Jonas Raps; Heden, The Hague

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Young Jonas Raps (1992) is a very talented painter.

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Let that be clear.

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His compositions and his use of colour look solid, sound and enjoyable.

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In his present exhibition at Heden, held to commemorate his obtaining the Heden Startprijs (Heden Start Prize) a year ago, he shows some new oil paintings as well as a mural in egg tempera.

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That’s all very well – i’d say his paintings are even too solid and sound – but what really interests me are his sketchbooks.

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They show quite another Jonas Raps, a very direct one, one with different shapes, taken from reality and fantasy, but generally grown from the materials.

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They are the worlds behind his paintings.

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They show his fascination with colours, with shapes, sometimes cartoonlike, sometimes more abstract, with movement, with character and expression, with content and the lack of it, they show his doubts and his certainties, to be short, everything that seems to stay hidden behind the solidity of his paintings.

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Clearly, Raps possesses gold, but it needs more digging.

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But i’m sure he will dig on and show us some unexpected stuff.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Contents of the pictures courtesy Jonas Raps and Heden.

 

Bertus Pieters

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Bekroond (Crowned), WTC The Hague Art Gallery, The Hague

Maarten van Soest

Maarten van Soest

World Trade Centre The Hague has a small art gallery, like many official or representative institutions. Works on show at WTC are usually surprisingly good and the present show is no exception. On show are works by four young artists who were awarded prizes last year or who were nominees, as well as by four other artists.

Jouni Toni

Jouni Toni

However, the gallery space itself is far more problematic. When I visited, two of the three works by Jouni Toni (Royal Prize for free painting) were victim of the sharp midwinter afternoon sunshine.

Jouni Toni

Jouni Toni

And please ladies and gentlemen, Toni’s works are far too good and refined to hang them askew!

Jonas Raps

Jonas Raps

Comparing, Jonas Raps’ paintings (Heden Start Prize and nominee Piketprijs) are in a better position. The honoured artists all make colourful paintings but the presentation of their works by the gallery doesn’t really match a usual arts fair presentation.

Harry Markusse

Harry Markusse

Probably not much more is possible, but one would grant such wonderful paintings as Harry Markusse’s (nominee Royal Prize)

Maarten van Soest

Maarten van Soest

 

Maarten van Soest

Maarten van Soest

and Maarten van Soest’s (nominee Royal Prize) a bit more. Both artists make very fresh looking hardcore abstract paintings.

Wim Warrink

Wim Warrink

The exhibition has a sub-exhibition called Lichting ’15 (Class of ’15) with four artists who graduated last summer. The presented works by these artists are remarkably less coloured, but not less colourful.

Nora Axnick (left), Joyce ter Weele (right)

Nora Axnick (left), Joyce ter Weele (right)

There is only one work by Nora Axnick which might have come out better in another context. In spite of its dimensions it differs too much from the very strong works by the other artists.

Romy Muijrers

Romy Muijrers

The other works are by Romy Muijrers, whose works already stood out in her graduation show last year,

 Joyce ter Weele

Joyce ter Weele

Joyce ter Weele whose works look at first glance a bit like abstract Muijrers (or the other way round) and

Wim Warrink

Wim Warrink

Wim Warrink, whose work (which was already present at last year’s Art The Hague) deserves a presentation of its own.

Wim Warrink

Wim Warrink

The sub-exhibition is, without too much direct daylight, better presented than the works of the four painters.

Jouni Toni

Jouni Toni

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Graduation Show 2015 at the Royal Academy, The Hague

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In July i visited the graduation show at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague to write a review for the Villa La Repubblica blog. Here are some photo impressions for those who didn’t attend (or for those who did).

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When entering the building the visitor was greeted amongst others by some girl power by Danicha Leliveld. The great exhibition hall opposite the entrance

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was stuffed with works by students who apparently had to be showcased by the Academy. I can’t say I was much impressed by it, although i did like this poster by Hatice Kilinç in which internal organs set themselves free from the body of a veiled woman, who is clearly not amused.

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Jordie Rovers’ photo book is by far the best part of his presentation about art as archaeology.

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Roaming the ground floor of the old building i found myself

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in the textile and fashion department.

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The most spectacular presentation was by Olivier Jehee,

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showing the visual language of power of both trash and decadence, which i enjoyed very much.

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Up to the second floor! There i saw

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a fine photo book about the migration problems in Europe (or rather the problems we created) by Hilde De Windt. Somewhere else

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at the second floor of the old building Anne Kranenborg of the interior architecture and furniture design department showed some interesting ideas.

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The most interesting presentation of that department was by Róman Kienjet who presents small found objects in small reliquaries, giving them the value of history and mythology.

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Elsewhere on the second floor

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Elske Verdoorn reported about the cultural passions of people living in the margin in The Hague. This is the presentation of Serge, one of them.

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One of the most

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impressive presentations on the second

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floor was by Liza Pace.

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Her project Going Solo

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was especially photogenic.

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The third floor of the old building has a tower with a room which contained works by three students:

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Charlotte Ursem,

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Elise Sothys and

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Marija Angelovska. All of them

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showed interesting work, but i don’t think the combination of the three worked very well,

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the personalities overpowered each other.

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Continuing my quest on the third floor

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i ran into the interesting work of Najmeh Saghaei. Her projections tear bodies apart in search of the unknown parts of the human character.

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Also on the third floor some more painters.

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Amongst them Martin Gabriel who brings the world of

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video games back to paper, cutting, pasting and painting;

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Simon Oosterhuis who made some interesting works about the human body in

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confined but expressive colour combinations;

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Jonas Raps with some fine abstract paintings and

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Bjorn Barendse, who

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made a small painting installation, which

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worked like a decorated chapel.

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In the new part of the building (or rather the rebuilt part)

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Max de Waard presented his No Rules in Space, which

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was not photogenic at all, but

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all the more interesting (and it made some good noise).

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The installations by Mickey Yang

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seemed to deal with

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the peculiarity of the slowness of life processes, while

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the objects of Victor Breton van Groll have come to a complete standstill in his presentation.

KABK15 60 Romy Muijrer
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Romy Muijrers presented some good drawing.

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While back in the old building i couldn’t resist making some pictures of Rob van der Burg’s presentation about plants with electronically improving devices which would make their lives easier.

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Leaving the building i was enthusiastic about a lot of what i had seen, but it wasn’t the absolute top year like last year’s exhibition. A good academy easily spoils the viewer.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters
Full review on Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)