Art The Hague 2016; Fokker terminal, The Hague

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Art fairs aren’t the most exciting places to see real surprises and Art The Hague is no exception, in spite of it calling itself ‘quirky’.

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To be honest, compared to last year the ascending line seems to have levelled.

Klaas Gubbels - Rento Brattinga

Klaas Gubbels – Rento Brattinga

Pieter de Krom - Vonkel

Pieter de Krom – Vonkel

In the offices next to the hangar (places where you might expect something interesting in the very short tradition of this fair in this place) there is little reason for excitement.

Marie Pop - Vonkel

Marie Pop – Vonkel

Ko Aarts - Rento Brattinga

Ko Aarts – Rento Brattinga

Johannes Langkamp - A Gallery Named Sue

Johannes Langkamp – A Gallery Named Sue

Although some interesting items are on show, the arrangements are a bit messy (the best presentations are the rooms of Livingstone gallery and Rento Brattinga), and the Blueprint presentation shouldn’t even be mentioned.

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Central to the hangar, which serves as the main hall, is Nouvelles Images gallery’s presentation of works by Auke de Vries, one of the grand old men of Dutch sculpture.

Lotte van Lieshout - Galerie Wit

Lotte van Lieshout – Galerie Wit

Ruben Terlou - Galerie Fontana

Ruben Terlou – Galerie Fontana

Ruben Terlou - Galerie Fontana

Ruben Terlou – Galerie Fontana

Miranda Meijer - A Gallery Named Sue

Miranda Meijer – A Gallery Named Sue

Hernán Ardila Delgado - A Gallery Named Sue

Hernán Ardila Delgado – A Gallery Named Sue

Geert Baas - Galerie Ramakers

Geert Baas – Galerie Ramakers

Eric de Vries - WTC Rotterdam Art Gallery

Eric de Vries – WTC Rotterdam Art Gallery

Further on in the hangar it was the usual stuff, including – of course – some real gems.

Kevin Bauer - Galerie Helder

Kevin Bauer – Galerie Helder

Micha Patiniott - Heden

Micha Patiniott – Heden

Summer Matthews - Aboriginal Art Gallery

Summer Matthews – Aboriginal Art Gallery

Coen Vernooij - Gallery 0-68

Coen Vernooij – Gallery 0-68

Coen Vernooij - Gallery 0-68

Coen Vernooij – Gallery 0-68

Unknown artist - WTC The Hague Art Gallery

Unknown artist – WTC The Hague Art Gallery

Marc Mulders - Galerie Dom'Arte

Marc Mulders – Galerie Dom’Arte

Still, i know it is a hell of a job organising an annual art fair, but it would be about time to outgrow a bit the sedate image of this town.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

However, the best place to be is outside and behind the building: it’s Dirty Daisies, a co-operation of 15 artists from The Hague and Amsterdam.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

ath16-33

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies is curated by Steef Crombach and there is some good stuff on show.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

The artists are: Candela Bado, Zeno Beikircher, Yair Callender, Daniel Dmyszewicz, Frederik & Jacob, Doris Hardeman, Josje Hattink, Bas Kaufmann, Koolen & Van de Lande, Tobias Lengkeek, Leslie Nagel, Jeannette Slütter, Marnix van Uum and Victor Yudaev.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and galleries

 

Bertus Pieters

55 Years Anniversary; Nouvelles Images gallery, The Hague

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

Nouvelles Images is celebrating its 55th birthday this year.

Marjan Teeuwen

Marjan Teeuwen

Ton Kraayeveld

Ton Kraayeveld

Ton Kraayeveld

Ton Kraayeveld

It is the oldest gallery in the country so it is a venue with a history, which is more or less reflected by the present festive group show.

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

NI55 08

Hans van Hoek

Hans van Hoek

Works by some thirty artists are on show of which you can see a few aspects here.

Hans van Hoek

Hans van Hoek

Gijs Assmann

Gijs Assmann

Gijs Assmann

Gijs Assmann

No need to say that it is better to go and make your own choice.

Toon Teeken

Toon Teeken

Uwe Poth

Uwe Poth

Jan van der Pol

Jan van der Pol

Anyway: happy birthday Nouvelles Images and many happy returns!

