Yaïr Callender, For the vision of Abou Ben Adhem; 1646, The Hague

Yaïr Callender (1987) is an artist with a great feeling for monumentality.

As he has shown in earlier works, monumentality to him is not just a matter of size and proportions, neither is it about an object to mark a certain event or to remember a special person.

In his kind of monumentality Callender wants to communicate with the public, or, like here in 1646, a gallery space, with the audience.

What his monumentality communicates is a celebration of knowledge, the spiritual and the social, three big columns of humanity.

Although he is clearly inspired by the greater and smaller monuments of global art history, he doesn’t feel the need to impress the audience.

His eclecticism isn’t for postmodern quasi-intellectual self-referential intertextuality, it wants to speak to the mind, foster reflection, imagination and communality.

He doesn’t want you to take part, he wants it to take part in you.

Abou Ben Adhem, who appears in the title of Callender’s present installation, is a fictional figure from a poem by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), one of the minor poets of the days of early English Romanticism.

The poem, which is quite well-known in England, tells about Abou Ben Adhem, who dreams of peace and who sees an angel in the moonlight of his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, and who declares to the angel that he is one that loves his fellow men, and, not really one who love(s) the Lord.

The angel writes in a book of gold, and reappears to Abou Ben Adhem the next night with a great wakening light.

The third protagonist in the poem is the Lord, whose messenger is the angel and who blesses Abou Ben Adhem in the end for loving his fellow men.

The poem obviously served as an inspiration to Callender as you can tell from his use of light and dark in the installation, allusions to day and night, the warmth of the light (just take a seat and feel it!), finding peace and comfort for and in life and death, and the spiritual in communication when you share a water pipe (which you can imagine Abou Ben Adhem might have done).

Callender’s monumentality is particularly warm hearted, even if you haven’t read about Abou Ben Adhem (for which it is, i’m afraid, a bit too late now).

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all pictures courtesy to Yaïr Callender and 1646, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Out of Home; Noordwal 117, The Hague

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Out of Home was a pop-up exhibition at Noordwal 117 with works by Iliada Charalambous and Yair Callender (and in the evenings a dance performance by Styliana Apostolou, which i’m afraid i had to miss). Was, as it only lasted for three days.

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Charalambous gives you a sense of place in that, as a native Cypriote, her ideas originate from the Mediterranean.

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That may sound like a cliché, but it is far from that. Her works may evoke a feeling of remembrance, a faint recognition and both shattered and revived dreams, based as it is on ceramics.

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Although her presentation looks less monumental than her intriguing graduation show at the Royal Academy The Hague last summer, i feel this one is more eloquent, probably also because of the interaction with works by Callender.

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Callender has really come of age artistically and i’m eagerly hoping for a solo presentation in the neighbourhood somewhere in the near future.

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His presentation is also less monumental than one may expect, but again with great eloquence.

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His language is one of volumes, giving his works the outlook of building designs.

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In this case he has combined the homeliness of furniture and decoration, their idea, meaning and the relationship between volume and detail.

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Noordwal 117 will close next year like LocatieZ and Billytown leaving the artists desperate for a new place to work and present their art. Please The Hague, don’t make your artists a bunch of stray cats. Be proud of them and they’ll be proud of you! Art isn’t just about an expensive, prestigious, problematic building in the town centre. It’s about imagination and development, two things you dearly need next year and after.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Content of all pictures courtesy to Iliada Charalambous and Yair Callender.

 

Bertus Pieters

Exchanging Intimacies; Quartair, The Hague

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Today on my way home i popped in at Quartair for a flying visit to Exchanging Intimacies, a very short running show of 5 Czech and 5 Dutch young artists.

Jozef Mrva, Trump Landscape

Jozef Mrva: Trump Landscape

Jozef Mrva, Trump Landscape

Jozef Mrva: Trump Landscape

Filip Dvorak; Untitled, from the Force Majeure series

Filip Dvorak: Untitled, from the Force Majeure series

Filip Dvorak; Untitled, from the Force Majeure series

Filip Dvorak: Untitled, from the Force Majeure series

Katerina Konarovska: Evil twin

Katerina Konarovska: Evil twin

The 10 artists decided to make an exciting, communicative and communal show that will move to Prague later next week (21 to 30 October).

Katerina Konarovska: Evil twin

Katerina Konarovska: Evil twin

Frank Niessen: Untitled

Frank Niessen: Untitled

Frank Niessen: Untitled

Frank Niessen: Untitled

Bjorn Barendse: For the love of Mario

Bjorn Barendse: For the love of Mario

Bjorn Barendse: Memories of Egypt & the desert camel

Bjorn Barendse: Memories of Egypt & the desert camel

The works are on show in The Hague only this week.

Stepanka Sigmundova: Falling MIR

Stepanka Sigmundova: Falling MIR

Stepanka Sigmundova: Falling MIR

Stepanka Sigmundova: Falling MIR

Martin Gabriel: André in the super position

Martin Gabriel: André in the super position

Martin Gabriel: Untitled realm

Martin Gabriel: Untitled realm

Rixt de Boer: Traces of wandering

Rixt de Boer: Traces of wandering

The boys and girls did a very good and energetic job indeed!

Rixt de Boer: Traces of wandering

Rixt de Boer: Traces of wandering

Yair Callender: Relational Imagery

Yair Callender: Relational Imagery

Yair Callender: Relational Imagery

Yair Callender: Relational Imagery

Vincent Both: Untitled

Vincent Both: Untitled

Vincent Both: Untitled

Vincent Both: Untitled

I just left when preparations were made for a lecture (sorry folks, i had to give that a miss).

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Content of all images courtesy to the artists and Quartair

 

Bertus Pieters

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

Trial & Triumph, Royal Academy, The Hague

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At the Royal Academy (KABK) there is at the moment a farewell exhibition for Johan van Oord, head of the Fine Arts department for the last 13 years. Dürst Britt & Mayhew have curated a show featuring works by twelve former students. It’s called Trial & Triumph, not exactly an understatement, but it’s a good show. I wrote a review about it for Villa La Repubblica (you can read it here in Dutch and there are some more pictures too) so I leave you with some pictures which may give you an impression of some things that caught my eye. Take it as an appetizer for a must-see!

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

Wieske Wester

Front: very minimal installation by Kianoosh Motallebi; back: works by Wieteke Heldens

Front: very minimal installation by Kianoosh Motallebi; back: works by Wieteke Heldens

Maja Klaassens

Maja Klaassens

Maja Klaassens

Maja Klaassens

Wieteke Heldens

Wieteke Heldens

Wieteke Heldens

Wieteke Heldens

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Maarten Boekweit

Myung Feyen

Myung Feyen

Myung Feyen

Myung Feyen

Myung Feyen

Myung Feyen

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Femmy Otten

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Eric Peter

Pim Blokker

Pim Blokker

Pim Blokker

Pim Blokker

Pim Blokker

Pim Blokker

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

Nare Eloyan

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

The Holls Collective

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Yair Callender

Front: Statue of Johan van Oord by The Holls Collective; back: work by Nare Eloyan

Front: Statue of Johan van Oord by The Holls Collective; back: work by Nare Eloyan

T&T 54

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters