Going back in time: Daniel Gould’s 3D List, Art in Amsterdam #77
Has the Amsterdam art market made a positive turn in sales? There are a few indications that this may be happening. However anecdotal reports heard from galleries are still cautious and it is said sales are still sluggish. Well, employment figures seem to be improving; prices of art have come down so the market is in a position to bounce back...It just looks like it may still be a year away.
The point is, you can do something about improving the situation. Why wait a year? Now is the time to buy! Good prices, not to mention, some really good art. But don't take 3D's word for it, get out of the house---the weather is mild---and go to an art gallery. You might see something you like. Kid you not!
BITS & PIECES:
ART FAIR: RealismeAmsterdam14
MUSEUM REVIEWS: William Klein at "foam"
The Quay Brothers at EYE Museum
WHAT YOU HAVE MISSED:
BITS & PIECES:
Words of wisdom: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
A recent publication titled, "American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell," was reviewed by Garrison Kellor in the 21st-22nd December edition of www.INYT.com. There is probably few Americans over the age of 50 who doesn't know his name even those with little or no knowledge of art. He was an illustrator and his work graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post---a best selling American magazine---from the 1923 to 14th December 1963. Ironically, his last cover was a portrait of John F. Kennedy. Over those 40 years he painted 323 covers.
This from the review: "He was just an illustrator who 'worked his way up through the cartoonish phase to become the most beloved artist of the 20th century, his very name a by-word for sentimental Americana...His heroes were Pieter Bruegel and the Dutch masters. He was a meticulous painter of faces and toiled long days to the get the expression right...' "
You're an artist and you want to be efficient in marketing yourself. Check this out: https://bit.ly/2MKDuYv
And, indeed, there are 50 suggestions on how promote yourself and your work. Many are common sense, but others are ideas that never really come to mind.
...And more is at this site. Here are a few quotable quotes:
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." Andy Warhol.
"If you are willing to do something that might not work, you're closer to being an artists." Seth Godin.
"Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take chances." Mark Rothko.
And 3D has something to say on this subject. "Art is my therapy. When I pick up paper and pencil, I transport myself into my own private world where the only rules are my rules and I don't really have any! What fun I have!"
In the last 3D List I reviewed the Bas Geerts exhibition at Galerie Gabriel Rolt. I mentioned the continuous line of wall paints. Recently I received a click-on to www.vimeo.com which shows Geerts hard at work doing the wall. The announcement came from, Rolt TV Episode #1.
...Have we turned the corner?...The latest issue of SCP's quarterly pubic opinion report shows an improvement on hope for the Dutch economy with an optimistic rise to 60% from 45% in the previous quarter... www.DutchNews.nl
...However, the cuts in national and local government funding led to 41 arts and cultural institutions to close down. www.DutchNews.nl
ART FAIR: RealismeAmsterdam14 (Passenger Terminal A'dam, Piet Heinkade 27)
3D begins every yearly review of the manifestation of RealismeAmsterdam the same way: Realism is more than just representational art and pretty pictures. This exhibition once again proves the fact.
Here is one example. At Galerie Lauswolt, Marc Visser shows miniature sculpture pieces carved from stone or cast from bronze with examples featuring the likes of "Beatrix" and "Obama Spreekt." But what is different is the presentation. He has made 20x10 cms wooden boxes to hold the item then lights them. Each is under a spotlight. Clever. Each is an unique piece. (600 - 800 euro). www.galerielauswolt.com
Netty van Osch, at Huub Hannen Galerie, does ceramic pieces and adds different materials. Each work stands about 100 cms., high and is figurative. What makes the piece stand out is her humor. Fun and imaginative....Also Mirjam Abras b/w pencil drawings are special. Both reflect the representational and abstract style. www.huubhannen.nl
Richard Wientzck shows nicely done color pencil drawings and some with humor (900 euro) and he paints in oil as well. One oil looks from two meters distance to be hyper-realistic, but get your nose up to it and you see it really isn't...Claus Delraux does exquisite gouaches on paper. Both at Galerie Ulrich Gering (Frankfurt). www.galeriegering.de
Galerie Dom'Art (Rucphen) hangs Armando's expressionistic landscapes along with Martin-Jose Robbens colorful expressionistic oils....Margret Smulders photo work is a brilliant array of colors that turns veggies and flowers into jewels. www.galeriedomarte.nl
Look for unusual photography at Galerie Lilja Zakirova (Heusden a/d Maas) with the work of Katrina Belkina. www.zakirova.com
Galerie Contrast (Barcelona) hangs pen & ink plus pencil drawings by Fecundo. The styles ranges from cartoon strip-like to beautifully detailed. Fecundo's signature was clearly readable but there are another two or three artists worth seeing at this space, however there are NO name tags so 3D couldn't make notes. www.galeriacontrast.com
Eruic Liot is a contemporary Pop School artist who works in wood. He fashions collages from bits and pieces of wood in several colors and some with figurative imagery silk screen on the wood. His version of "Superman" illustrates his humor. "Summer Tours" is a collage of wood parts and each adds to the story...whatever it is. Galerie Peet Visser (Den Bosch). www.markpeetvisser.com
At Jan van Hoof Galerie (Den Bosch) is the work of Martin Lucas van Erp who does colorful and kitsch-like sea/sky/land scape paintings. They do get your attention as well as Anuli Croon's large cartoon style figurative heads against an abstract background. Marijolijn Mandersloot presents a leather "bound" sculpture of a monkey? or is it a Teddy Bear? Nice. www.janvanhoofgalerie.nl
Miguel Angel Fernandez (Spain) shows a 250x100 cms panoramic linear abstract city scape and it is hard to take your eyes off it. That's for two reasons: the rainbow of colors and shades; and its composition. At ARTITLED (Herpen). www.artitled.nl
At Wanrooij Gallery (the gallery will open in Amsterdam, this Spring, at Stadhouderskade 41) hangs Koh Sang Loo(Korea) with his unusual style and technique. The colors are black to neon and they have a mystery quality....Vincent Poole (UK) also has an unusual style/technique. He makes collages with each piece made up of a C-type print on duraclear pinned on board. www.wanrooijgallery.com
Galerie Petit (Amsterdam) features Amsterdam' scenes by Stef Verbraeken with seven examples. Plus there are A'dam harbor scenes by Joanna Quispel...and don't miss her polder scapes...Trees and wooded areas by Drajo Pecenica are special and check out his painting of an idyllic sunset. https://bit.ly/2MlNQlc
Myra de Vries has an unusual paintings style. Pastel colors, vague imagery, interesting compositions is at Vonkel (Den Haag). https://bit.ly/2NYSCWy
That's a short view of the fair. Actually, it is one of the smallest Realisme fairs 3D can recall. About 26 or 27 galleries are showing and only seven with an A'dam address. Nor is there a catalog this year. You are on your own. The exhibition closes this Sunday, 19th January.
Entry Fee: 12.50 euro; 12 to 18 and over 65: 8 euro; 12 and under: FREE.
MUSEUM REVIEW: William Klein at "foam"
The director of "foam," at the press preview introduced the William Klein exhibition as "One of the most important...if not, the most important exhibitions for "foam." That's saying something when you consider a few of the legendary photographers that have gone before him like Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson to mention only two. And she might have added that it is one of the most dramatic shows in design and how it has been hung.
The main entry gallery comes as a surprise bordering on shock. It looks as if it has been wall papered with enlarged photographic contact-sheets. Then you notice that they have been defaced with large "x" or streaks of paint which outline them. As it turns out, Klein, who refers to these as "painted-on contact prints," has been doing this type of thing in recent years. Two photos which are considered to be iconic to his work are hanging; the smoking lady and the gun totting young boy.
His has an unusual range of styles and techniques---fashion photography, street photography, paintings, abstract photography, film maker---and he also has directed over 250 commercials---and then there is his film work. There are several examples of most of these categories. It is a breathtaking range.
He was asked his definition for a good show? "This is my idea of a good show...Each room should be a surprise." Indeed! And each room is just that, a surprise.
He work for VOGUE for 17 years. And he says he did it for the money. "I made the street photos for myself. What happened was that I had a show in Paris [where he was living at the time] of my abstract photos. Alexander Liberman saw it and called me in an offered me a job with VOGUE where he was the art director...It was VOGUE's money that allowed me to do everything else. That was then; it wouldn't happen today."
His early street photographs became the book, Life is Good & Good for You in New York---Trance Witness Revels, and was published in 1956. It showed a side of American society that "didn't mach America's image of itself." It proved to be a revolutionary work for both its subject matter and its photography. He would produce four more "city books" that were "filled with grainy, brusque photos" of citizens in Moscow, Tokyo, Rome and New York.
He was asked if there was any one photo out of the thousands he has snapped that was a favorite? "The one with the kids playing cops and robbers. I asked one of them to look mean and point his toy gun at me...I still get calls from foreign sources doing something on children's violence asking for permission to use it."
You will not be burdened with an enormous number of photos since most have been enlarged up to 150x100 cms., and are hung 19th century museum salon style. That is, one atop the other. But the large size does give you a better sense of the reality he was trying to capture. This is especially striking with the Moscow series. His Japanese series is a chronicle of human interest subjects.
While nearly all the work is black and white there are a few color prints. One consist of views of Coney Island, a museum park in New York. Then there are the big surprises like in the two galleries that face the Keizersgracht. He hangs both photos and paintings. He was part of Ferdinand Leger studio group in the late 40s early 50s. His abstract work from 1952-1954 was more than likely inspired by De Stijl and Japanese calligraphy. The works are all b/w with an emphasis on contrast. Another gallery, in this section, shows typographical painted wood panels (1963-1964). There is a series of four b/w photos labeled "Untitled (Mondrian), 1952."
Finally, there is the fashion photography which he is known generally for. Classic work! Any one hanging could pass mustard to be used in today's VOGUE. They are still innovative as well as timeless.
He told a story about the making of two of these photos. They are nearly from floor-to-ceiling and show two similarly dressed models crossing a well trafficked Rome' street. He said he climbed to the top of the steps at the Piazze Di Spana and used a telephoto lens to capture the two woman as they made eye contact showing surprise at the similarity of their dresses. He said that some men converged on them thinking they were prostitutes and some were "grabbing at their asses....My assistant said that a traffic jam could develop and the police might not be far off. End of shot."
Another surprise. He only recently discovered the world of digital and says, "I discovered digital photography and I am amazed by it. No problem with light; and a camera that is smaller than me." More recent shots of Brooklyn---he describes it as, "a foreign country"---were shot with a digital camera and are on exhibition.
His films titles include: Who Are You, Polly Magoo, Cassius the Great and Mr. Freedom." One short film is on view in the main gallery. It was shot against a nighttime background of Manhattan. Stop lights, theater and movie marquees and neon signs at bars and restaurant shows a study in contrast with color and black. Fascinating! Other films are in the museum's library.
Until 12th March 2014.
The catalog for the William Klein exhibition is sure to become a collector's item. Its special design---especially the binding---is note worthy for its utilitarian practicality: no matter what page you open it to, that double page lays flat on the table and each photo in the publication is spread across both pages. Five types of paper ranging in weight from 80grs., to 240 grm., all acid free, has been incorporated.
The layout design feature brings out the drama of Klein's work. It is a perfect coffee table "book." I emphasize book because it is really a magazine. Subscribers to the magazine, published by "foam," will receive it as a regular---though deluxe---issue. There is meaning in this approach and that is that the press run, of this edition, will be for both the subscribers and a over printing for single issue sales.That accounts for the exceptionally low price of 19.50 euro. Amazing when you consider what you get.
And what you get is 65+ individual two page layout photographs, half in b/w and half in color. What it means is the intensity and drama of each photo is felt. It may even be a better way to see the exhibition than seeing the show itself because you can focus on an individual example without your concentration being averted to other photos hanging. The latter fact is because the show is in many ways overwhelming. It vibrates with tension because of the work and the way it is hung. Klein brings a neon like vision to everything he points his lens at.
The publication is also reminiscent of the Wendingen (1918-1931) which was a Dutch produced magazine and said to have been the most progressive magazine, as far as design/layout, of its time. The magazine was aimed at a market demographic that featured architects, designers and artist. It was the creation of H. Th. Wijdenveld who was also its editor.
Oh, yeah, the back cover is a great spoof on Americana and worth the purchase price of the magazine itself. You may want to frame it.
ISBN: 9789070516321, @ 19.50 euro. "foam" magazine issue #37.
EYE MUSEUM: The Quay Brothers (1947, USA/UK)
I like to think that I know a little about art and a lot about film. It would seem that neither statement is all that accurate. I knew nothing about the Quay Brothers. But this major retrospective exhibition, at the EYE Film Museum, has enlightening me. Perhaps I have overlooked them because they have both their feet in art and film world as well as opera, ballet and theater. And it is not that their efforts have gone unnoticed. The director, Terry Gilliam, said that their film Street of Crocodiles, was one of the 10 best animated films of all time.
They began their artistic career as illustrators and having moved to London, in 1969, they developed a reputation for illustrating books. One of which was Anthony Burgess' The Clockwork Testament.
Considering their American origins it comes as a surprise at how much they have been inspired by Eastern Europeans. There is a wide range of these esoteric influences like Polish animation, the writings of Franz Kafka as well as puppeteers and composers.
Most of their animation films feature puppets made of doll parts and other material---both organic and inorganic. But they recycle the puppets---or so it would seem---by inserting them in shadow box-like models for a stage setting which are under lit and decidedly moody. You are often reminded of a space devoid of human attention for 20 years; almost like it is inhabited by ghost. Several examples are included in this exhibition.
Basically, their film style is described as "stop-motion animation." The action looks unreal and almost suspended in a time vacuum. Eerie and sometimes emotionally bothering. What their work does is to capture your attention.
In many ways, their drawings stand out with their meticulous detail and subject matter. Always in b/w pencil and haunting in their imagery.
Expect to spend sometime in viewing the show. I gave it an hour and had I had the time another 30 minutes plus would have been helpful.
I should note that there are other artist represented as well with their poster work, short films, drawings, etc. This creates the one problem with the show. Because of the limited lighting---better to see the films---it is necessary to get your nose right up to the tags, on the wall, labeling the work; and they are lit, but poorly so. You have a tendency to overlook them. That is a mistake because sometimes you assume you are looking at one of the Quay Brothers' efforts only to discover it is not so.
By all means see this exhibition; it has been well planned and the design for the space is excellent. And one last note, children to teenagers may appreciate this exhibition more than some adults. Have no children? Take your niece, nephew, grandchild, neighbors kid, etc...You'll be glad you did.
Until 9th March.
EYE Film Museum, IJpromenade 1
WHAT YOU HAVE MISSED...but there is still time...
Morren Galleries (Prinsengracht 572) is showing, once again, the work of Gerti Bierenbroodspot and it is all NEW. While she does remain true to her basic influences like archeology there is an evolutionary development. In this exhibition she leans heavily on the Greek style of sculpture and incorporates it into marble, paintings and a tapestry. There are a few portraits which combine the ancient with the Flemish of the 15th and 16th century. The large paintings is a composition of an interpretation of a painter's collage. There are several marble sculptures that reflect the Elgin Marbles in both imagery and they appear to have been damaged. The piece de resistance is a 960 cm long by 2.5 cm high tapestry. It tells a story. Until 30th March. www.morrengalleries.nl
"Let it snow...Let it snow" and that's what you get at Gallery Vassie (Langestraat 47). By special arrangement of the French government, the gallery is showing the work of Jacques Henri Lartique (1894-1986). Recently, the gallery also mounted a show at "foam" for the same artist. You will see in this show classic b/w photos that have appeared in photgraphic publication over the years. There are the three men doing an ice skating dance; a man being pulled on skis by a car; four women being pulled on skis by a horse. When he died, he bequeath his photographic estate to the government. 3D mentions this because of the pricing. Many pieces are in fixed editions of 2 and up to 30 and sell for 10,000 euros. A few are unique and expensive (18,000 to 20,000 euro). But you can also purchase an estate, print of your choice, at 1,000 euro. Until __?__ www.galleryvassie.com
Victoria Kovalenchikova (NL/Belarus) is having an exhibition at Sixty One Gallery (Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 61) and it is an 180 degree turn frm her recent style and technique. The show's title is The Earth. And indeed the paintings seem to subliminally picture the earth as seen from the international space station. But the earth's geographical division are not defined. What you will see is raised paint that could define land mass and/or mountains and a sea in blue and infinite shades of blue representing our watered surface. And interesting departure from her architecturally inspired works. (1,000 to 9,000 euro) Until 15th February. https://bit.ly/2Np0yko
Sanne de Wilde (BE) visited The Dwarf Empire which is a theme park in southern China. It is the home of 70 dwarfs who perform for the park's visitors. Are these people being exploited? 3D is reminded of the classic film Freaks (1932) which featured "little people" who made their living by working for a traveling circus. She looks into their personal lives; their weddings and celebrations; work areas; living spaces. In the large gallery we see 78 photos hanging and there are more under glass on a table. In another gallery there are 70 portrait photos of each dwarf and with their birth year which run from 1964 to 1993. Also four large paper sheets with Chinese calligraphy. A couple videos and a wall-size slide show. The exhibition is at De Brakke Grond (Nes 45). Until 14th March www.brakkegrond.nl
RA Gallery (Nes 120) is showing new jewelry designs by three artists. Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary really crosses borders when it comes to material and concept. She peels from walls covered with graffiti and slices the pigments into fine slices and glues it to an abstract form with lots of corners and rectangular projections. They are necklaces and brooches and are captivating. (Necklaces and brooches @ 680 to 1,640 euro)...Jie Sun works with miniature tile-like material. She takes a hundred or so little forms and glues them into a circular and oval clusters.The colors range from pink to ochre to blue/green to red. (Brooches @ 500 - 720 euro)...Attai Chen does something that is very unusual. She makes necklaces with material that could be described as miniature pieces of driftwood. She adds other materials such as plastic, metal, ceramic, etc. Truly mixed media. All is fashioned into a conceptual abstract collage which you can wear on your chest. (Stick pin @ 130 euro; brooches from wood, color pigments, silver, graphite, plastic, iron, aluminium, gold leaf, et al 950 to 2,000 euro). Until __?__ www.galerie-ra.nl
A Pop-Up gallery called "No Man's Art Gallery" (OZ Achterburgwal 65; above Kamerverhuur.Kim) is showing Chinese artists exclusively in this group show. Aixia Li does color photography which appears at first to represent a fantasy world. Well, almost. the photos "reflects on the social phenomenon common China in which young adults flee reality and escape into the digital world...By creating a setting purely composed of toys and items purchased on line..." The fantasy part, at times, borders on the surreal. There is much to appreciate in Li's work from the composition to colors to photography...Caucasse Lee Jun likes photograph public spaces because he "believes in miraculous moments." The results are candid-like photos and sometimes out of focus or looking like motion photography. All in b/w (30.5x21.5 cms., Silver gelatin print @ 590 euro)...Noni Sim's paintings have a nice feel of Rene Margrette. She then makes a Giclee Print of it. (30x25 cms., print @ 520 euro)...Hu Xing Yi paints in a style that could be described as figurative expressionism. And there is an apparent influence of Goerge Rouault's b/w lithograph portrait series. However, in this case, the imagery is nearly subliminal...Jifeng Zhang liner notes state that "He seeks to capture the things that he cannot find in real life." Indeed, there is an eerie and sometimes almost ghostly feel to the work. Until 28th February. www.nomansart.com
At ArtACasa (Kerkstraat 11) is the mixed-media work of Annet van Waaijen and the "mixed" part is really that. First, she makes a photograph; second, she may or may not make changes using PhotoShop; third, she transfers the image to canvas; fourth, she over-paints selectively and thinly; fifth, she stitches with fabric. The latter may define a person, a tree branch, laundry hanging from windows or a curtain at a window. The imagery is eclectic. The work clever and well done (195, 275, 525, 1,650 to 1,950 euro)...Liesbeth Milort does animal sculptures but uses resins to mold the images. They could not be more realistic and some beg to be cuddled. She favors owls, rabbits and hares. (190, 350, 550 euro). Until 3rd March. www.artacasa.nl
SLEWE (Kerkstraat 105) has a group show of three artists. Matthew Monahan does conceptual sculpture pieces. The style is a simple geometric abstraction and with colors added as well as gold leaf. Needless to say, this doesn't really explain the work, you gotta see it for yourself. It is unique. The elements he uses are: bronze, gold leaf, palladium leaf, pigment, mortar. (160x46x46 cms., @ 65,000 euro [sic])...Jonathan Messe is an abstract expressionist in the true sense of the term. One large work (210x140 cms.) is bursting with colors and very assertive. There are also three smaller canvas that reflect some of Willem de Koning style as well as colors. (59.3x42 cms., @5,000 euro)...Thomas Houseagohas but two works in this exhibition. But both stand out. One work is a charcoal geometric abstraction of a head on plaster. The other is a King Kong-like bronze figure that stands 170 cms., high but is without hands or a head. (Price on request). Until 1st March. www.slewe.nl
Galerie Cultural Speech (Postjesweg 6) shows Iris Donker who seems to live in a b/w world. There are three drawings of a woman's head---each bearing an elaborate head piece---and all in black. A image similar to these has been painted on one wall and is about three meters high. There are two DVD films projected on the wall. One features stop action film/animation and is in b/w; and the other is more of a film collage using scenes from various sources. Half in color and half in b/w. There is a surreal element to the scenario. No price list. Until __?__.
...And just down the canal is Stief Desmet (Belgium) is exhibiting at "C&H art space" (2e Kostverlorenkade 50) with unusual if not provocative sculpture works. Describing just two of the pieces is demanding. Try and follow this, there is a table balanced on old copies of National Geographic magazine stacked about 25+ cms., high. All this is atop a portable parquet floor. Now for the fun part. On top of the all black table there are the expected items: a cup, saucers, knife, spoon, a very charred slice of toast...in fact, everything is "charred" that is, all in black. The crowning touch? A nearly full size black panther standing on the table. Kid you not!
The other sculpture piece is, well, different. The figure is of a man all in black except for the all white face. There are, in fact, two more white faced men. All three sport a pipe and from the bowl of the pipe comes a light bulb that is lit. There is more sculpture and a few are small. Also there are paintings which are somewhat figurative with a man and animals. A nice touch is a triptych, each with the same imagery but with different colors and embellishments. (24x30 acrylic @ 1,500 euro; 111x78x240, standing sculpture work # 6,000 euro.) Until 1st March. http://ch-gallery.com/
PS Project Space (Madurastraat 72) is showing once again the work of Karina Bisch (Fr) and Niolas Chardon (Fr). Both are conceptualist and there is a similarity between them, but with their own styles. Chardojn's work reflects Malevich, sort of. He also likes b/w and tends towards minimalism. There is mystery in the work because of a subliminal effect that he achieves by first stretching a checkered piece of fabric over the wood form and then he covers this with a thin piece of fabric and finally paints black patterns of that. You feel the underlying b/w grid more than see it.
Bisch favors the colors and patterns of Theo van Doesburg. Where they come together is with their geometric abstract designs. Bisch does it with lots of color and an almost traditional type of geometric abstraction but she does it with an almost crude technique. She ignores mistakes and makes them part of the overall composition. It is what it is! There is another major departure she makes with the style and that is a pleasing naive look at patterns that we are so use to seeing in boring perfection. She gives them nwew life. (41x18cms., acrylic on canvas @ 3,200 euro; 80x80 cms., acrylic on canvas @ 6,400 euro; 120x120 cms., acrylic ojn fabric @ 9,600 euro).
