A figure behind a misted window turns its face away and closes its eyes in an attempt to evade the lens of the photographer. The metro passenger is crushed between fellow-commuters and unable to move when photographer Michael Wolf points his camera at him from the other side of the glass. Over the 2010-2013 period, Wolf returned time and time again to the same metro platform in Tokyo to lie in wait for his passing prey. The result is Tokyo Compression, perhaps Wolf’s most renowned photo-series, in which he explores the subjects of privacy and voyeurism in great detail. In the densely populated world cities where Michael Wolf works, these themes are unavoidable. The Hague Museum of Photography is about to exhibit a major retrospective of Wolf’s work, stretching from his earliest years as a documentary photographer right through to relatively recent series like Architecture of Density and Transparent City.
Morgan Betz (b. 1974) is producing new work especially for the projects room at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Using a visual language that looks like a blend of Pop Art and comic strip, he has developed a highly personal idiom in which high art in the form of art history mingles with low art in the shape of comics and advertising images. In addition, Betz is exploring the way the image is applied. This is traditionally done with a paintbrush but Betz places the artist at a further remove from the canvas.
André Volten (1925 - 2002) was at the forefront of abstract sculpture in the Netherlands. Numerous sculptures, almost always in steel, are set up everywhere in the country at prominent locations such as the Stopera and the IJ-riverside in Amsterdam and the Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht. His work is often fully integrated into the surroundings. The relationship between the artwork, the environment and the spectator was always very important to Volten for his creation process. Museum Beelden aan Zee honors Volten, the Dutch master of geometric abstraction in three dimensions, with a retrospective exhibition. The exhibition will include a richly illustrated catalog with contributions by Jan Teeuwisse, Trude Hooykaas and Emma van Proosdij.
Long known for his unique combination of video, sound, performance and installation, Gary Hill has continuously offered multilayered investigations into the phenomenological nature of how we perceive the world through a network of visual, aural and linguistic signals. Exploring the cognitive and sensorial conditions that underlie our discursive modes of communication, Hill experiments with the material and sonic properties of language to offer provocative meditations upon the production of meaning within our everyday contexts, as well as highly personal poetic spaces. His works are characterized by their experimental rigor, imaginative leaps, and conceptual precision.. What differentiates his practice from the solely theory-driven is a visceral necessity that is almost palpable. Since the early 1970s, Hill’s use of video, and by extension electronic media, has occupied a central role in his artistic practice, using the medium as a formal site and structure to both examine and destabilize the power of the image. Concerned with an increasingly homogenized visual culture, Hill disarticulates the primary communicative function of electronic media by playing with sound, speed, sequence and light, to produce not only radical ruptures within our normative processes of perception, but new ways of encountering meaning — whether it be grappling with, accumulating, absorbing or surrendering to it.
Gary Hill was born in 1951 in Santa Monica, California and currently lives and works in Seattle. Originally a sculptor, he began working with sound and video in the early 1970s and has since produced a large body of both single-channel video works and mixed-media installations. The thresholds between language and image, silence and sound, and lightness and darkness are of primary concern in much of Hill’s work, but rather than emerging as sets of dualities, these thresholds — as well as the gaps between absence and presence, real and recorded time, viewed and viewing — are described by Hill as “resonating membranes” through which he and viewer become “next to close by.”
Gary Hill (1951) has received numerous fellowships and awards, most notably the Leone d'Oro Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale (1995), the prestigious McArthur Foundation Fellowship (1998), the Kurt-Schwiters-Preis 2000, the Strangers genius award (2011) and Honorary Degrees from The Academy of Fine Arts Poznan, Poland (2005) and Cornish College of the Arts (2011). Hill's work has been the subject of major retrospectives and solo exhibtions at diverse international art museums and institutes.
The work of Jean Brusselmans (1884-1953) is rooted in the Belgian tradition of painting established by artists like James Ensor and Rik Wouters. After the First World War, he took that tradition as the starting point for the development of a distinctive and expressive style characterised by orderliness and simplicity of composition. Although Brusselmans has long been a source of inspiration for connoisseurs, this is the first time that the general public in the Netherlands has had the opportunity to admire the paintings of this important Belgian artist.
'Personal Pop' showcases the idiosyncratic work of the unknown, prematurely deceased, highly promising Bangladeshi-British artist Shah Jahan Miah (b. 1976, Sylhet, Bangladesh; d. 2015, Birmingham, UK). He grew up in Birmingham, studied at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University, and worked as a resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 1998 to 2001. Enthusiastic tutors of those days (up to today) amongst others Marlene Dumas, Georg Herold, Didier Vermeiren, Rob Birza. His work is strikingly varied, comprising videos, sculptures, paintings, collages, installations, clothing and drawings that blend the fabric of his own everyday life with the language of pop art and popular culture. Shah’s unique ideas about art, his drive to produce, his unbridled ambition, and the great promise all those strengths added up to were overshadowed by his mental health problems and his early death at 38.
Shah was convinced that art possessed a transformative quality, and he envisioned a position for himself at the centre of society. He strove to make a kind of art he called “personal pop”: it was close to mass culture, like pop, but at the same time completely personal. His body of work is made up of apparently accessible objects that on closer inspection turn out to be part of a deeper web of meanings and references, with links to each other, religion, politics and identity. As such, it meshes perfectly with contemporary reality, in which objects, people, ideas and worlds are increasingly intertwined.
Richard Hutten not only designs chairs, he also collects them. Since he graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 1990 he has been buying unusual chairs, or exchanging them with designer friends for his own designs. His collection now numbers more than a hundred items, from prototypes to the great design classics, from graduation projects to unique pieces. From March the Gemeentemuseum will be showing Hutten’s personal collection alongside chairs of his own design, like the Berlage chair based on a chair designed by architect H.P. Berlage. The exhibition will include playful contemporary and conceptual designs by famous names from the Netherlands and abroad, each with its own personal story.
Richard Hutten – Sit! will feature a hundred chairs ‘that matter’, according to this Dutch designer, whether because of their cutting-edge design or because the maker is someone who is dear to him. All the items in the exhibition are Hutten’s own work or are from his private collection, and date from the 1990s to the present day. Highlights include the 250-kilo Layers Cloud Chair, made of 545 layers of CNC-cut upholstery fabric, the Juno Chair, which designer James Irvine gave to Hutten just before his death, a graduation project by leading Dutch designer Wieki Somers and prototypes and scale models from Hutten’s own archive that have never been shown before.
Livingstone gallery presents a group show of American artists who, each in their own right, make us part of the American Dream. These days this utopian vision seems more under pressure than ever. With a worldly view and a social conscience artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Sol LeWitt visualize the notion that this dream should be accessible to everyone. By shipping an entire condemned Detroit house appropriately called The White House to the Art Rotterdam art fair in 2016, Ryan Mendoza showed us that for many the American dream turned into a nightmare. With his Tiger Paintings and his series on The Berlin Wall Kevin Berlin shows us that a social conscience has survived in the artworld. Actually, art seems the only way for the American Dream to survive. Louse Bourgeois said it best: “Art is a guaranty of sanity.”
New paintings and installation by Hugo Tieleman
German artist Thorsten Brinkmann (b. Herne, 1971) has an unstoppable urge to collect. The self-proclaimed ‘serial collector’ (Serialsammler) gathers all kinds of objects that have been discarded by others and takes them back to his studio in Hamburg. There, he recycles and redefines them in his art. This spring GEM museum of contemporary art will present the first Brinkmann retrospective, featuring more than 60 works whose common theme is the match/mismatch between our bodies and the objects around us.
The Gemeentemuseum has been following Brinkmann’s career since the very beginning. In 2008 GEM organised the first museum exhibition of his work and for a long time his Wäschling, a laundry basket on legs, stood in the foyer of the Gemeentemuseum.
Brinkmann has produced a new sculpture specially for GEM. Five metres long, it can be seen as a modern ‘horn of plenty’. A large installation consisting of a boxing ring complete with boxers will also be on display. Films will be screened in a cinema designed by Brinkmann himself.
Andrea Freckmann's (1970) paintings often depict a world that moves between reality and the theatrical. In her latest work she explicitly focuses on the Commedia dell'Arte, a form of satirical theater that was developed in 16th century Italy. In her paintings she presents objects and events from her personal life that could be used as props and actions in such a play. Central in the exhibition is a scaffold consisting of floorboards on which she has painted objects and people, like a patterned carpet on which the play can be acted out. She thus integrates the illusional world of her paintings with the physical stage.
The summit of the Mont Blanc below sea level, the weight of moon light expressed in stone and arousal spread over the city of The Hague.
Downtime shows works that take out and challenge unruly systems. Systems such as the law, language, or cartography direct the way we see, understand and shape the everyday world sub- and (un-)consciously.
Downtime is the moment the systems falters, stops or fails.
By asking elementary questions, four artists research and cause downtime.
In the exhibition Higher from the inside at Heden, Mickey Yang emphasizes the production process by letting it be part of the visual language.
She wants to emphasize the character of the production process for the presentation by making it part of the formal language. Think of the print of a mold, the rough skin of cast bronze or the negative of a print. By incorporating processivity into the work, visitors become witness to the development process.
Annemarie Slobbe (1990) makes paintings and drawings in which she wants to show the time, to let herself and others see and think our relationship with this. She responds to changes in light and of the viewer. This process is also made visible in her images.
'De Dingen' is a daily program of activities exploring and showing the implications of the radically changing relationship between man and things, with a.o. artists, legal experts, robotica experts, philosophers and theater makers.
Partners: Ambassade van de Noordzee, Building Conversation, Parlement van de Dingen, Stichting De Noordzee, Waag Society.
For exact times and events check our website: www.stroom.nl
Varied and interactive symposium programme aims to reflect on interpreting and framing artistic practice on the level of the individual work, the person of the artist and the total body of work. This event accompanies the current exhibition ‘Personal Pop’ and takes Shah Jahan Miah (b. 1976 in Bangladesh – d. 2015 UK) as a lens to address topical questions related to art histories, identities and socio-politics for (developing) artists.
Speakers amongst others: Mustafa Maluka, Shelley Sacks (via Skype), Nathaniel Mellors (video),
Judith de Bruijn, Josep Turro Bassols, Bert Frings, Thijs Willy, Rob Birza, Ludmila Rodrigues, Dominic van den Boogerd, Kitty Zijlmans.
Please RSVP for free tickets and lunch via email@example.com
Location: Parts Project, Toussaintkade 49 / Royal Academy of Art, Prinsessegracht 4, The Hague