Black – the colour that Isaac Newton eliminated from the spectrum in the late 17th century – carries many meanings for artists and designers. This exhibition in the Vincent Award Room of the Gemeentemuseum, entitled Poetic Black, brings the various aspects of black together in paintings, prints, fashion designs and poetry; the intriguing array of exhibits draws both on the Gemeentemuseum’s own holdings and on the contemporary art collection belonging to the Broere Charitable Foundation (Monique Zajfen Collection). The exhibition include works by Wilhelm Sasnal, Lee Bontecou, Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulenmeester.
Together with Constantin Brancusi and Pablo Picasso, the Spanish artist Julio González (1876 – 1942) is considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. This retrospective of over 100 works, most of which are being exhibited in the Netherlands for the first time, sheds light on his personal development: from his days as a metal worker in his father’s workshop in Barcelona to his time as an avant-garde sculptor in Paris. It also addresses the unique collaboration and friendship between González and Picasso. For both artists, the collaboration provided a major push to further development. Thanks to González, Picasso discovered new modes of expression in sculpture and for González the collaboration was the final leg of his journey towards a distinctive artistic style. This exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag focuses principally on González’s development. With no fewer than 20 works by Picasso, it is also a celebration of the friendship between the two men.
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.
Every two years, the GEM museum of contemporary art turns the spotlight on artists who have recently graduated from The Hague’s Royal Academy of Art. The new selection by director Benno Tempel will comprise half a dozen talented representatives of the 2016 and 2017 cohorts. Their diverse and surprising work will be showcased in Now or Never #4.
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.
Groupshow with Alex Farrar, Alexandre Lavet, Joseph Montgomery, Maarten Overdijk and Jonas Wijtenburg.
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.
In For the vision of Abou Ben Adhem Yaïr Callender is changing the space of 1646 into a sanctuary, a place to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the street and daily life. Rather than sculptures he creates an environment that offers tranquility for those who want to quench their thirst for peace and serenity. But more than just an architectural construction this space contains associations with a more ecclesiastical atmosphere by means of a free use of of symbolic ornaments and forms that allude to elements such as a pulpit or baptistry. Callender also makes references to secular subjects as he offers the visitors the opportunity to leaf through some available books, enjoy a water pipe and hang around for a while. These surroundings contain a versatility of different kinds of sanctuaries and hide-aways to be activated by the visitor at his or her own liking.
The architectural constructions of Yaïr Callender keep somewhere in between ornament, sculpture and monumental composition and are often fuelled by his interest in the spiritual, which plays a pivotal role in his work. He gets his inspiration from both religious texts as well as scientific research and he draws connections to physics, mathematics, geometry as well as to history, religion and the use of symbolism. Furthermore Callender diligently studies processes of personal transformation from a spiritual perspective. His work doesn’t know the difference between personal concerns and professional performance as personal development finds its form in his work.
For the Vision of Abou Ben Adhem (a reference to a poem by the romantic poet Leigh Hunt) portrays Callender’s interests in transformation, in several ways: the transformation from child to adult, emotional and intellectual development or transformation as awakening after having been confronted with obstacles in life such as sickness, death, desire or happiness.
It has been very interesting for us to see how, throughout the years, Yaïr developed more and more the need to include the audience in the work, transmitting an overwhelming experience. This accounts also for For the Vision of Abou Ben Adhem when the work comes into existence when activated by the visitor. This need to include the audience into an overwhelming experience feels very coherent for a work that tries to deal with states of being and topics much bigger than ourselves.
Yaïr Callender (NL, 1987) graduated in 2014 at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and has received grants from Stroom Invest and Mondriaan Fund for emerging artists. Callender has exhibited before at a.o. ‘Open Air’, as part of Art Rotterdam 2018, TENT Rotterdam, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Nest Den Haag and at the Unfair in Amsterdam.
In this collection exhibition, patterns and textiles applied in different materials and techniques, from wall hangings to risoprints, are central. Striking is the variety of patterns, there are works with tight graphic prints, but also more organic patterns woven into different fabrics. The contrast between the traditional character of the textile and the industrial character of a recurring pattern provide an interesting combination. There are works of art by, among others, Sigrid Calon, Christie van der Haak and Berend Strik.
After their studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Anouk van Klaveren (1991), Christa van der Meer (1988), Dewi Bekker (1990) and Gino Anthonisse (1988) joined forces and formed the collective Das Leben am Haverkamp. The unconventional approach to design and fashion that typifies this collective leads to thought-provoking, unpolished work, inspired by daily rituals, the cultural relativity of luxury and alter egos. The glamorous fashion world is both their playing field and study object. Das Leben am Haverkamp is the sum of the personal individual styles of the collective.
The exhibition LAND of GOOD, at twelve twelve, aims to create and introduce a gender-symmetrical society, based on steady balance between men and women, expressed through the educational power of Art. Vika Kova believes Art can contribute to change the world. She has been focusing her art practice on that unique intercultural and intergenerational project.
In his deceitfully offhand ecstatic scenes Janes Haid - Schmallenberg (Warstein, Germany, 1988) depicts the outcry of desperate indviduals subjugated to the impossibly fast pace of today's society.
In his paintings and ceramic sculptures Janes Haid - Schmallenberg strives for a balance between abstraction and figuration and between seriousness and play, resulting for instance in the use of absurd painting materials like nutrition powder for bodybuilders.
Janes Haid - Schmallenberg's work falls within a larger movement of young artists worldwide whose works question the established forms of painting.
For more than 20 years an inexplicable civil war is turning a territory as big as western Europe into hell on earth. Triggered by the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the Congo War, also called the "Third World War", has claimed more than six million lives. Many observers not only see in it a fight about political predominance in Central Africa, but also one of the most decisive economic battles for the share in the era of globalization.
Milo Rau's 'The Congo Tribunal' examines the causes and backgrounds to this global conflict in a unique and stunningly transmedia art project. For 'The Congo Tribunal' Milo Rau gathered victims, perpetrators, witnesses and analysts of the Congo War for a unique civil tribunal in eastern Congo. For the first time in the history of this war, three exemplary cases were heard, exposing an unveiled portrait of one of the biggest and bloodiest economic wars in the history of mankind.
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.