Finally, a maquette is in the center of the space and it was a joint effort by the two artists and executed especially for this exhibition. It is square (22 high x 55 x 55 cms.) with its outside "walls" reflecting De Stijl designs and colors. The "floor" of the sculpture is a yellow dark gray "x" configuration. Until 23rd February. www.psprojectspace.nl
END OF NEW ENTRIES:
At the entrance of the PLAYSTATION section of Galerie Fons Welters is an interesting balance of work by Timmy van Zoelen. There is first a DVD that shows what looks much like the closing scene to Space Odyssey: 2001 and with a soundtrack as well, however it doesn't seem to be related to what you see on the screen. Next is a wall display with three sections and each has a pair of hands that are holding soda pop cans. The hands seem to merge from a base of liquid rubber-like material. (900 to 2,500 euro)...
Jennifer Tee takes over the backspace with ceramic and fabric work. There are several ceramic pieces standing about 35+ cms., high. Each has two parts. The bottom piece is a jar and each is labeled: oracle, bones, pickles, magic, etc The "top" is a swirl of ceramic "ribbon" and the resulting look is like a soft ice cream cone with kitschy colors. Four floor fabric rugs---crochet wool--in geometric abstract designs and with colors. (10x19x19 cms., ceramic, Ed 4 @ 450 euro; 35+ cms., high ceramic @ 2,750 euro; 210x210 cms., hand-dyed wool, Ed 1/1 @ 5,000 euro; 86x330x25 cms;l bamboo, ceramic,lights @ 11,000 euro). Until 1 March. www.fonswelters.nl
At Rento Brattinga Galerie (nee: Steendrukkerij; Lauriergracht 80) is the work of Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkumwho use the name: PolakvanBekkum. This exhibition centers around art as related to new technology. At the entrance is "a work showing wind generated movements of balloons attached to a landmark stone wall." The artists used a GPS location-data system. It is a triptych that consists of an animation of GPS-data and two color paints mounted on aluminium. That's only a small sample of what you will see. Most work is basically photographically achieved but with the eye of a conceptualist. In the back gallery, check out "The Fishermen's Hand Writing on the Surface of the Sea." It is a series of 12 panels (36x60 cms) which "shows the working week of four fishermen" but conceptually. What you see is a series of black lines which are abstract and intersect with both the panel on its right and left. "Under Fruit Street Wrapper" consists of a fruit wrapper---those thin tissue-like papers that cover oranges. One has been greatly enlarged and printed on three long sheets (200x50 cms.) of paper. An image has been applied to the paper and is from a Google Street View. It is presented as a triptych. (50x75 cms., C-print on aluminium, Ed 3 @745 euro; C-print on aluminium Ed 12 @ 470 euro; 200x50 cms., triptych @ 4,770 euro). Until 15th February https://bit.ly/2NkuUAi
It is time for "Cowboys and Indians" at TORCH (Lauriergracht 92). Wouter Deruytter (Bel/USA) does the American west but sans "cowboys." He visits the family reunion of a Crow Indian tribe. They are dressed traditionally and that includes "war paint." All the photos are b/w which fits the imagery perfectly and relates to the times over a century ago. In the back gallery, it is a journey into the past or almost. No American has captured the beauty of the American west better than Ansel Adams. But Deruytter makes a good try. There is a series of wooded areas that have been devastated by forest fire. One series of three shows the same exact scene in the spring, fall and winter. Where Adams captured the landscape beauty of the west, Deruytter see the beauty in its devastation and its rebirth. (46x46 cms., pigment print, Ed 10 @ 1,350 euro; 87x87 cms., pigment print, Ed 5 @ 3,500 euro; 150x150 cms., pigment print on Archival Kodak Endura, Ed 3 @ 8,500 euro). Until __?__, http://www.torchgallery.com/
Lumen Travo (Lijnbaansgracht 314) is hanging the work of Atousa Bandeh (Iran) who makes large figurative and representational drawings which are both very colorful and filled with symbols. The "symbols" range from jet fighters to animals. She employs an unusual technique by adding collage parts and/or cutting large sections from one drawing and applying it to cover parts of another drawing. This gives the work more depth. The figurative aspect ranges from colorful to a simple line drawing with shades of gray. A series of 11 small cartoon strip-like drawings are also on view and each seems to be telling a story. (Small drawings @ 650 euro; 190x240 cms.,pencil, ink paper, @ 8,000 euro) Until 22nd. February. https://bit.ly/2NlXt0m
