Art The Hague 2016; Fokker terminal, The Hague

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Art fairs aren’t the most exciting places to see real surprises and Art The Hague is no exception, in spite of it calling itself ‘quirky’.

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To be honest, compared to last year the ascending line seems to have levelled.

Klaas Gubbels - Rento Brattinga

Klaas Gubbels – Rento Brattinga

Pieter de Krom - Vonkel

Pieter de Krom – Vonkel

In the offices next to the hangar (places where you might expect something interesting in the very short tradition of this fair in this place) there is little reason for excitement.

Marie Pop - Vonkel

Marie Pop – Vonkel

Ko Aarts - Rento Brattinga

Ko Aarts – Rento Brattinga

Johannes Langkamp - A Gallery Named Sue

Johannes Langkamp – A Gallery Named Sue

Although some interesting items are on show, the arrangements are a bit messy (the best presentations are the rooms of Livingstone gallery and Rento Brattinga), and the Blueprint presentation shouldn’t even be mentioned.

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries - Nouvelles Images

Auke de Vries – Nouvelles Images

Central to the hangar, which serves as the main hall, is Nouvelles Images gallery’s presentation of works by Auke de Vries, one of the grand old men of Dutch sculpture.

Lotte van Lieshout - Galerie Wit

Lotte van Lieshout – Galerie Wit

Ruben Terlou - Galerie Fontana

Ruben Terlou – Galerie Fontana

Ruben Terlou - Galerie Fontana

Ruben Terlou – Galerie Fontana

Miranda Meijer - A Gallery Named Sue

Miranda Meijer – A Gallery Named Sue

Hernán Ardila Delgado - A Gallery Named Sue

Hernán Ardila Delgado – A Gallery Named Sue

Geert Baas - Galerie Ramakers

Geert Baas – Galerie Ramakers

Eric de Vries - WTC Rotterdam Art Gallery

Eric de Vries – WTC Rotterdam Art Gallery

Further on in the hangar it was the usual stuff, including – of course – some real gems.

Kevin Bauer - Galerie Helder

Kevin Bauer – Galerie Helder

Micha Patiniott - Heden

Micha Patiniott – Heden

Summer Matthews - Aboriginal Art Gallery

Summer Matthews – Aboriginal Art Gallery

Coen Vernooij - Gallery 0-68

Coen Vernooij – Gallery 0-68

Coen Vernooij - Gallery 0-68

Coen Vernooij – Gallery 0-68

Unknown artist - WTC The Hague Art Gallery

Unknown artist – WTC The Hague Art Gallery

Marc Mulders - Galerie Dom'Arte

Marc Mulders – Galerie Dom’Arte

Still, i know it is a hell of a job organising an annual art fair, but it would be about time to outgrow a bit the sedate image of this town.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

However, the best place to be is outside and behind the building: it’s Dirty Daisies, a co-operation of 15 artists from The Hague and Amsterdam.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

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Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies is curated by Steef Crombach and there is some good stuff on show.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

The artists are: Candela Bado, Zeno Beikircher, Yair Callender, Daniel Dmyszewicz, Frederik & Jacob, Doris Hardeman, Josje Hattink, Bas Kaufmann, Koolen & Van de Lande, Tobias Lengkeek, Leslie Nagel, Jeannette Slütter, Marnix van Uum and Victor Yudaev.

Dirty Daisies

Dirty Daisies

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and galleries

 

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

Art The Hague, Fokker Terminal, The Hague

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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,

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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

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WTC-Gallery shows some expressive postmodernity to fit modern suburbia, with amongst others this diorama by Demiak. And further on?

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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

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you might think you entered a luxury poster shop, but

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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.

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Work by Lauren Hillebrandt at With Tsjalling, playing with colour, shape and meaning.

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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

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why do i think Rouvre’s work is slick and this drawing by Arike Gill (at Vonkel Gallery) isn’t?

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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).

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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.

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This year some Belgian galleries are represented at the fair. Amongst others Eastmen Gallery with works by Kamagurka and

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by Gommaar Gilliams, a painter who isn’t very well known in this country.

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Nouvelles Images gallery shows, amongst others, geometric abstract works by Cor van Dijk (very fine sculpture) and

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Ditty Ketting (painting).

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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?),

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Chiefs and Spirits (art from Africa? art from elsewhere? and why exactly this choice?)

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or Het Bouwhuis (the aesthetics of nature? or aesthetics based on nature?).

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Compared to these Bob Smit Gallery has no qualms showing what it stands for, as these works by Stefan Gross show.

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At Mirta Demare gallery Sandro Setola silently steals the show, while

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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).

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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.

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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

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and Heden, the place in The Hague where you can borrow art. Heden also

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shows work by Anne Forest who will have an exhibition there soon.

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Livingstone gallery pays some extra attention to small but very fine works by Jan Wattjes, while

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Dom’Arte shows amongst others works by Marc Mulders and

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Han Klinkhamer.

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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.

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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,

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Marjorie Kapelusz,

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Clara Gallet,

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Jeroen Van der Fraenen,

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Joachim De Block and

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Ruben Podevyn.

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On the second floor there are some special presentations by galleries,

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again without much comment: Livingstone shows Simon Schrikker’s marvellous Pulpo series together with the stop motion video he made with it;

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Bob Smit Gallery shows that being over the top says more about art and society than just being slick,

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as shown here by Pieter W. Postma;

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Helder gallery has an impressive combination of works by Willem Speekenbrink (sculpture),

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Jochem Rotteveel (paintings with duct tape) and

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Roland Sohier (drawings); and

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Ramakers gallery shows Joncquil’s fine series 60 Ways to Hold a Rope.

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Although the exhibition has no real surprises, this year’s edition is stronger than last year’s,

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but it could be much stronger.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters