Soundwaves, Dick Raaijmakers and Sonologie; GEM, The Hague

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013) was a great pioneer in electronic acoustics, in its technique but also as a composer.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

In fact he was such a multifaceted and inventive figure that looking at his heritage all descriptions of him seem to fall short.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

Presently GEM honours him by showing his Ideophone III of 1971, and works by younger artists, who, in one way or another, have followed in his footsteps.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

Of the other works Yota Morimoto’s (1981) look the most akin to Raaijmakers’ Ideophone in their sculptural qualities.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

One could call them, with some modernist aplomb, sculptures of sound, with the notion that creating sound waves not just generates sounds and vibrations but also forms with an aesthetics dictated by technology.

Babara Ellison, Dick Raaijmakers

In Barbara Ellison’s (1973) work Phantasmas Materialis the whole idea of sculpture is meant to be turned into the imagination of the visitor who can listen and see (inward or outward) from the comfort of a lounge chair.

Bram Vreven

Bram Vreven

The extremely soft and silent work by Bram Vreven (1973) just shows vibrations in an almost classicist white way.

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

In his great installation Das ist die Tradition: Du füllst das Glas und trinkst es leer (That is the tradition: you fill the glass and drink it empty) Matthias König (1987) refers to German carnival traditions, their deep rooted pre-Christian  popular customs and exuberance, mixed with present day sound and colour systems.

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Video and sound (from his own composition) are whirling through each other, constantly reshaping the symbols of tradition.

Yota Morimoto

The whole exhibition, as such, is maybe the first one that really successfully fits into GEM’s new space, bringing together such diverse works as Vreven’s unobtrusive object and König’s spectacular installation and balancing the whole with Morimoto’s and Raaijmakers’ works.

Yota Morimoto

However it also makes you wonder if a far bigger exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum wouldn’t have been more appropriate, as many other artists are working in the field of sonology, and who need a much bigger audience than the visitors of GEM, which now seems to be a kind of bonus for visiting the Fotomuseum (Museum for Photography).

Yota Morimoto

Give sound more space; it is worth it!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to all artists, the estate of Dick Raaijmakers and GEM, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters


Maaike Schoorel, London | Rome | New York | Amsterdam; GEM, The Hague

As it happened, i entered GEM to see Maaike Schoorel’s (1973) show together with a couple.

The man walked around for a few seconds, came back to his lady and said it’s all empty spaces, there’s really nothing to be seen in these paintings.

The lady smiled at me understandingly and said well, somebody has to paint that too and they left the exhibition.

Maybe painting just wasn’t the couple’s cup of tea.

On the other hand it also shows what is going on in Schoorel’s paintings.

She makes abstractions of common themes like interiors, still lifes, portraits etc, usually based on photographs.

Her ways of abstraction are purely intuitive.

She minimalises the information, but not in a minimalist way.

Whether you recognise the picture or not isn’t really important.

In a way they all look like moments of just awakening, the moment you start looking, but still not realising what you really see.

Or they are like loud music heard from far.

When making pictures of these paintings i realised that photographs won’t give you any idea of them.

That is my regular conclusion, but with Schoorel’s work this is all the more true.

I am a great admirer of these works, but Schoorel’s way of painting may also become a kind of mannerism.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Maaike Schoorel and GEM, Den Haag


Bertus Pieters

Ante Timmermans, O0; GEM, The Hague

Ante Timmermans 01

I went to GEM to write a review about Ante Timmermans’ first Dutch solo show for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the full review (in Dutch).


Ante Timmermans 03

This blog post only serves to show some extra footage of Timmermans’ works.

Ante Timmermans 04

Ante Timmermans 05

Ante Timmermans 06

It’s a particularly fine show.

Ante Timmermans 07


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Ante Timmermans 12

Ante Timmermans 13

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Ante Timmermans 29

There’s a big installation in the basement of the gallery, made with older and newer works.

Ante Timmermans 30

Ante Timmermans 31

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Ante Timmermans 34










On the ground floor there is an exhibition of Timmermans’ drawings.


[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Contents of the pictures courtesy Ante Timmermans and GEM The Hague.


Bertus Pieters

Now or never #3 (supplement), GEM, The Hague

Martin Gabriel 01

When i visited Now or never #3 at GEM for the first time i reported here that Martin Gabriel’s video game Realm wasn’t working. On Boxing Day I popped in again and now the game was working. So here are some screen shots from Realm by Martin Gabriel with me pushing the buttons. Go and play!

Martin Gabriel 02
Martin Gabriel 03
Martin Gabriel 04
Martin Gabriel 05
Martin Gabriel 06
Martin Gabriel 07
Martin Gabriel 08
Martin Gabriel 09
Martin Gabriel 10
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Now or never #3, GEM, The Hague

NON03 01

In Now or never #3 GEM presents artists who graduated from the Royal Academy (Koninklijke Academie – KABK) in The Hague in 2014 and 2015. This year’s is a particularly good edition, not just because of the good artists but also because their works are very well exhibited. There is a sense of unity in the show in spite of all the differences. Every artist has a space of his/her own.

NON03 02 Mirthe Klück
NON03 03 Mirthe Klück
NON03 04 Mirthe Klück
NON03 05 Mirthe Klück
NON03 06 Mirthe Klück
NON03 07 Mirthe Klück
NON03 08 Mirthe Klück

Some of Mirthe Klück’s works were shown at a small exhibition in Billytown’s Kitchen this summer (I reported about it here). I am eagerly awaiting even more new works.

NON03 09 Bjorn Barendse
NON03 10 Bjorn Barendse
NON03 11 Bjorn Barendse
NON03 12 Bjorn Barendse
NON03 13 Bjorn Barendse
NON03 14 Bjorn Barendse
NON03 15 Bjorn Barendse

The setting of Bjorn Barendse’s work in this show could hardly differ more from his presentation at the graduation show this year at the Royal Academy. His works, open to different interpretations, work very well together as an installation, as they did in his graduation show, but there is more breathing space for them in the GEM’s setting.

NON03 16 Jordan Herregraven
NON03 17 Jordan Herregraven
NON03 18 Jordan Herregraven
NON03 19 Jordan Herregraven
NON03 20 Jordan Herregraven

The works of Jordan Herregraven seem to be animal embodiments of human nature and compared to Herregraven’s graduation show they look quite naked and vulnerable in the bright lights of the GEM.

NON03 21 Martin Gabriel
NON03 22 Martin Gabriel
NON03 23 Martin Gabriel
NON03 24 Martin Gabriel
NON03 25 Martin Gabriel

Martin Gabriel mixes virtual reality, “real” reality and inner space in his paintings and computerworks.

NON03 26 Martin Gabriel

A very recent and quite interesting interactive work was on show at Noordwal 117 during Haags Hoogtij (the seasonal gallery night in The Hague). Disappointingly the program didn’t work when I visited GEM (please GEM/Gemeentemuseum, take care of these kind of things!).

NON03 27 Juuke Schoorl
NON03 28 Juuke Schoorl
NON03 29 Juuke Schoorl
NON03 30 Juuke Schoorl

Juuke Schoorl applies the human skin as artistic material in video and photography.

NON03 31 Elise Sothys
NON03 32 Elise Sothys
NON03 33 Elise Sothys
NON03 34 Elise Sothys
NON03 35 Elise Sothys

In the GEM Elise Sothys’ word-works have far more impact than they had in her graduation show. The you-me relationship between work of art and viewer in Sothys’ case is a strong and egocentric one that doesn’t tolerate any visual noise by other artists.

NON03 36 Lynne Brouwer
NON03 37 Lynne Brouwer
NON03 38 Lynne Brouwer
NON03 39 Lynne Brouwer
NON03 40 Lynne Brouwer

Lynne Brouwer explores the colours in waiting rooms etc. Though her photo book is interesting, i don’t very much see the point in her more monumental photo works. What is the point in duplicating the waiting room experience?

NON03 41 Vincent Both
NON03 42 Vincent Both

Vincent Both paints and draws on paper, or rather, he seems to draw from the paper, like a writer who sees his paper and thinks his text may be more in the paper than on it.

NON03 43 Olya Oleinic
NON03 44 Olya Oleinic
NON03 45 Olya Oleinic
NON03 46 Olya Oleinic

Olya Oleinic shows her Universal guide to everything again.

NON03 47 Mickey Yang
NON03 48 Mickey Yang
NON03 49 Mickey Yang
NON03 50 Mickey Yang
NON03 51 Mickey Yang

Those who admired Mickey Yang’s graduation show, as i did, will be familiar with her works presently on show.

NON03 52 Mickey Yang

I remember there should be smoke coming from this bowl, but didn’t see it when i visited GEM.

NON03 53 Esther Hovers
NON03 54 Esther Hovers
NON03 55 Esther Hovers
NON03 56 Esther Hovers
NON03 57 Esther Hovers
NON03 58 Esther Hovers
NON03 59 Esther Hovers

Esther Hovers’ presentation is about people in public space as seen by surveillance cameras. People become usually de-individualized in public space, but from the point of view of surveillance and security each person becomes an individual in another way. What’s more, these individuals could be you or me. What are you hiding in public space, while walking there? What makes you change your mind on a street corner?

NON03 60 Rixt de Boer
NON03 61 Rixt de Boer
NON03 62 Rixt de Boer

Rixt de Boer shows a video-essay-triptych about haystacks in relation to people and landscape in Central Europe. Surprisingly, the haystack is a monument of solidity in this work. It is also a peaceful and pastoral finish to this fine exhibition.

(More pictures of the graduation shows can be seen here and here)
(full reviews in Dutch of the graduation shows can be read here and here)

NON03 63
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Mark van Overeem, A Wish in Return; GEM, The Hague


It is a splendid idea to give Mark van Overeem a solo show in the GEM. Van Overeem’s works of the last years are very explorative and it was about time to bring some works together.


Part of the exhibition is the installation A Wish in Return, specially made by Van Overeem for the basement of the gallery.


The installation is based on Van Overeem’s experiences in Israel with the wall that separates Israeli claimed territory from Palestine.

Mark van Overeem 05

GEM provides the visitor with a grey blanket and a flashlight to explore the installation, which i did.

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Mark van Overeem 07

Within the framework of a dark park along concrete walls Van Overeem confronts you with his games of projection, reflection, duplication and false and real shadows.

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Mark van Overeem 09

He plays more or less the same kind of games in the rooms of the gallery’s ground floor.

Mark van Overeem 10

You may constantly ask yourself the question, is this real?

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Mark van Overeem 12

And if something is not real, why isn’t it, or why shouldn’t it be real?

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What is the definition of something real?

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Mark van Overeem 15

What makes a photographic image more real than a photo-like painting?

Mark van Overeem 16

What is the reality of perspective?

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Mark van Overeem 18

Well, it is Plato all over again, i guess, but with different outcomes.

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Mark van Overeem 20

Altogether it is a very enjoyable exhibition, showing the works of an artist who is a strong visual thinker in the first place.

Mark van Overeem 21
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Mark Bradford, No Time to Expand the Sea; GEM, The Hague


I must admit that initially i wasn’t very enthusiastic to go and see Mark Bradford’s present show at GEM, No Time to Expand the Sea. “Just another American artist, branded with a nice personal success story, who makes big and expensive works,” i thought; and

Mark Bradford 02

the first room in the gallery didn’t really convince me. A 23 m long work called Sexy Cash Wall shows Bradford’s social credentials in a more or less artistic way.


In the same room is A Siren Beside a Ship, which is nice, looking a bit like a giant finger print, but


the only work that really attracted my attention was The Winged Turtle.




the great room of the gallery is very convincing in both the works and the presentation.


(Untitled triptych with fender)


(No Time to Expand the Sea).


(Sea Monster)


(The Tongue in the Middle of the Port)

In this room the works breathe better and they don’t bite each other as they are all good and interesting works which made me lose my initial distrust. Some pictures in full can be seen here in the review (in Dutch) i wrote for Villa La Repubblica.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters