From towers built from language to a readable city, and from letters as a map to a brick alphabet, in 'The Typotectural Suite' (an important 'space' in The Palace of Typographic Masonry) language solidifies into immutable structures, playful boxes of blocks and habitable capitals that are registered in a spatial library.
Rob van Koningsbruggen (b. 1948, The Hague) has had a major museum exhibition every decade since the 1970s. The last one – a grand retrospective – was at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in 2002. This autumn, in collaboration with the artist, the Gemeentemuseum will be presenting an exhibition covering the period 2003-2019.
‘Nowadays Rob van Koningsbruggen occupies a lonely position in the Dutch art world, as his paintings scale unique heights in terms of their colour and form’, says director Benno Tempel. Many of the paintings in the exhibition will be on display for the first time. ‘Every time you look at Van Koningsbruggen’s paintings is a memorable experience. At first you’re taken aback, then they get under your skin, and you can’t get them out of your mind.’
Van Koningsbruggen uses lots of colour in his abstract paintings, which features shapes like circles, rectangles and funnels. He generally works on several paintings at the same time. ‘I make a painting, and then I see a shape emerge’, he says. ‘I transfer the shape to another canvas and continue there. Then I leave the other painting for six months. Sometimes I’m working on ten paintings at once. They’re patients, you know, you have to make them better. And then I suddenly have a colour on my brush and I look at the other painting and think: yeah. So I play the paintings off against each other.’
Van Koningsbruggen became famous in the 1970s with his slide paintings, which he made by applying paint to the canvas and then sliding a second canvas over it. His recent work partly refers back to these earlier works.
Rob van Koningsbruggen studied at the Royal Academy of Art and the Vrije Academie in The Hague. His body of work consists of paintings, drawings and knitted art.
Sculptor Adriaan Rees (b. Amsterdam, 1957) splits his time between Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Jingdezhen, China. Rees’ portfolio includes a variety of materials and techniques. He has worked in ceramics, bronze, plaster, glass, textiles and stone, as well as photographs, films, installations and individual objects. From the very beginning, Rees has worked on major works of art designed for public spaces. Cooperation has always played a prominent role in the large-scale sculptural projects that he has directed for municipalities and provinces worldwide.
Rees first studied to be a physiotherapist, preparing his with an excellent background in human anatomy. In 1992, however, he completed a course at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Rees has remained a staple of the artistic community, appearing in museums, galleries and the public space, ever since. Projects in Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Leiderdorp and Gouda are interspersed with solo exhibitions at the Frans Hals Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Kampen and the Princessehof in Leeuwarden, as well as shows in Japan and Korea.
Around the year 2000, Rees focused his attention on the culture and art techniques of the East. In Japan, he studied at the prestigious Tokenomori Institute for Ceramic Studies (Shigaraki) and in the INAX Lab (Tokoname). Because of this, he is very skilled in Japanese ceramics and well acquainted with their production techniques. Rees' predilection for the East is not limited to Japan. He spends almost half of his year in his studio in Jingdezhen, the center of the Chinese porcelain industry. In China, as in Japan, the age-old tradition of ceramics is still alive and kicking. This has made a lasting impression on Rees, who uses much of the same technology and materials.
Ceramics are ideally suited for the outdoor space. Adriaan Rees truly uses ceramics as a sculptor's material; producing sculpture and larger objects. These works can function in the public space as works of art, decorative art, or as monuments.
The White Album consists of several sections that can be seen in the Cabinet and the surrounding spaces. There are three chapters: the white section, the head section, and the Wanderlust section. These parts are most interesting when taken all together, rather than in a singular context, and examined in terms of art history and topicality. It begins in the centrally located Cabinet, which is completely white. The images and space are white. This world of gaseous whiteness refers to the Gipsotecca in the museum as well as the white plaster sculptures so popular in the salons of the nineteenth century.
On the North Patio, there is a presentation of wall plinths with figures of heads. The Dutch have a word for these sorts of interestingly exaggerated facial expressions associated with costumed stock characters: 'tronies'. These sculptures are portraits of emotion and feeling. These works are in some cases abstract or curious in shape, in bright colors or earth tones, or capture something of the difficult to define world of emotions that is present in us. In addition, two large sculptures made especially for this exhibition will be featured in the open space.
The corridors are filled with images related to Wanderlust, that old feeling of unrest, the desire to discover the world and the “unheimische” that still occupies an important place in our culture. Rees draws from German Romanticism and the oeuvre of famous painter Caspar David Friedrich to discuss large themes and issues, such as our place in nature or feelings of belonging somewhere. By living permanently both in the Netherlands and in China, Rees knows what it means to feel at home and displaced in several worlds. This discourse is reflected in his oeuvre, manifesting as an ongoing investigation into culture and nature, into feelings of 'being at home' and continuing to travel, and, of course, an investigation into one’s own origin and sources.
For Adriaan Rees, it is important to keep thinking about his role as a sculptor for the space in which he finds himself. His conceptualization is larger than the Netherlands alone or his Chinese studio and extends beyond having his sculptures occupy a space in a museum. World traveler Rees experiences and contemplates the issues of globalization and the clash of civilizations in his works. With this exhibition, he asks visitors if it is possible to develop a very specific voice within the international discourse on art as a citizen of the world.
Who is not familiar with Nana, the world-famous, colorful women figures who happily go about dancing and jumping as pure expressions of energy. Nana is timeless. But who or what does Nana represent, really? It is Niki De Saint Phalle’s personal version of Eve? Or maybe of Venus? Or is it actually a personal interpretation of all women in the world, past and present? With Nana, Niki De Saint Phalle has, in any case, created an iconic image of women.
Museum Beelden aan Zee has been showing the Nanas in all their diversity since 1965. From the early textile-covered figures of papier maché to the sometimes huge polyester sculptures from the later years. Nanas, in short, come in all shapes, colors, sizes and materials.
The circle has always been an important starting point for Barbara Nanning (b. 1957). Her forms and structures derive from a circular motion that she allows to solidify in glass or ceramics. She has been creating objects and installations in this way for precisely 40 years this year. Featuring twenty pieces by Nanning, the exhibition will illustrate her unique visual idiom that links the organic and the inorganic.
The great thing about an exhibition with the theme "personal view of the collection" is that the curator’s personal view is reflected in this show. Lia Bender has worked for Heden for thirty years and knows the collection like no other. As a final act following her years of dedicated commitment to Heden, she has selected personal top picks from the Heden collection. Special memories, old favorites and recent acquisitions are on display. It’s a new perspective on a familiar collection.
Serene landscapes, captivating portraits and mysterious still lifes: the works that Lia Bender has chosen are subtile and embody a certain calmness. Her careful gaze guides the viewer through the decades, from modest pencil drawings through picturesque landscapes to experimental photography. Aesthetics, tranquility and visual rhyme predominate, alterned with unexpected combinations and exciting contrasts. The exhibition is curated with a disarming look and eye for detail: seldom has a personal choice been so inviting.
During his entire working life Klaas Gubbels has remained loyal to just a few objects from still life: the table, chair and coffee pot (or kettle, as he calls it). These are simply everyday objects, nothing special at all. But in Gubbels’ oeuvrethey are special, in the way in which they are depicted. For some time, Gubbels has worked on still lifes that were intentionally everyday, almost boring. In repeatedly painting simple shapes the manner in which they were painted became very important. That’s when he really is painting. Which colour should he use, what happenstance comes into being on the canvas? If this does occur, he hopes to be able to recognize it and make use of it. When at work he often surprises himself, and certainly when he is assembling his objects: there is suddenly something that inspires him.
The artist has used the coffee pot so often in his work that it has almost become a character or personage. This character is portrayed very clearly in the pictures that Klaas Gubbels makes of the coffee pot or kettle. It is sometimes spiky, unwieldy, unsteady, robust, arrogant or romantic. Apart from paintings of his regular subjects, throughout the years Gubbels has also made great use of objets trouvésas his subjects. For most of his life he has been able to rely on the flea market as a source of objects that provide him with inspiration. These are depicted in paintings, often depicted on a table. This table is just as important to the picture as its other components.
The treasures of art history have not left Gubbels unmoved. In both his paintings and his sculptures can be found ‘odes’ to well-known national and international artists, such as Paul Cézanne, Jan Schoonhoven, Günther Uecker, Jan Roeland, K. Schippers and Cor Vaandrager. He creates odes not only to artists, but also to his friends, such as Cherry Duyns and, last but certainly not least, to his wife Heleen, often in the form of a heart-shaped coffee pot.
This year Klaas Gubbels has reached the age of 85, and is celebrating this milestone in museum Beelden aan Zee with a retrospective of the works he has created over a period of more than half a century. To be seen in the exhibition are works in glass, cardboard, plaster, bronze, wood, and steel, plus sculptures of assembledobjets trouvés, from those that can be held in the hand to monumental sculptures displayed on the patio.
Paintings and installations by Jan Wattjes.
Image: Jan Wattjes 'Made in Vietnam' 2018, Installation, oil on canvas, aluminium, 50 X 250 X 5 cm.
Fifth anniversary group exhibition that brings together work by all 13 artists that we have been representing since our opening in 2015. The exhibition will contain not only brand new works (or works that have only been shown in the context of an art fair), but also works that have been sold by us during the past five years - embedding a special story.
1646 is happy to announce that Afra Eisma (b. 1993, lives and works in The Hague) presents new work in her solo exhibition Feline Whispers at 1646.
