Notoriously, composer Karlheinz Stockhausen said about the 9/11 Attacks: Well, what happened there is, of course (….) the biggest work of art there has ever been.
By that time – it was a few days after the traumatising acts of terror – this caused controversy.
On the other hand the English are their cruel king Henry VIII still grateful for turning their gothic abbeys into romantic ruins.
Destruction can be horrible and may be cruel, but undeniably it also produces visions of transformation, and that has its own aesthetics.
Works by four artists who occupy themselves in one way or another with change and the passing of time are presently on show at Maurits van de Laar Gallery.
Olphaert den Otter (1955) shows places of destruction in his series World Stress Paintings.
The delicateness and smallness of his tempera paintings form a stark contrast to the manmade catastrophes he actually shows.
Marjolijn van der Meij (1970) deforms her works by crumpling them and reworking them.
Again, the cruelty of the act becomes a base for an extremely delicate way of sculpture that catches light and dark and gives new content to what is actually shown.
Tobias Lengkeek (1991) is looking for the aesthetics of what you may call slow destruction, the decay you may meet with at any moment of the day in any place around you.
These moments and places and the transition they represent are the base for his very painterly paintings.
The slow but momentous visions of destruction inspire his aesthetics, even to the point where you can see the destruction in the paintings themselves.
Martin Gabriel (1991) is probably the least destructive in his works.
He combines painting, collage and the language of computer games in his works.
He digitises and de-digitises, dragging the venerable art of painting into the digital maelstrom of the contemporary and redefining real and digital time and space.
All four artists are trying to find a way of living with sometimes horrific, sometimes sneaking changes in our lives and to redefine aesthetics in the process.
It makes for an interesting and fine show in which works by two ‘older’ artists are confronted with those of a younger generation.
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]
© Villa Next Door 2017
Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag