Art The Hague is quite a small fair but it takes some time to see it all. There is a kind of limbo before you enter the real art fair,
which gives you the idea that things are not really important in that vestibule. The Hague Historical Museum shows some pictures of its sympathetic project Den Haag, Stad van aankomst (The Hague, City of Arrival) by Conny Luhulima and Geert van Kesteren, while
WTC-Gallery shows some expressive postmodernity to fit modern suburbia, with amongst others this diorama by Demiak. And further on?
Well, they probably forgot to put this sculpture by Joachim De Block in its right place and left it in limbo to be ignored by the visitors. And on entering the great hall
you might think you entered a luxury poster shop, but
do turn left to Seasons Gallery to take a look at Gerard Verdijk’s paintings. Verdijk (1934-2005) was one of the best painters in The Hague.
Work by Lauren Hillebrandt at With Tsjalling, playing with colour, shape and meaning.
Gallery Project 0.2 shows Denis Rouvre who always uses the same clair-obscure, presented by the gallery in an aesthetic, stark and clean way. A modern way of having trophies on your wall. But
why do i think Rouvre’s work is slick and this drawing by Arike Gill (at Vonkel Gallery) isn’t?
Talking about slick photography (and there is quite a lot on show), you can’t say Merijn Koelink’s pictures are slick. He concentrated on the use of LED in public places at night. Colour, light and dark tell a story here with more aspects. Koelink is a fresh graduate of the The Hague Royal Academy (at A Gallery Named Sue).
Helder Gallery shows, amongst others, sculptures by Willem Speekenbrink and paintings by Jakob de Jonge who will both have an exhibition at the gallery soon.
This year some Belgian galleries are represented at the fair. Amongst others Eastmen Gallery with works by Kamagurka and
by Gommaar Gilliams, a painter who isn’t very well known in this country.
Nouvelles Images gallery shows, amongst others, geometric abstract works by Cor van Dijk (very fine sculpture) and
Ditty Ketting (painting).
Some galleries give special attention to just one or two artists. Others who don’t, have sometimes difficulties in showing where their priorities are, like Van Hoof Gallery (is it just aesthetics? funny but silent pets?),
Chiefs and Spirits (art from Africa? art from elsewhere? and why exactly this choice?)
or Het Bouwhuis (the aesthetics of nature? or aesthetics based on nature?).
Compared to these Bob Smit Gallery has no qualms showing what it stands for, as these works by Stefan Gross show.
At Mirta Demare gallery Sandro Setola silently steals the show, while
in the next booth Buro Rotterdam has a small but very fine solo presentation of works by Olaf Mooij who gave cars a different, more organic life (and who also made the sculpture you can see on the very first picture of this posting).
Next year herman de vries wil represent the Netherlands at the Venice Biennial and as such he has been given a booth of his own.
That you can perfectly well show quite a few different artists in one booth without losing your identity as a gallery is shown by Ramakers gallery
and Heden, the place in The Hague where you can borrow art. Heden also
shows work by Anne Forest who will have an exhibition there soon.
Livingstone gallery pays some extra attention to small but very fine works by Jan Wattjes, while
Dom’Arte shows amongst others works by Marc Mulders and
But the best prominent and defining features of Art The Hague are the informal solo presentations, away from the egalitarian dictatorship of the white cube.
On the ground floor is a presentation of works by sculptors who graduated from Belgian Academies this year. They all exhibit interesting work. I’ll give an impression here without comments: Jean-Loup Leclerq,
Jeroen Van der Fraenen,
Joachim De Block and
On the second floor there are some special presentations by galleries,
again without much comment: Livingstone shows Simon Schrikker’s marvellous Pulpo series together with the stop motion video he made with it;
Bob Smit Gallery shows that being over the top says more about art and society than just being slick,
as shown here by Pieter W. Postma;
Helder gallery has an impressive combination of works by Willem Speekenbrink (sculpture),
Jochem Rotteveel (paintings with duct tape) and
Roland Sohier (drawings); and
Ramakers gallery shows Joncquil’s fine series 60 Ways to Hold a Rope.
Although the exhibition has no real surprises, this year’s edition is stronger than last year’s,
but it could be much stronger.