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.
Part of the exhibition is on show in the museum and that is where i started my own visit.
Juliaan Andeweg (1986) surely was lucky being able to install his work in the Museum’s Egyptian temple.
Works by other artists are on show in a separate hall.
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 (1983) undeniably has a place in a show in the Archaeological Museum full of mythology.
Nynke Koster (1987) is also an artist that springs to mind when thinking about archaeology and time.
Emma van der Put’s (1988) video is about sculpture and the instability of vision.
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.
There are also two big sculptures by her on show.
Daniëlle van Ark (1974) gives a photographic reinterpretation of Michelangelo’s David’s hand.
Painter Jasper Hagenaar (1977) paints his own self imagined mythologies.
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.
Beelden in Leiden’s home base is Hooglandse Kerkgracht, a closed canal turned into an intimate, leafy avenue.
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.
Yaïr Callender (1987) is still in his mood of floating, sleeping, dreaming and the world of mythology and mystique it creates.
One of the more severe works (but uncertain about the will of a stern god) is by Jonathan van Doornum (1987).
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.
In her fountain-like work Smeets tries to find yet another basic narrative language.
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.
In Andeweg’s installation i missed the promised “bottle with imitation water,” but it is all the more intriguing.
Lillian Vlaun (1993) quasi-reconstructed a vase in materials that are not what they seem to be.
The Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) is the third venue for Concepts of Time.
The place, although sympathetic, is not photography friendly, so here is a choice of the more or less photographable works.
Sander van Noort (1986), originally a painter, now also makes sculptures based on classical sculpture.
There are also sculptures by Bas de Wit (1977) who seem to lead a life apart from reality.
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.
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.
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]
© Villa Next Door 2018
Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Beelden in Leiden.