dean (1977) about which i have written extensively on VLR.

It is so full of detail that it is difficult to get away from it.

Over the atrium is the 1997 edition’s Untitled (Books) (I sincerely hope this hype of saying a work has no title and then giving it a title between brackets anyway is over now) by Rachel Whiteread (1963), a wonderful work, both unobtrusive and monumental.

The 1970s architectural additions to the museum are perfectly in the modernist style of that time, but also very open and quite a relief in between all the historicising  façades of the city.

Next to the museum, in the Westfälische Kunstverein, is the exhibition Surplus of Myself by Tom Burr (1963) in which Burr seems to reinvigorate the language of minimalism with the personal.

It looks like a somewhat belated postmodern reaction in these post-postmodern days, but even so it works well in the exhibition space of the Kunstverein.

Not far from the museum in a small car park is Sculpture by the duo Peles Empire, a wonderful piece about which i have written on VLR.

It took some time to find Angst by Ludger Gerdes (1954-2008).

It was originally made for the Fort Asperen open air exhibition in 1989 in the Netherlands in the Germany Year. Now it looks over Cosima von Bonin’s and Tom Burr’s Benz Bonin Burr (about which i’ve written on VLR), with a sculpture by Henry Moore (1898-1986).

This is not Christo but part of our view from an otherwise fine terrace.

We were in dire need of a hearty German dinner after a lot of sauntering and strolling along. The Schweinefleisch (porc) and Dicke Bohnen (thick beans) tasted excellent!

And with an evening stroll back to the hotel along the cathedral,

one of the originally Four Gateways by Daniel Buren (1938), a relic of the 1987 edition,

the Lambertikirche and

the Museum of Lacquer Art, we ended the day. Day 2 will follow in the next blog report!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists.

 

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #47

Façade of a building with a shop on the ground floor, Wagenstraat.

Gable probably late 19th century or around 1900.

Shop front was lowered later on in the 20th century with the row of twelve small windows, leaving the concrete above it naked.

Today it houses the famous Jazz Center store.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

All pictures taken in March 2016

 

Bertus Pieters

A holiday in Maastricht

River Meuse to the south

Last Tuesday i bought a cheap rail pass for one day and went to Maastricht in the very south of the country. Frequent readers of this blog might expect i went to see the present Raymond Pettibon show at the Bonnefantenmuseum, but for a holiday i had a different plan.

River Meuse to the north

As i have a keen interest in medieval and renaissance art and architecture i visited three famous medieval churches in the Limburg capital.

Indication of the place of the Roman bridge, west shore of the river

Replica of a Roman sculpture 2nd century AD, part of the monument for the Roman bridge.

Maastricht itself was founded by the Romans. It developed on the western shore of the Meuse river (Maas in Dutch) when the Romans built a bridge for their road from Bavay (now in northern France) to Cologne (the so-called Via Belgica), probably by the end of the first century B.C.

St. Servatius bridge from the south

St. Servatius bridge from the northwest

It probably served as an east west thoroughfare until the Sint-Servaasbrug (Saint Servatius’ bridge) was built in the 13th century. The present day St. Servatius’ bridge is however a structure of the 1930s, with a modern concrete skeleton, but covered with original stones and rebuilt more or less as the old medieval bridge. For pedestrians and cyclists it connects the railway station with the city centre.

Model of St. Servatius church, as seen from the south

Model of St. Servatius church, as seen from the west

The first church i visited was the Sint-Servaasbasiliek (Basilica of St. Servatius).

St. Servatius, apse and northeast tower, 12th century

St. Servatius, apse from the south, 12th century

Left, St. John’s church (14th-15th century); right, St. Servatius, apse, towers and transept from the east, 12th century with major restorations from late 19th century.

St. Servatius from the southeast (12th century) with modern car park

The present church was founded around 1000 after it was preceded by at least three earlier churches.

St. Servatius from the southeast, 11th to 15th century and 19th century (especially gable of portal and spires of the west towers)

St. Servatius from the south. Original Romanesque windows in 19th century restored gable of portal

St. Servatius from the south. Medieval embellishments in 19th century restored gable of portal

The first structure was said to be a burial chapel for Saint Servatius, bishop of Tongeren, erected in the 4th century in a Roman graveyard.

Left, St. Servatius (11th – 15th century/ 19th century); right St. John’s (14th – 15th century)

St. Servatius, westwork from the southwest, 12th century, spires 19th century

St. Servatius, westwork with south buttress

St. Servatius’, westwork with south buttress

To give more space to pilgrims and to build a grander structure for the chapter the Carolingian church was completely flattened by the end of the 10th century after which building of the present church started.

St. Servatius’, westwork

St. Servatius, westwork with north buttress

St. Servatius, westwork from the northwest

The columns and parts of the walls of the nave are still from that original “new”  early 11th century Romanesque church, as are the foundations of the side aisles, choir and crypt.

St. Servatius, west towers (12th century, spires 19th century) from the northeast

St. Servatius, from the north; 14th and 15th century chapels

St. Servatius, window of the cloisters, 15th century

St. Servatius, windows of the cloisters, 15th century

It was consecrated in 1039 in the presence of Holy Roman emperor Henry III and 12 bishops.

St. Servatius, tympanum with relief over the north entrance. Maiestas Domini, with Christ in the middle and the symbols of the 4 evangelists. 12th century

St. Servatius, altar niche from around 1330, with Madonna and Child, probably 15th century

St. Servatius, Gothic vaulting of south transept

However, as a prestigious chapter church with imperial connections important changes were made already in the same century: the westwork was extended and a new transept with chapels and crossing were built.

St. Servatius, south aisle towards the west

St. Servatius, South Portal, around 1200, poorly restored end 16th century after the 1566 Iconoclasm, restored again and painted late 19th century by Pierre Cuypers

St. Servatius, South Portal, 4 Old Testament figures, left to tight: Samuel, David, Moses and Abraham. Heads of Samuel, David and Moses, David’s harp, Moses’ tablet and Abraham’s angel are 19th century

St. Servatius, South Portal: Simeon, St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist and St. Servatius. Simeon’s (then thought to be Mary) and the Christ child’s head, the Baptist’s head and almost all of St. Servatius are 19th century

During the 12th century the apse of the east choir was built in its present day shape as well as the two east towers.

St. Servatius, South Portal: scenes from the life of Mary, 12th century

St. Servatius, South Portal, archivolts with 2 figures cleaned in the early 1990s

St. Servatius, South Portal, capital with Elkanah and Hannah bearing Samuel

The church’s famous westwork was more or less completed, containing a west choir, an imperial seat, an imperial hall and the two west towers.

St. Servatius, South Portal, capital with David and Goliath bearing David

St. Servatius, South Portal, capital with a ram, bearing Abraham

St. Servatius, South Portal, capital with water and fishes, bearing St. John the Pabtist

St. Servatius, South Portal, capital with eagle, bearing Saint John the Evangelist

From around 1200 onwards a gothic  revamping of the church started with the building of the South Portal, considered to be the oldest Gothic structure in the Netherlands.

St. Servatius, South Portal, looking towards the east

St. Servatius, part of the original rood screen for the west choir (around 1170), Christ blessing Saints Peter and Servatius

St. Servatius, Gothic vaulting of the nave, decorated in the late 20th century

In the 14th and 15th centuries the aisles were extended with Gothic chapels, side aisles, nave, transept and older chapels were re-vaulted in the Gothic style, Gothic windows were added as well as (flying) buttresses.

St. Servatius, towards the west

St. Servatius, Seat of Wisdom, late 13th century

St. Servatius, Seat of Wisdom, side view

St. Servatius, view of the west choir, 12th century. (The organ is 17th – 19th century). The west choir has three floors, amongst others containing the ‘Imperial Hall’ and interesting Romanesque capitals. However entry is not permitted

The cloisters were rebuilt in the 15th century.

St. Servatius, view of the west choir

St. Servatius treasury, portable altar, serpentine 4th century and silver 12th century

St. Servatius treasury, bust of St. Servatius, gilded copper and diamonds, around 1580

Architect Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921) conducted a major restoration of the church during the last quarter of  the 19th century.

St. Servatius treasury, detail of a Kinship of St. Anna, oil on panel, Westphalian, late 15th century

St. Servatius treasury, St. Servatius reliquary chest, wood, gilded copper diamonds and enamel, around 1180

St. Servatius treasury, St. Servatius reliquary chest

St. Servatius treasury, St. Servatius reliquary chest, detail

He had the church redecorated, restored the capitals and sculptures and added new ones, he got rid of baroque gables, additional buildings and replaced the spires of the west towers with neo-Romanesque ones.

St. Servatius treasury, St. Servatius reliquary chest, detail

St. Servatius treasury, reliquary chest, ivory and copper, Sicilian 13th century

St. Servatius treasury, reliquary chest, ivory, niello silver, probably Venetian, 13th century

St. Servatius treasury, table reliquary holder, St. Catherine, gilded copper, quartz, 14th century

In the 1980s the church was restored again in which amongst others the colour decorations by Cuypers were removed (except in the South Portal) and “new” quasi-late Gothic decorations were added.

St. John’s (14th – 15th century) from the east

St. John’s, choir and northeast chapel

St. John’s, bell tower from the east

Next to Sint-Servaas is Sint-Janskerk (St. John’s church).

St. John’s, bell tower from the west

St. John’s from the west

St. John’s, nave and south aisle

It was founded around 1200 to serve as a parish church when St. Servatius’ church became exclusively a chapter and pilgrims church.

St. John’s, nave and choir

St. John’s, nave and north aisle (pulpit 1779)

St. John’s, northern clerestory

The present Gothic church is 14th and 15th century, has a nave and side aisles, a northwest chapel and a choir without an ambulatory.

St. John’s, nave vaulting

St. John’s, choir

St. John’s, looking towards the west (organ console 1780, organ itself 1990s)

It has no transept.

St. John’s, vaulting of the choir

St. John’s, nave as seen from the choir

St. John’s, northeast chapel

The bell tower is open for climbing, but i’ve left that for next time.

St. John’s, vaulting of the northeast chapel

St. John’s, decoration in the northeast chapel

In 1632, after the conquest of Maastricht by Frederick Henry of Orange, it became a protestant church.

Our Lady’s Church, westwork (11th – 12th century, with minor changes in the late 19th century), on the left the 15th century entrance portal

The third church i visited was the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwebasiliek (Basilica of Our Lady). Not much is known about its predecessors but the first one may have been built on the premises of a Roman temple.

Our Lady’s Church, entrance portal. The big grey stone blocks on the left side of the westwork near the ground are spolia from an ancient Roman building

The present church was probably built in the 11th and 12th centuries as a Romanesque collegiate church.

Our Lady’s Church, top of the characteristic westwork

In the 15th century it got a higher roof and Gothic vaulting. Also the windows were enlarged to allow more daylight into the church.

Our Lady’s Church, the two west towers

The Gothic west portal is 15th century. Around 1900 the church was heavily restored by Pierre Cuypers.

Our Lady’s Church, from the south

The east façade had to be rebuilt almost completely but Cuypers doesn’t seem to have done so as rigorously as he has done with other medieval buildings.

Our Lady’s Church, from the east. This part of the church is mostly a 19th century reconstruction by Cuypers

He replaced and reduced the Gothic windows for smaller neo-Romanesque ones, thus making it a dark church again.

Our Lady’s Church, interior with 14th or 15th century gothic vaulting. (organ, 1652) The church has an extremely dark interior, such that your eyes have to get used to it. Making pictures is hardly possible.

However he couldn’t keep his hands off the famous westwork: he lowered its roof to make the two turrets look more impressive.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

All pictures were taken on Tuesday July 25th 2017.

© Villa Nxt Door 2017

 

Bertus Pieters