De Ploeg by the Sea; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

Jan Wiegers

Artist’s movement De Ploeg (‘The Plough’) was founded in 1918 by amongst others the painters Jan Wiegers (1893-1959), Johan Dijkstra (1896-1978) and Jan Jordens (1883-1962) in the Northern city of Groningen.

Jan Wiegers

Jan Wiegers

De Ploeg tried to plough the field of the arts after the First World War.

Jan Wiegers

Johan Dijkstra

Its centenary is especially celebrated in Groningen this year, but the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague has presently made a very fine selection of its collection of graphic works by De Ploeg’s founding and pre-War members.

Jan Wiegers

Jan Wiegers

From 1921 onwards De Ploeg was heavily influenced by German Expressionism, especially by Kirchner’s works.

Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman

Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman

Although some members, notably the great printmaker H. N. Werkman (1882-1945), had good international contacts, De Ploeg never became an internationally renowned movement , like De Stijl, probably also because it had no clear manifesto or influential periodical.

Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman

Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman

Apart from people like Werkman the movement became more conservative toward the Second World War.

Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman

Jan Wiegers

Today De Ploeg in name still exists, but its members, though fine professionals, with their moderately modernist style are a far cry indeed from the movement’s revolutionary roots.

Jan Jordens

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the Gemeentemusem, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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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

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

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

Concepts of Time; National Archaeology Museum, Hooglandse Kerkgracht, LUMC, Leiden

Juliaan Andeweg

This year’s Beelden in Leiden (Sculptures in Leiden) summer show is called Concepts of Time as the venerable National Archaeological Museum (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) in the city is celebrating its two hundred years anniversary.

Juliaan Andeweg

Part of the exhibition is on show in the museum and that is where i started my own visit.

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg (1986) surely was lucky being able to install his work in the Museum’s Egyptian temple.

Juliaan Andeweg

Works by other artists are on show in a separate hall.

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos (1980) made a sculpture specially for the exhibition in his by now well known vocabulary full of inner conflict and search for harmony.

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets (1983) undeniably has a place in a show in the Archaeological Museum full of mythology.

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster (1987) is also an artist that springs to mind when thinking about archaeology and time.

Emma van der Put

Emma van der Put

Emma van der Put’s (1988) video is about sculpture and the instability of vision.

Bastienne Kramer

Bastienne Kramer (1961) has a wall for a series of small objects based on the feminine in sculpture from the early days of humanity up to the present.

Bastienne Kramer

There are also two big sculptures by her on show.

Daniëlle van Ark

Daniëlle van Ark (1974) gives a photographic reinterpretation of Michelangelo’s David’s hand.

Bastienne Kramer

Bastienne Kramer

Jasper Hagenaar

Painter Jasper Hagenaar (1977) paints his own self imagined mythologies.

Jasper Hagenaar

The exhibition in the museum is modest but diverse and may give the visitor to the museum some interesting afterthoughts about the present as part of history and archaeology.

Damian Kapojos

Beelden in Leiden’s home base is Hooglandse Kerkgracht, a closed canal turned into an intimate, leafy avenue.

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

Damian Kapojos

At the north end of the canal the show starts with another, bigger work by Kapojos, like the one in the museum looking like a complete cosmos elegantly kept in balance.

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yaïr Callender (1987) is still in his mood of floating, sleeping, dreaming and the world of mythology and mystique it creates.

Jonathan van Doornum

Jonathan van Doornum

One of the more severe works (but uncertain about the will of a stern god) is by Jonathan van Doornum (1987).

Rein Verhoef

Rein Verhoef

Rein Verhoef

There is a certain strictness in this work by Rein Verhoef (1989) too, but of quite a different kind; it looks quite self-evident and the care with which it is made, makes it almost sensual.

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

In her fountain-like work Smeets tries to find yet another basic narrative language.

Robbert Pauwels

Robbert Pauwels

Robbert Pauwels

Robbert Pauwels

Robbert Pauwels

Robbert Pauwels (1983) made a batman as a sentinel, his ears vaguely reminiscing the guarding Anubis’ ears.

Daniel van Straalen

Daniel van Straalen

Daniel van Straalen

Daniel van Straalen

Daniel van Straalen (1987) apparently used Indo-Pacific carving as the base for two poles painted completely white, standing to wait for ancestors that still have to be born.

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

In Andeweg’s installation i missed the promised “bottle with imitation water,” but it is all the more intriguing.

Lillian Vlaun

Lillian Vlaun (1993) quasi-reconstructed a vase in materials that are not what they seem to be.

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

Koster has an ornamented circle or lid in front of the magnificent gothic facade of the north transept of the 15th century Hooglandse Kerk; the scarab on the circle being a reminder of time.