Two artists are showing at AKINCI (Lijnbaansgacht 317). Jananne Al-Ani (Iran) does "drawings on the aesthetics, history and politics of aerial military surveillance technologies, in particular photography and drone technology." What you see is a nearly monochromatic pattern of rectangles and linear lines. What comes to mind are archeology digs prevalent throughout the middle-east....Stephanie Saade (Lebanon) was born (1983) at the mid point of the Lebanese civil war. This is note worthy, the press release says, becasue "Saade subtly explores issues of memory, violence, displacement, scarring, reparation and resilience through the materials and objects she finds and then copies or (re)constructs." That is, she copies their shapes and exhibits them next to the original. They may be industrialwire of plastic "tie" connectors. Until __?__ www.akinci.nl
"gallery 9" (Keizersgracht 548) is celebrating their 25th anniversary with a very special exhibition and at a very special price. In fact, 3D would goes so far to say it is a spectacular show. Folks, it doesn't get any better. Kid you not! There are 50 artists who have shown over the years at the gallery. Each was asked to submit a work that measured 25x25 cms. As you can imagine this is an impossible show to review. All those different and individually artistically motivated artist doing their thing. There is so much that is good and much work that is outstanding. And each piece reflects the gallery's raison de etre: conceptual, abstract, linear abstract, minimal and work that is a little of all. If that's what appeals to you, don't miss this show. And now for the best part: EVERYTHING IS PRICED AT 250 EURO. 15 RED DOTS at opening. Until __?__ https://bit.ly/2O2dGJ6
Tamara Muller is back at "Galerie bart" (Elandsgracht 16) with her iconic style. At first glance the paintings seem to be under painted and some brush strokes are sketchy. But on closer inspection you see that this as not the case at all; there is much color nuances in shades and hues. Then there are the eyes of the subjects. What eyes! Each set conveys a story untold, an emotion, forlornness, wonder and/or curiosity. One small paintings which exemplifies Muller's mastery of capturing a persons eyes "Family #1." Get your nose up to it and you will begin to appreciate her technical skill.
The large canvas---on the left, as you enter the space---is reminiscent of the Amsterdam' militia paintings of the 17th century. But where their were men as soldiers and with guns here you see six child-like figures. And if each person's image in every painting looks familiar to the others it is not a coincidence. Muller uses her own facial form as a guide and a model. Don't overlook the mixed media drawings. She plays with us. Each are simple line drawings but sometimes the faces are cut-out photos. In one drawing there are four heads, three are photos and one a drawing, "Stepmother." Nice work. (18x13 cms., acrylic and oil on canvas @ 500 euro; 50x40 cms., oil on canvas @ 2,300 euro; 150x120 cms., oil on canvas @ 6,000 euro) Until 1st February. www.galeriebart.nl
At Galerie Witteveen (Konijnenstraat 16) there is a very unusual exhibition for a trio of artists. What's so unusual is that the artists are all brothers. And they have more in common then just sharing a show.They all make drawings and use charcoal and pastel. The works pay homage to Seurat's dark, dark work where the imagery is sometimes no more than an after thought. However, each have their own individual style. Very much the same and totally different at the same time.
Peter Miedema style is a contemporary version of a marriage between Seurat and Giacometti. Heavy on the charcoal and linear. Sort of figurative abstraction that pulls you into the imagery. In another series of trees he takes a break from the figurative representational with surreal imagery like a human skull spouting a bouquet of flowers. (24 examples, 36x23 cms., charcoal, pastel @ 1,000 euro; 62x100 cms., charcoal, pastel @ 2,430 euro).
Harry Miedema also uses charcoal as well as pastel. His work reflects the brotherly theme: dark backgrounds. But his subject matter---which is figurative---could not be more different. He focuses on mythology themes and adds a touch of color that's so subtle you can easily overlook it. In the back gallery large drawings have classical and traditional styles ranging from the 17th through the 19th century; a few reflect religious themes. (26 examples; 50x65 cms., charcoal, pastel @ 1,725 euro; 180x100 cms., charcoal, pen @ 2,250 euro).
