Pieter Paul Pothoven, facade suspended; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

I visited Dürst Britt & Mayhew to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about Pieter Paul Pothoven’s installation facade suspended. Click here to read the review (in Dutch)

Pothoven (1981) realised an installation that deals with the activist group RaRa (Revolutionary Anti-Racism Action; “rara” being a Dutch expression for “you guess”).

In the second half of the 1980s they committed arson attacks against Dutch companies who invested in South Africa and who were as such seen as supporters of the apartheid regime which was still waging its violent rule.

Although damage cost millions of Dutch guilders, there were no victims.

Pothoven focuses on the shop front of the house which was raided by Dutch police in 1988 in which they hoped to find the nerve centre of RaRa and tons of proof.

To no avail and RaRa is still a kind of a mystery.

As I have written quite extensively on Villa La Repubblica I leave you here with some impressions, but do go and take a look yourself!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all pictures courtesy to Pieter Paul Pothoven and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Body Building; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Last year in April and May Dürst Britt & Mayhew showed its potential in painting in the exhibition Stretch Release, and with its present show it makes an equally interesting statement with its potential in sculpture.

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Jonas Wijtenburg

Jonas Wijtenburg

Works by Alex Farrar (1986), Alexandre Lavet (1988), Joseph Montgomery (1979), Maarten Overdijk (1977) and Jonas Wijtenburg (1989) demonstrate a kind of physicality inherent to the discipline.

Jonas Wijtenburg

Jonas Wijtenburg

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

It not just deals with the physicality of sculpture itself but also with the corporeal approach of the viewer in the space where both viewer and sculpture are present.

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Not just the fact that the viewer should move around the sculpture to see all aspects of it – which is always essential in looking at sculpture – but also the physical sensation of the viewer is an important aspect of the process in the relationship between sculpture and viewer.

Alex Farrar

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

That is of course always an important aspect in art, as body and mind always react to format, colour, construction and visibility, whether it is in painting, digital art, book illustration, architecture or film.

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Alex Farrar

Alex Farrar

However, in sculpture – and in its wake installation art – it is essential.

Alex Farrar

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

In making a work of art a sculptor or installation artist moves around his or her work in the process to constantly assess what spatial possibilities it has in it and around it, and what physical and psychological sensation (always cross-linked in the use of our senses) it generates.

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

Jonas Wijtenburg

This show clearly invites the viewer to do the same.

Jonas Wijtenburg

Jonas Wijtenburg

Alexandre Lavet

Alexandre Lavet

Alexandre Lavet

Whether you want to see through Farrar’s hazy sweat paintings (and indeed they are more than paintings, as many paintings in last spring’s show also were) or through the obstructions of history (decay, building, repression, liberation) in Wijtenburg’s impressive Becoming/Unbecoming/Rebecoming works; whether

Alexandre Lavet

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

Joseph Montgomery

you experience the corporeality of abstraction in Montgomery’s works as well as in Overdijk’s sculptures, or the physical desire to escape the daily world and recoil yourself in the mind in Lavet’s I would prefer not to, it is clear sculpture always needs you as a partner.

Jonas Wijtenburg

Jonas Wijtenburg

Jonas Wijtenburg

Maarten Overdijk

Maarten Overdijk

As such Body Building has become a group exhibition of great eloquence and a great pendant to last year’s Stretch Release.

Maarten Overdijk

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

 

Bertus Pieters

Paul Beumer, The message of the flower is the flower; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Some time ago i visited Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery’s present exhibition of works by Paul Beumer to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

As i have written quite extensively about the show on VLR i just leave you here with some shots of details of the show. Do go there yourself to get the complete picture!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

©Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Paul Beumer and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

 

Bertus Pieters

Jacqueline de Jong, Imagination à rebours; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Jacqueline de Jong’s (1939) biography reads like an artistic history of western Europe from the Second World War onwards.

Oddly enough, in the Netherlands she doesn’t have the fame she deserves, for her work as a visual artist, but also as an international key role player, for instance as founder, publisher and editor of The Situationist Times in the 1960s.

She belongs to a generation that shaped modern and postmodern western Europe and played an important role in it, always in favour of crossing borders in artistic expression.

Dürst Britt & Mayhew were happy enough to get in touch with her and finding her more than willing to co-operate in organising a modest but impressive exhibition of her paintings, spanning some five decades.

Here are some impressions of her works presently on show, but i strongly advise you to take your time and have a look yourself.

Dürst Britt & Mayhew, as usual, honour the works in the best way they can, giving the viewer time and space to reflect on what he/she sees.

It is thrilling to see even her most recent works full of painterly energy, often both wildly expressive and meticulously detailed and balanced in one painting, and combining humour and violence.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to Jacqueline de Jong and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag.

 

Bertus Pieters

Stretch Release; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Kristan Kennedy

For those bickering and whining about the end of painting or about its constant renewal or about its being alive or dead: stop it and visit Stretch Release at Dürst Britt & Mayhew.

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Kristan Kennedy

Paul Beumer

Paul Beumer

Kristan Kennedy

Kristan Kennedy

Even if you don’t have those qualms, you’d better take a look.

Kristan Kennedy

Kristan Kennedy

Alexis Teplin

Alexis Teplin

It’s a very good show on painting and very well presented.

David Roth

Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke

Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke

Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke

Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke

Take a closer look at works by Mark Barrow and Sarah Parke, Paul Beumer, Koen Doodeman, Marije Gertenbach, Kristan Kennedy, David Roth and Alexis Teplin.

Paul Beumer

Paul Beumer

Paul Beumer

David Roth

David Roth

Take a closer look and realise that conventional painting as you have known it has been a matter of weaving and painting, from the late renaissance onward, when painting on canvas became the omnipresent practice, or many centuries earlier, ever since man has been wearing coloured textiles.

David Roth

David Roth

Marije Gertenbach

Marije Gertenbach

Mark Barrow

Take a closer look and realise that in the end it is always the material that has the last word.

Mark Barrow

Alexis Teplin

Alexis Teplin

Paul Beumer

Paul Beumer

Take a closer look and realise that some of these works (some more than others) are both extremely intimate and heavily depersonalised in one way or another.

Koen Doodeman

Koen Doodeman

Alexis Teplin

Koen Doodeman

To be short: take a closer look.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists, Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery and all other parties involved.

Bertus Pieters

Raúl Ortega Ayala, The Zone; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

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Loss causes wounds, both psychologically and physically.

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A wound can be seen as a trace of suffering.

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Traces, as far as they are visible, are subjected to aesthetics, whether you like it or not, and as such they are subjects for the visual arts.

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Absence is a manifestation of loss, and so becomes part of the traces of loss.

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These closely related aspects come together in The Zone, a project by Raúl Ortega Ayala (1973), presented by Dürst Britt & Mayhew.

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The Zone is a video, lasting more than half an hour, made in the restricted area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine.

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However, the film is not just another expression of morbid aesthetics or another tear-jerking documentary about human suffering.

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In fact it is very much alive.

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History becomes very much part of the present and becomes timeless as well as time-worn when you see the different seasons in the area and the people who tell their memories and walk around in the places where they once lived, worked and enjoyed themselves.

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The Zone is supplemented with photographs which act like a decor and, as they are very well presented, act as a kind of vestibule to the video.

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In the front part of the gallery Ortega shows three renditions of x-rayed pictures.

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Under the paintings by Hodges, Van Gogh and the Le Nains are completely different pictures, which are lost for humanity but are being made visible again, with traces of the present paintings over them.

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Again they are traces of absence, of loss. It is great how Dürst Britt & Mayhew changed their gallery again to present this work, so, go there and take your time to see it all!

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Raúl Ortega Ayala and Dürst Britt & Mayhew.

 

Bertus Pieters

Alexandre Lavet: La cigarette n’a pas le même goût au soleil; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

“I don’t agree with the speed of visual perception. I think that ordinarily art takes time. And if something is worth looking at, you want to look at it again and again. I think basically art is meditative.”

Donald Judd (interviewed by Claudia Jolles, 1990)

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Alexandre Lavet has made an exhibition of conceptual art avant la lettre at Dürst Britt & Mayhew‘s.

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You may also call it post-conceptual as every detail is labelled more or less as a collector’s item, but, on the other hand, it is a successful show as far as i am concerned.

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It is all about looking and seeing in the first place.

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It is like walking in the empty spaces in between the objects of a gigantic still-life, with the objects missing that is.

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The small items Lavet has left in the room, apart from the dust, are not all what they seem.

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Reality becomes trompe l’oeil and vice versa.

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It is up to you as a visitor to have your thoughts about that and all other aspects that may spring to mind.

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As such these small things may have a maximum input on your behaviour, your thoughts (which may be contradictory) and in the end: your remembrances.

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So, go and have a look for yourself and try to have the same care for the items Lavet had when making and collecting them and composing this particular constellation in the gallery.

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It may not change your world, but it may influence the way you’ll look at art exhibitions a bit.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Alexandre Lavet and Dürst Britt & Mayhew

Bertus Pieters

Wieske Wester, double you double you; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

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Wieske Wester (1985) shows paintings and drawings at Dürst Britt & Mayhew’s.

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Her style is reminiscent of neo-expressionism of the early 1980s.

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However there is no Hunger nach Bilder in her works,

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not explicitly anyway as she likes to obscure rather than to clarify.

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She indulges in her materials as she indulges in her subjects and their ambiguity.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Content of all pictures courtesy to Wieske Wester and Dürst Britt & Mayhew.

Bertus Pieters