Feline Whispers is inspired by Eisma’s imaginary cat, Larry, and the generosity involved in the speculative care for this pet. The exhibition will explore domestic space as an extension of the body, where nourishment and sharing are important counters to a world so full of deprivation and exclusion. Could ideas be tended to like they are our imaginary pets, feeding them, petting them, loving them?
It is said that cats spread a parasite that causes people and mice to want to be close to them, it is also said that cats have such fluid bodies they can be considered a liquid, they have soaked themselves into the fabric of the human home. The speculative pet, a cat, lives within Eisma’s work and like cats have domesticated themselves over time, Feline Whispers is an enchanting exercise how generosity is an infectious game of caring and being cared for.
Eisma shows elements from domestic life such as ceramics, tapestries, furniture or a robot vacuum cleaner as sites where a spirit of giving can emerge — sharing as an act of care for small imaginary pets and humans of all sizes. Opening on Valentine’s Day, join in to drink the love potion and allow feline whispers into your home and your body.
Artist Jeroen Eisinga (b. 1966) is ambitious, not easily satisfied and is constantly pushing boundaries. In his now iconic film Springtime (2011) he was covered in a swarm of around 150,000 bees. Every one of his productions is highly labour-intensive. His body of work is not large, therefore, but it is impressive nonetheless. His films have been shown at international festivals and arts venues, and now form part of a number of museum and private collections.
Jeroen Eisinga – The Social Ladder in Kunstmuseum Den Haag’s Projects Gallery, Eisinga will combine five films from the 1990s: 40-44-PG (1993), Grauzone (1995), The Most Important Moment of My Life (1995), Night Porter (1993) and The Social Ladder (1996 - 2019). This last film, from which the title of both the exhibition and the publication are taken, has never been screened publicly before. Besides the five films, visitors will also be given a glimpse of the research and preparations that are part of Eisinga’s making process. Sketchbooks containing 25 years of preparatory research will be on display. Some of them are like artworks in themselves.
Jeroen Eisinga is winner of Ouborg Prize 2019, The Hague’s art prize which is awarded jointly by the city council, Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Stroom Den Haag
This winter Nest and the Electriciteitsfabriek present VOLTA, where artist Oscar Peters will build a lively world where popular entertainment and macabre spectacles are applauded.
Friday 16.00 – 20.00
Sat & Sun 12.00 – 17.00
Today’s world can be experienced as very fluid. Nothing is fixed, everything is in motion. Through scientific discoveries and new insights, concepts that had been carved in stone for decades, have now started to flow. Notions like time, space, reality, nature, the object, human and the object-man relation.
This hybrid, unstable world serves as a point of departure for the artists in ‘Fluid Desires’. Post-apocalyptic cocktails and works of art with a liquid allure zoom in on blurring boundaries between organic and inorganic, natural and synthetic, living and non-living. Their understanding of the world is through matter.
The artworks do not use symbols or metaphors, nor do they depict anything; on the contrary, they just are. These explosions of color, texture, and slipperiness, are related in aesthetics. Throughout the exhibition, the concept of contagion is recurrent. Contamination as a marker for meanings that mix, images that merge and ideas that influence each other. Because it fantasises about the future, sometimes ‘Fluid Desires’ has science-fiction-like traits.
Belgian contemporary art with Gert Scheerlinck, D.D. Trans, Johan de Wit and Willy de Sauter
It promises to be a fascinating exhibition in which humor, surrealism and minimalism predominate. Urgent issues are also questioned in a light-hearted manner.
In the early 1970’s Werner Cuvelier (1939, Jabbeke, Belgium) became one of the leading conceptual artists of his generation in Belgium. He came into prominence by producing a series of works – conceptualized as research – that sought to turn into visual form the « objective » data and statistical relationships that underlie the mechanics of cultural production, distribution and exchange. His ultimate goal was not the production of an image per se but, rather, the deconstruction through visual representations of the quantitative relationships behind what he called « the problem of art ».
He developed a unique artistic strategy for the organization, cataloguing and inventory of all kinds of objective data which he employed to reveal the ultimately subjective and arbitrary nature of human events. These data were presented in diagrams, book editions, photographic series or notes.
In the 1980’s, Cuvelier’s work turned towards a more painterly representation of geometric and arithmetical relationships as pure minimalist indexes. In a rich production of drawings, paintings, sculptures and conceptual works, Cuvelier moved away from his research into the mechanisms of the human world focusing, rather, on the conceptual relationships behind such mathematical constructions as the golden ratio or the Fibonacci series.
In his recent works he returns to the ‘real’ world from which he presents the objective data in a pure painterly way which, surprisingly, often reveals their underlying socio-political structures.
“I’m searching for the world as it really is.”
Fotomuseum Den Haag presents a major exhibition of work by living legend, Eddy Posthuma de Boer (1931). A contemporary of Ed van der Elsken and Johan van der Keuken, he is one of the most important living representatives of humanist photography in the Netherlands. His great love of travelling has enabled him to record human life in more than eighty countries. He has focused his camera on all aspects of the human condition, zooming in on drama as well as humour. His images has been published in newspapers and magazines such as Het Parool, De Volkskrant, Time, Life , Paris Match, Avenue and Holland Herald, and compiled into numerous photo books.
A.R. Penck (1939-2017) was one of the German artists who, after the Second World War, paved the way for a new artistic mindset. Today he is known above all for his Streichholzmännchen (‘matchstick men’): figures with limbs resembling rakes, generally surrounded by pictograms, numbers and letters. Penck’s crudely rendered visual idiom reflects his distaste for cultural and political systems, but there is also an inquiring and intuitive aspect to it. His work will be explored in an extraordinary retrospective featuring almost two hundred works, including paintings and drawings that have rarely been shown.
Please join us for our first anniversary celebration at the former American Embassy in The Hague with 4 exhibitions, performances and live music. Presented by West Den Haag and ANNA Vastgoed & Cultuur.
Gratis entree / free entry
19:00 Doors open
20:00: Exhibitions open
1 MATTIA DENISSE (FR): Theodore’s Dream
2 CESARE PIETROIUSTI (IT): A number of things
3 FREE EMOJI: Alphabetum VI
4 RETHINKING THE EMBASSY: Eindhoven University of Technology
20:00: Performance: Pia Louwerens
20:00 — 01:00 H.
Party: Music program curated by Alex Andropoulos
With Goldblum (Nl), City Dragon (Ca/Fr), Handle (Uk), Skrot Centralen (Uk), Container (Vs/Uk), Anni Nöps (Est/Nl) and Live/Dj Eenheid Moebius (NL)
In twenty-two rooms, Mattia Denisse brings different stories together. By linking drawings and graphic images to separate words and short texts, the artist creates a world of his own. Colourful and absurd. Each time different connections are made between science, philosophy, personal perception and fantasy. In a series of book covers by an imaginary publisher, site-specific wall drawings, hundreds, sometimes very humorous, drawings and a sound work, Denisse shows the elasticity of his and our imagination.
From mid-February, the artist Cesare Pietroiusti will succeed the Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh with the second one-year-long exhibition. This exceptional exhibition model is reserved for prominent artists with a distinctly exemplary role. Just like in the work of Hsieh, Pietroiusti is not focused on art as an object, but on life itself as a form of art. Since 1977, Pietroiusti has built up a very impressive oeuvre with a continuous flow of presentations. At West he will show a monthly changing selection of his works in the ‘corner offices’ of the former American embassy. Varying from early works and ‘artworks to be ashamed of’ to works that have never been shown or are new.
With Free Emoji, the Alphabetum is investigating the contemporary status of writing after the emergence of emoji. Technically, there is no difference between typing an emoji (like 😀) and the letter A. In both cases, typing refers to a specific meaning which is defined by a unique Unicode code-point. The former causes an emoji graphic to be displayed, the latter, the graphic shape of a letter A. Behind the scenes, the similarities maintain. Each unicode character has its own textual human readable description, so 😀 will be Grinning Face (Unicode U+LF600) and A will be LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A (Unicode U+0041). For any device, they are both graphics, shapes defined by Bézier curves, and possibly colours.
Students of the Architecture, Building and Planning master’s program at Eindhoven University of Technology have subjected Marcel Breuer’s embassy building to extensive typological and historical research.
The young architects each made a design proposal in which the existing qualities of the building were combined with solutions for a new function. This was based on two museums: Escher and West Den Haag.
David Engel (objecten) - René Korten (schilderijen) - Bas Lobik (schilderijen)
Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart (1899 - 1962) was one of the first artists of the twentieth century to create an abstract body of work. He is also remembered in the form of this award – a major European prize designed to encourage young artists. The Vordemberge-Gildewart Award is now back in the Netherlands after an absence of twenty years. Ten artists from the Netherlands and Belgium have been nominated: Salim Bayri, Deborah Bowmann, Bob Eikelboom, Ricardo van Eyk, Eva Giolo, Nadia Guerroui, Sharon van Overmeiren, Emma van der Put, Dan Walwin and Charlott Weise. Their work can be seen at GEM museum of contemporary art from 22 February.
There are many ways of discussing the ambiguous relationship between image and reality, and Dutch artist Reinier Lucassen (b. 1939) is only too aware of that. For more than half a century he has been producing paintings, drawings and collages in which figuration confronts abstraction, the visible world confronts the world of the emotions. Featuring a selection of his works that is full of surprises, the exhibition will demonstrate the versatility and consistency of Lucassen’s oeuvre, with a particular focus on his most recent ‘modifications’ – paintings combined with objects he has found at the flea market.
Maryanto (1977, Indonesia). A solo exhibition.