Hessel Miedema again emulates the families penchant for dark backgrounds, but the imagery that energies is more subtle than that of his brothers. And he breaks with the figurative, almost, by adding flowers which are very subtly colored and sometimes a human skull. (17 examples: 42x70 cms, pastel @ 1,680 euro; 70x50 cms.,, charcoal, pastel @ 1,800 euro). Until 8th February. https://bit.ly/2NR0zdF
Fabrice Hond continues his Megamosiac murals that are gradually dotting the Amsterdam urban landscape. The fifth, and latest, is at Badhuis&Suana (Da Costakade 200). This one is a trip-tych which decorates former window space each measuring 250 cms., by 285 cm. The theme appears to reflect stories from mythology. A suggestion is to view it two ways, standing before it and from across the canal for an appreciation of its full impact. Permanent. www.fabrice.nu
Angle Gallery's (Weteringschans 207) current exhibition is titled "Light Works" and hangs the pieces by Jan van Munster and Jean-Marc Spaans. The former incorporates neon lighting to create linear abstractions which sometimes stand alone or are encased in wood. The pieces are simple and as always neon is both playful and beautiful. (37x18x12 cms., wood, neon, pencil @ 1,900euro; 220X35 cms., neon @ 14,000 euro.)...Jean-Marc Spaans does photography that highlights the light effect. He photographs actual spaces that are somehow defined by the sense of light. (125x125 cms., Fujiflex on dibond, Ed 8 @ 4,750 euro; 125x255 cms., Fuliflex on dibond Ed 8 @6,200 euro.) Until sometime in February. www.anglegallery.nl
There is a group show of gallery' artists at Galerie Gabriel Rolt (Elandsgracht 34) with seven artists showing. Most notable, and featured, is the work of John Lurie of film and music fame. For those unfamiliar with his mixed media drawings you can expect a naive quality in both the colors and the figurative. He works with watercolor, oil pastel, graphite on paper. Until 1st March. www.gabrielrolt.com
Fashion photography by Gian Paola Barbieri is hanging at the Eduard Planting Gallery (1e Bloemdwarstraat 2). His work ranges from unique portrait quality as the shot of Audrey Hepburn (1969) is an excellent example to the traditional mode to composition that are notable an often dramatic like the Siamese Twins. Well, they do seem to be one. You will see Jerry Hall, Sophie Loren, et al in b/w with the exception of two works in color. Don't miss his homage to the film classic Casablanca. (50x40 cms., Ed 15 @ 4,250 euro; 100x124 cms., Ed 15 @ 6,500 euro; 100x150 cms., Ed 5 @ 7,500 euro.) Until 8th March. www.eduardplanting.com
At De Witte Voet (Kerkstraat 135) is the ceramic work of Irja Syvertsen who takes ceramic art to a new and higher level with unique pieces that reflect conceptual and figurative representation and sometime both in the same piece. Some works reflect the style of the 19th-20th century Meissen figurines; others focus on animals. Then there is the "cup series." Simple coffee cups that have had imagery superimposed on their sides and/or turned up-side down when it becomes a pedestal. (140 to 1,350 euro.) Until 22nd February. www.galeriedewittevoet.nl
RON MANDOS (Prinsengracht 282) is exhibiting three artists. The featured one is Aldo van den Broek who recycles cardboard boxes and poster paper as his canvases. This adds an interesting nuance to the imagery which is sometimes figurative---only in b/w---abstract or abstract representational. A few works add typography in red making for a dramatic contrast. His small works are in a word: Captivating. (Small @ 1,400 euro; 83x63 cms., mixed media @ 3,500 euro; 225x383 cms., mixed media @ 15,400 euro. 7 RED DOTS...Bouke de Vries work is in the back galleries and it is pure kitsch. He had taken broken bowls, cups, butterflies and a tree branch to made a sculpture work. The map of the Netherlands's stands out. (27x68 cms., 18th-19th century raku refired, burnt wood table, glass dome, mixed media @ 4,000 euro; 32x32x120 cms., porcelain, metal tulip petals, mixed media @ 9,500 euro.)...Geert Mul presents an "interactive installation." It features 500 Shan-Shui style images (Chinese paintings) which become both representational and abstract---and at the same time---right before your eyes. (Price on request.) Until 15th February. www.ronmandos.nl
Cees Krijnen is at R&R:Reuten Galerie (Prinsengracht 510) with works in several styles and techniques. The shows features a set of three Polaroids (1983) and a contemporary Pieta posed photo (2009). A couple of paintings and a colorful drawings that has been converted into a conceptual work, you gotta see it! The piece de resistance is a large metal sculpture of a"figure" that looks like it has stepped out of a Disney animated film. (3 Polaroids @ 3,000 euro; collage @ 4,000 euro; etching dip-tych @9,000 euro; steel sculpture @ 20,000 euro.) Until __?__ https://www.reutengalerie.com/
At the new jewelry Gallery Rob Koudijs (Elandsgracht 12) is new work by Katja Prins. In the past, her designs had been streamlined and linear. In this show, she has gone beyond that and into a design that appears to be organic, but in a conceptual manner. It is neither related to any sort of representation nor is it really abstract. It is what it is! And what it is is unique. Expect to see brooches and rings. (1,600 to 2,300 euro) 4 RED DOTS ...Also showing is Marc Monzo who uses a rectangular grid pattern in each piece. However, the outside perimeters are in traditional shapes like half-moons, squares, etc. (225 to 825 euro.) 1 RED DOT & TWO GREEN DOTS. Until 22nd February. www.galerierobkoudijs.nl
That's all folks...Much to do if you haven't done it yet...Don't miss the RealismeAmsterdam fair; nor the two museums exhibitions reviewed at EYE and "foam." Again, the weather remains user friendly....not too cold....Just do it!
Photo: The Quay Brothers Universum, Eye Filmmuseum