Tirzo Martha, No Excuses!; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

Monument for Togetherness

No excuses indeed for having any later the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands of works by Curaçao artist Tirzo Martha (1965) in Museum Beelden aan Zee.

The Great Epiphany of Curaçao

The Great Epiphany of Curaçao

The Great Epiphany of Curaçao

The Great Epiphany of Curaçao

The Great Epiphany of Curaçao

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

Reinvention of the Afro-Era (Ananzi Colonialism)

God Is My Pilot

God Is My Pilot

Regarding the great impression his works, so generously full of details and narratives, make, you might think such a solo show is shamefully long overdue but you might also consider it to be just in time.

God Is My Pilot

God Is My Pilot

God Is My Pilot

Louis Vuitton Gang

Louis Vuitton Gang

Louis Vuitton Gang

Louis Vuitton Gang

Louis Vuitton Gang

Louis Vuitton Gang

Louis Vuitton Gang

Captain Caribbean: The Truth Will Set You Free

Captain Caribbean: The Truth Will Set You Free

Captain Caribbean: The Truth Will Set You Free

Captain Caribbean: The Truth Will Set You Free

Social and political commitment have become fashionable these days, usually to the detriment of content and expression.

Captain Caribbean: The Truth Will Set You Free

Captain Caribbean: The Truth Will Set You Free

The Banned Partnership

The Banned Partnership

The Banned Partnership

The Banned Partnership

The Banned Partnership

The Banned Partnership

The Great Caribbean Warp

The Great Caribbean Warp

The Great Caribbean Warp

The Great Caribbean Warp

The Consequence of Giving Me Carte Blanche At Plein Air

The Consequence of Giving Me Carte Blanche At Plein Air

Social and political commitment need a warm heart and an open and practical mind towards society, even in art.

The Consequence of Giving Me Carte Blanche At Plein Air

The Consequence of Giving Me Carte Blanche At Plein Air

The Consequence of Giving Me Carte Blanche At Plein Air

Ai Wei Wei, Sate Batata Hopi Sous

Ai Wei Wei, Sate Batata Hopi Sous

Ai Wei Wei, Sate Batata Hopi Sous

Ai Wei Wei, Sate Batata Hopi Sous

Ai Wei Wei, Sate Batata Hopi Sous

Ai Wei Wei, Sate Batata Hopi Sous

The Ancestral Debate

The Ancestral Debate

The Ancestral Debate

The Ancestral Debate

The Ancestral Debate

The Ancestral Debate

Martha clearly has both and he is able to combine joy and pain, sarcasm and tenderness, a feeling for both mysticism and sobriety, exuberance and balance, passion and humour in one work.

The Ancestral Debate

The Venus of Kawa Korsou

The Venus of Kawa Korsou

The Venus of Kawa Korsou

The Venus of Kawa Korsou

The Venus of Kawa Korsou

The Concept of Colonialism

The Concept of Colonialism

The Concept of Colonialism

The Concept of Colonialism

The Concept of Colonialism

The Prestige of the Ignorant

The Prestige of the Ignorant

The Prestige of the Ignorant

There is a certain order and an almost classical feeling for proportions and composition in his works that allow you to find the details and let them tell their stories.

The Prestige of the Ignorant

The Prestige of the Ignorant

The Prestige of the Ignorant

The Prestige of the Ignorant

The Prestige of the Ignorant

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

As for these details, they can be commonplace objects but also the way Martha assembles them, the way he constructs his works, the texts he uses and the way he uses them.

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

Chapel for Tirzo Martha

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Fall of the Afro Myth

Martha has also co-operated with students and people from the neighbourhood in one work called Monument of Togetherness.

The Fall of the Afro Myth

The Divine Ascent

The Divine Ascent

The Divine Ascent

The Divine Ascent

The Divine Ascent

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

It looks very open and transparent.

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Kiko Ta Nos Identidat

Monument of Togetherness

The whole show is well composed and presented.

Monument for Togetherness

Monument of Togetherness

Monument of Togetherness

Monument of Togetherness

Monument of Togetherness

Monument of Togetherness

Monument of Togetherness

Next week is the last week of this marvellous exhibition (already one of the very best in BaZ for this year as far as i’m concerned) so hurry up to take a closer look in BaZ if you haven’t done so yet.

Monument of Togetherness

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© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all pictures courtesy to Tirzo Martha and Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Auke de Vries, Stopover; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

Some 36 or 37 years ago Auke de Vries (1937) was my etching teacher at the Royal Academy in The Hague.

When teaching he would incidentally point to something on a working table, some haphazard constellation of an etching needle, a coffee cup, a pencil and a piece of paper and he’d say that it was an interesting composition.

Personally, at that age, i wasn’t really interested in that kind of aesthetics.

I had decided that making things of beauty, the things that were expected of you if you wanted to be an artist, were just not my cup of tea.

I had the stubborn idea that the world was not waiting for beauty and aesthetics.

Pick a bunch of flowers, if you wanted beauty, but don’t bother me with it!

Later on, i saw his monumental works in public space as he became more popular.

In it i saw the same kind of aesthetics again.

Quasi-haphazard constellations, just for their beauty, i ruled for myself.

In fact, i especially knew what i didn’t like.

Even later i plunged into a life in which many aspects were not beautiful at all.

Indeed i met many beautiful people, but the things they’d tell me and the world they’d found themselves in wasn’t beautiful at all.

When travelling for my work in the country i sometimes ran into a work by De Vries, or i just saw an object in the countryside that reminded me of his work.

It became clear to me that it must be great to make these things and to design and build them.

It was a kind of recomposing the world around you.

Auke de Vries’ present show at BaZ is a wonderful one.

Imagine, it is rebalancing the things, the thoughts, architecture, living creatures, art, well, the whole world, to be short.

I found it particularly moving.

I just hope that is not a personal thing.

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© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Auke de Vries, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag and all owners.

 

Bertus Pieters

Aura Rendón Benger, Rendez-vous à la mer (Rendez-vous by the sea); Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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Aura Rendón Benger (1989), who graduated from the Royal Academy in the Hague in 2014, has made a site specific work for the panorama room of Museum Beelden aan Zee.

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She made a very interesting and sensual work reflecting the light over the sea, connecting the intimate with the monumental.

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It is a work that has to be experienced, so it’s better to take a look for yourself.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Aura Rendón Benger and Museum Beelden aan Zee.

 

Bertus Pieters

Pablo Picasso, Picasso by the Sea; Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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Pablo Picasso was by no means a great sculptor.

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Some of his sculptures are quite inventive but he was not a Brancusi or a Giacometti.

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Most of them are three dimensional drawings.

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The same counts for his ceramics, which he used at best as an alternative base to paint on.

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Having said that, the exhibition Picasso by the Sea, which is in its last week at Museum Beelden aan Zee, is quite interesting.

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It doesn’t show great masterpieces, but it does show a rather underexposed aspect of one of the most influential oeuvres both art historically and in the public mind. Enjoy!

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© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag

 

Bertus Pieters

Berend Bodenkamp, Samenhang (Coherence/Cohesion); Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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At Museum Beelden aan Zee It is the last week for Samenhang (Coherence or Cohesion), the exceptionally fine small retrospective of works by Berend Bodenkamp (1942).

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They are somewhere in between graphic art and sculpture.

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His subtle works look sculptural as he often makes use of materials like quartzite, but also canvass or graphite.

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Especially quartzite has a history of its own, which becomes part of Bodenkamp’s compositions.

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Bodenkamp combines geometry and natural processes, usually resulting in works hanging on the wall.

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They reflect the workings of nature and the expressive element of art is given back to nature, as it were.

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It is a show of tranquillity and respect.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

All content of pictures courtesy to Berend Bodenkamp and Museum Beelden aan Zee.

 

Bertus Pieters

Brasil, Beleza?! Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

Tunga

Tunga

Héctor Zamora

Héctor Zamora

Marcos Chaves

Marcos Chaves

The public exhibition at Lange Voorhout of Brasil, Beleza?! has come to an end; alas, as it wasn’t bad at all. However, the main exhibition at Museum Beelden aan Zee (BaZ) with sculpture from Brazil is still on show.

Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto

Marcius Galan

Marcius Galan

Cildo Meireles

Cildo Meireles

This year BaZ has made a clear difference between more monumental and robust works at Lange Voorhout and the smaller works in its own venue. There is also a big difference with last year’s Flemish show: there are fewer works by fewer artists.

Marcela Gross

Marcela Gross

Sonia Gomes

Sonia Gomes

Tunga

Tunga

Marcius Galan

Marcius Galan

That gives the works the opportunity to breathe more and it doesn’t give the visitor the idea that he/she is walking in a crowded supermarket. The choice (some great and some lesser known names) is also very good.

Alexandre da Cunha

Alexandre da Cunha

Lais Myrrha

Lais Myrrha

Lais Myrrha

Lais Myrrha

Renata Lucas

Renata Lucas

Brazil’s recent past in modernist architecture and its daily life in that would-be optimistic environment play an important role in the exhibition. As a material concrete returns a few times in the show but not really in its most sturdy modernist way.

Adriano Amaral

Adriano Amaral

Marcelo Cidade

Marcelo Cidade

Valeska Soares

Valeska Soares

Cildo Meireles

Cildo Meireles

The materials are generally very divers and are very much part of the content and expression of the works, whether they are self styled or made of  found objects.

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Personal favourite discoveries are Erika Verzutti, who presents small sculptures slightly familiar and slightly awkward, and

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, whose virtual reality work wasn’t available when i visited, due to circumstances, but whose table full of delicate things, both objects and ideas, will make you want more.

Erika Verzutti

Erika Verzutti

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

I advise you to visit the show yourself, as it is, for its content and its presentation, one of the best in BaZ’s series of  summer exhibitions.

Marila Dardot

Marila Dardot

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Bertus Pieters

Brasil, Beleza?!, Lange Voorhout, The Hague

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This year’s sculpture show on Lange Voorhout, organized by Museum Beelden aan Zee, exhibits works by Brazilian artists.

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There are only eleven works by ten artists, some of them quite big, which is a good choice as it reduces the influence of non-artistic objects in this chic avenue.

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Some of the sculptures have a non-too-deep-digging feel-good mentality, like OPAVIVARÁ by the Namoita collective, and

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Empate by Marcius Galan. In this last work fraternity in sports is symbolised, but one might doubt if any ball could pass through these rings.

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Other works try to show more of the daily realities in the life of common Brazilians, like Espaço Entre by Marcelo Cidade with graffiti turned outside-in,

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Flags by João Loureiro that show cheques of different Brazilian banks, that is if there is some wind to make the flags fly,

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Tower Tamariu by Héctor Zamora, an ode to the hard and heavy labour man has to perform individually in order to build a living, and

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Academia by Marcos Chaves, a kind of replica of the kind of sports schools that are built by Brazilians in public space with makeshift materials.

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Some works reflect on Brazilian cultural history and its ties with Western Europe like Adriana Varejão’s Panacea Phantastica which shows the idea of Portuguese azulejos decorated with Brazilian medicinal herbs and plants, or

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In the corner of life by Ernesto Neto which shows the Brazilian answer to European and North American modernism.

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There are only three works that have no clear connection at first sight to Brazil as a country or as a culture, they are Adrift by Valeska Soares,

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Muro by Eduardo Coimbra

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and Animal nature by Neto which is both robust and elegant.

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Curators Carolyn Drake and Alessandra Laitempergher have made a well balanced choice and an agreeable public show on Lange Voorhout. Three works are favourite, as far as i am concerned. There are Zamora’s cargo bikes which show both the lightness and heaviness of life itself.

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Coimbra’s wall-on-wheels gives an intriguing alternative for something that usually looks quite definitive.

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My top favourite however is Soares’ Adrift which expands into the air if you are standing on it. Click here to read the article i wrote about it for Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch).

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Contents of  all pictures courtesy the artists and Museum Beelden aan Zee

 

Bertus Pieters

Nicholas Hlobo: Imilonji Yembali / Melodies of History, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague

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I visited Nicholas Hlobo’s exhibition Imilonji Yembali / Melodies of History at Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculptures by the Sea) to write a review for the Villa La Repubblica blog. Click here to read the full review (in Dutch) and see some extra footage.

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A review can’t possibly deal with all aspects of Hlobo’s works, so here are some extra pictures of details to give you an idea. Best however is, of course, to go and see the show for yourself.

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Credits by the way to Beelden aan Zee for not restricting itself to the North Atlantic discourse so as to keep the Dutch audience from single-mindedness.

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Bertus Pieters