The one thing you never sing of or hang in a tree, Works by Brigitte Spiegeler, Saskia Tannemaat & Monica Winnubst, ARTtrium, Home Office & Ministry of Justice, The Hague

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The new Home Office and Ministry of Justice (Turfmarkt 147) share a public atrium in which art exhibitions are organised. It’s called ARTtrium. The space itself

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is not an easy one to show works of art in. It has the formal anonymity of a public space and as such it can easily force the works of art to be as formal and anonymous. But the exhibition programme has bravely tried to resist that.

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At the moment three artists show works on the theme of fragility or vulnerability. In a tragic way

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this has become topical at the moment with the Malaysian airliner disaster in the Ukraine in which nearly two hundred Dutch nationals perished. As such it puts this exhibition in another context where it may bring some comfort in one way or another. The blue works of

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Brigitte Spiegeler may give a view on both infinity and vulnerability of thought. The more

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expressionist works by Saskia Tannemaat show the intricacy of human relationships and its irrational and fragile architecture, while

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Monica Winnubst’s works show how perseverance and tenderness can go together.

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A reflection of a work by Spiegeler in a work by Winnubst.

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From left to right curator Nicole Donkers and the artists Brigitte Spiegeler, Saskia Tannemaat and Monica Winnubst.

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There are two weak points: the ARTtrium has no web page (and it really needs one!) and the title of the exhibition is too long.

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After signing the condolence registry, i left the building under the guard of Per Kirkeby.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

 

Bertus Pieters

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Sommernachmittag, A Gallery Named Sue, The Hague

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While life outside goes on,

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inside A Gallery Named Sue in The Hague life takes a different turn, combining 19th century Dutch painting and today’s art in the exhibition Sommernachmittag.

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Matthias Grothus’ (1982) work Methamorphose is omnipresent with its bird sounds,

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creating a strange acoustic background for H. W. Mesdag’s (1841 – 1915) moonlit seascape of the 1890s.

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Mesdag’s painting in visual rhyme with a photograph from the Night View series by Reggie Voigtländer (1966) (far left), The Blouse She Wore last Summer by Kevin Bauer (1987) (left) and a View of Dordrecht by J.B. Jongkind (1819 – 1891) (right).

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Apart from Mesdag and Jongkind there are some works from the Dutch romantic era on show, amongst them works by Andreas Schelfhout (1787 – 1870)

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and his pupil Wijnand Nuijen (1813 – 1839).

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These romantics are flanking a small work by Brigitte Spiegeler.

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Her works seeming to deal with inner space, Spiegeler is in the right place here.

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And there ‘s another unexpected meeting!

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Kevin Bauer’s work deals with both the inside and the outside, but

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in Dario Bongiovanni’s (1984) work the inside is reduced to a few lines and corners (in the background a small painting by Cornelis Springer).

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Bongiovanni’s work is combined with a sculpture by Eugène Dodeigne (1923), which is part of the annual The Hague Sculpture show.

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The main showground for The Hague Sculpture is the Lange Voorhout. But on its own and in combination with the works of Sommernachmittag this work by Dodeigne has more impact than the whole show at the Lange Voorhout.

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Once noticed you can almost feel its presence.

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Five photographs of Reggie Voigtländer’s series of six Night Views are on show here. The missing one is presently at the annual Zomerexpo (Summer Exhibition) at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.

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Works by Arike Gill (1983) also give a visualisation of inner space.

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In summer, if not closed, galleries present the public with group shows. However, making a good group show is an art in itself.

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Sommernachmittag is a very good one. The 19th century paintings are from private collections while the contemporary works are for sale.

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They make a remarkable combination. The space in the gallery is good and well used. And the opened windows make a connection with the outside world.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

 

Bertus Pieters