Lillian Vlaun

The Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) is the third venue for Concepts of Time.

Alexandra Hunts & Anna Fijnstein

The place, although sympathetic, is not photography friendly, so here is a choice of the more or less photographable works.

Alexandra Hunts & Anna Fijnstein

Alexandra Hunts (1990) and Anna Frijstein (1991) made a number of variations on the Willendorf Venus.

Sander van Noort

Sander van Noort (1986), originally a painter, now also makes sculptures based on classical sculpture.

Jonathan van Doornum

Jasper Hagenaar

Sander van Noort

Camile Smeets

Camile Smeets

Bas de Wit

There are also sculptures by Bas de Wit (1977) who seem to lead a life apart from reality.

Jasper Hagenaar

Bas de Wit

Daniëlle van Ark

Nynke Koster

Generally curator Sandrine van Noort (curator of the LUMC art collection) has made a very strong choice, avoiding easy sentimentalism and easy art that should appeal to different target audiences.

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

Nynke Koster

There is a strong sense of history being part of the contemporary world, and there is place for mysticism, mythology and ideas about craftsmanship in present day art practice.

Nynke Koster

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Beelden in Leiden.

Bertus Pieters

Wayne Thiebaud; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar

I went to Museum Voorlinden to write a review about the present Wayne Thiebaud retrospective for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

As I have written quite extensively about the show in VLR, I leave you here with some pictures of details that struck me.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to Wayne Thiebaud, the owners of the works and Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar.

Bertus Pieters

Jean Brusselmans; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

Jean Brusselmans (1883-1953) is undeservedly not a household name.

This is probably because he was outstripped by colleagues of his generation as Brusselmans’s personal style took quite a long time to evolve.

The present exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum shows works from the 1930s and 1940s, his most prolific and characteristic period.

Although his experiments and endeavours weren’t always successful, as the exhibition shows, they also brought him to making some nearly immaculate masterpieces.

In every new painting he tries to find a balance in form, colour and mass in his subjects, resulting in his best works in a fine lyricism or a distinguished monumentality.

Whether his subjects are joyful or sorrowful, Brusselmans always avoids sentimentality and overt expressiveness.

Pain, love and joy to him were clearly never a narrative but sentiments that should be worn with human dignity, without decorum but with style, not something to move the viewer to tears but to let him/her discover the glance of them.

For any lover of painting there are a lot of wonderful and fascinating works on show.

Works where you can see Brusselmans trying how to decide about colours and shapes,  sometimes painting over original details but then  making them visible again.

You see him deciding to leave certain parts sketchy or just open, next to fully painted parts. Details become decorations and decorations become expression.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all pictures courtesy to all owners and Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Tell Freedom; Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort

Buhlebezwe Siwani

I went to Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about the show Tell Freedom, with works by 15 or 16 (it is ambiguous) young artists from South Africa. Click here to read the review (in Dutch) and see some more pictures.

Buhlebezwe Siwani

The lighting in KAdE was horrible for taking photos, and the few pictures i tried to take of Dineo Seshee Bopape’s works are so bad that i skipped them, for which i apologise. However you can see some pictures of her work at Witte de With in Rotterdam if you click here.

Buhlebezwe Siwani

In the mean time i hope these pics will inspire you to go and see the works in real, which i’d wholeheartedly recommend.

Buhlebezwe Siwani

Take your time though, as there’s a lot to be seen.

Haroon Gunn-Salie

Haroon Gunn-Salie, Aline Xavier

Haroon Gunn-Salie, Aline Xavier

Haroon Gunn-Salie, Aline Xavier

Haroon Gunn-Salie

Neo Matloga

Neo Matloga

Neo Matloga

Neo Matloga

Kemang Wa Lehulere

Kemang Wa Lehulere

Kemang Wa Lehulere

Kemang Wa Lehulere

Bronwyn Katz

Bronwyn Katz

Bronwyn Katz

Bronwyn Katz

Bronwyn Katz

Lerato Shadi

Lerato Shadi

Lerato Shadi

Lerato Shadi

Sabelo Mlangeni

Lebohang Kganye

Buhlebezwe Siwani

Mawande Ka Zenzile

Mawande Ka Zenzile

MADEYOULOOK

Nolan Oswald Dennis

Nolan Oswald Dennis

Nolan Oswald Dennis

Nolan Oswald Dennis

Nolan Oswald Dennis

Nolan Oswald Dennis

Lebohang Kganye

Lebohang Kganye

Francois Knoetze

Francois Knoetze

Francois Knoetze

Francois Knoetze

Francois Knoetze

Ashley Walters

Ashley Walters

Kemang Wa Lehulere

Donna Kukama

Donna Kukama

Donna Kukama

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort

Bertus Pieters