Omar Koubâa

Omar Koubâa

Joost van den Toorn

Joost van den Toorn

Hamid El Kanbouhi

Hamid El Kanbouhi

David Lindberg

David Lindberg

Dave Meijer

Dave Meijer

Lucassen

Lucassen

Lucassen

Lucassen

Lucassen

Lucassen

JCJ Vanderheyden

JCJ Vanderheyden

Joris Geurts

Joris Geurts

JCJ Vanderheyden

JCJ Vanderheyden

Cor van Dijk

Cor van Dijk

Piet Tuytel

Piet Tuytel

Piet Tuytel

Piet Tuytel

Robert Nicol

Robert Nicol

Helen Frik

Helen Frik

Pieter Laurens Mol

Pieter Laurens Mol

Gabriëlle van de Laak

Gabriëlle van de Laak

Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

 

Bertus Pieters

Jerry Keizer, Joseph Semah and Auke de Vries at Nouvelles Images gallery, The Hague

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

It is not always easy to combine three very strong artistic personalities in a way that they don’t bite each other. But if the combination works, it may lead to a kind of visual frenzy, a kind of drunkenness of which the viewer can hardly get enough. Which may happen to you watching the current three exhibitions of works by Auke de Vries, Joseph Semah and Jerry Keizer at Nouvelles Images gallery.

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries, the celebrated monumental sculptor, also makes small sculptures which also look quite monumental. Watching them closely however, may make you glad they have no monumental proportions and personally i even prefer them to his monumental public works. You actually see De Vries thinking in these works.

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah (about whose work i wrote extensively in 2011) brings you back to the collateral damage of the great European crisis of the first half of the 20th century, which you can still detect in European thinking and visual culture, even if today’s European thinking and visual culture are not referring to it, or even seem to have forgotten it.

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer’s almost obsessive works, which may remind you in a way of Jan Schoonhoven’s work, seem to catch any movement, whether physically or spiritually, in a grid, on one hand more or less taming them in repetition, on the other hand showing the small differences of the seismographic painter’s hand.

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

 Jerry Keizer

Jerry Keizer

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

All together there is a lot to be seen in this exhibition about the combination of thinking and creating, far more than a few photographs can reveal.

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

 

Auke de Vries

Auke de Vries

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Beelden van de Binnenstad (Sculptures of the City centre); Town Hall and City centre, The Hague

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I went to the town centre city centre to see the small exhibition Beelden van de Binnenstad (Sculptures of the City Centre) in the Atrium of Town Hall. There you can see miniature models of the sculptures which have been made during the last two decades for the gallery, usually called the Sokkelproject (Pedestal Project).

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In the first picture you see models of Adam Colton’s untitled work (1996) and Gert Germeraad’s Mansportret (Portrait of a Man; 2002) and in this picture you see Christien Rijnsdorp’s De hef (The Lift Bridge; 2007) and Maria Roosen’s untitled work (2011).

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There are thirty five miniature models on show. These ones are models of Rondanini (2005) by André Kruijsen (current curator of the gallery) and The Observer (1996) by Berry Holslag and

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here Rien Monshouwer’s Beeld (Vision/Sculpture; 1994). Although the models are all standing next to each other, they don’t really bite each other. They even look a bit like

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puppets in a Punch and Judy show. I can’t get rid of that idea seeing these two untitled models of works by Jos Kruit (1997) and by the old and great Carel Visser (1994), or

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this couple: Jan Snoeck’s La nostalgie de la lumière totale (The Nostalgia of Total Light; 2000) and Emo Verkerk’s Sperwer (Sparrow hawk; 2005). And again in

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Sonja Oudendijk’s Bellevue-toren (Bellevue Tower; 1993) and Atelier Van Lieshout’s Veelhoofd (Many-Head; 2010).

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All models have a short explanation (in Dutch).

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De Beeldengalerij van P. Struycken (P. Struycken’s Sculpture Gallery) is the official title of the Pedestal Project as it was initiated by artist Peter Struycken under the auspices of Stroom. The real sculptures

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were all made for public space and they can be seen in the city centre in the two axes Kalvermarkt – Grote Marktstraat and Spui. In Kalvermarkt

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it starts at the moment with For whom the Bell Tolls (1993)

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by Joost van den Toorn. The title is of course

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Hemingway’s and indeed it’s a tower of resignation,

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maybe even a tower of fate and death.

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Carel Visser’s work, originally made of polystyrene,

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has an unstable appearance which would have worked better

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if the base of the pedestal wasn’t more or less floating. And that’s a problem

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with many other sculptures in the gallery, like Rien Monshouwer’s Beeld, which is constructed from the word BEELD and,

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is used as a piece of street furniture, in this case a dustbin.

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The rigidity with which the statues are placed at a twenty five meter distance of each other,

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sometimes results in a strange situation like here with Sigurdur Gudmundsson’s work (1996). This compulsive repetition

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denies the individuality of the sculptures, of course defended by the idea that all sculptures have the same pedestal and are part of the same series. But

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isn’t that clear enough just by that fact?.

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With Sjoerd Buisman’s Phyllotaxis (2002), its use as street furniture works quite well, the bike underlining its way of stacking. The owner of the bike, probably unknowingly,

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has added to the meaning of the sculpture, while

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the sculptures of the Ministry of Defence stand guard from quite another position at the other side of Kalvermarkt.

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Auke de Vries’ untitled sculpture (1994) gives you

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his usual aesthetics of finding harmony in unbalanced components.

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In the definitive version of Emo Verkerk’s Sperwer,

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the sparrow hawk has come down.

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The massive and dark volume of Jan van de Pavert’s Ministerie (Ministry; 2000) referring to the former buildings of the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, may remind you of a modern version of Kafka’s Castle.

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But what is it doing there next to a road sign? What has it to offer to the passers-by there and what kind of context has its environment on offer to add to the sculpture?

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Berry Holslag’s Observer is especially suitable for street corners and crossings

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and it does its present job very well. Next to it

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is Karel Appel’s Frog with Umbrella (1993/2001) which has been drawn into the project but which is much bigger than the rest and so breaks the monotony of the rest of the series.

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The new acquisition to the project Vriendinnen (Friends; 2014) by Tony van de Vorst

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has the power to become iconic with its extra pedestal, monumentalising modern day common street life. On the other hand

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you may ask what two strolling people add to all the other strolling people in the street.

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Ingrid Mol’s Binnenstadgoden (Inner City Gods; 2014) is another new acquisition and

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is based on children’s drawings about the theme and

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it is another example of the democratisation of public art.

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In the no-man’s-land in between Spui and Spuiplein,

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sculptures like Eline Vere (2012) by Thom Puckey,

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Maria Roosen’s untitled work,

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Atelier Van Lieshout’s Veelhoofd,

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David Bade’s Calimero (2011) and

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Anno Dijkstra’s A Last Farewell (2011) are just trying

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not to be obsolete, in spite of their substantive and varying artistic qualities.

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Back to Karel Appel, which shows you the advantages of a non-floating pedestal.

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The other arm of Spui

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is still in limbo as the Amadeus building is not finished yet.

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So the sculptures can only add to the limbo feeling, like Jos Kruit’s work and

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EN/OF (AND/OR; 1993) by Marc Ruygrok,

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the ambiguous nature of its title underscored by its function as a parking spot for bikes.

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I followed the route to Grote Marktstraat which

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doesn’t really make one optimistic about

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its future. Because of the chaos there

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are only three sculptures of the series on show:

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Mannetje met losse ledematen (Little Man with Loose Limbs; 2003) by Tom Claassen, which

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seems to have resigned to the situation,

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Gisteren staat, Morgenstond (Yesterday stands, Tomorrow stood; 2005) by Arjanne van der Spek and

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I Love JR (2007) by André van de Wijdeven. They seem

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to stand there to show you how pieces of street furniture become street weeds, although as such they blossom well.

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Refurbishment of Grote Marktstraat will be finished by the end of the year. Stroom’s website says:

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A luxurious pavement, new street furniture and a special lighting plan will create ‘The international shopping boulevard of the Netherlands’. The Sculpture Gallery of P. Struycken plays an important role (“een cruciale rol”- BP) in that area’s upgraded look (“bij die uitstraling”- BP).” So,

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keeping up appearances, that’s what it is all about! Artists who have done their best to make valuable things for public space are just being used to decorate the coop of the strutting peacock of international consumerism. Artists, herewith your works have been declared empty!

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Shown in the stupidity of a strict order of twenty five meters distance, all on the same floating pedestal which gives them an idea of instability and unimportance,

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they will stand in the way of all these international people who will come all the way to The Hague’s Grote Marktstraat to drink a Starbucks and to spend, spend and spend. But of course dreams never come true.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters