Sunday, 12 July 2020

Jan van Duijnhoven / Tantric Wall Paintings

Tantric Wall Painting 
from the book 'The Dalai Lama’s secret temple' by Ian A. Baker  
photography by Thomas Laird

Tantric Wall Painting 
from the book 'The Dalai Lama’s secret temple' by Ian A. Baker  
photography by Thomas Laird

In the murals of Lukhang Tantra, Buddhism describes the ultimate state of our nature as awareness of clear radiance and bliss. The awareness of radiant clarity and happiness in light and refraction as essence of painting.
Jan van Duijnhoven, 2020

Jan van Duijnhoven (NL)
180 x 84 x 14 cm
acrylic on canvas 
photo Peter Cox

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Suzan Drummen / Geertgen tot Sint Jans

Geertgen tot Sint Jans
The Tree of Jesse
oil on panel
89 x 60 cm
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The image on this small panel is a weave of visual information that is not easy to grasp for the eyes.
Pictured here is Christ’s family tree. It grows out of the sleeping figure of Jesse, forefather of the line of kings that included, according to tradition, Salomon, David and Jesus. The branches are filled with the kings of Israel, among them King David with his harp. At the top, the Virgin is enthroned with the Christ Child on her lap. Some figures radiate devotion and without exception, all figures seem sympathetic and have a sweet appearance.

To me it seems as if the technique, knowledge and skills to depict space were slightly less developed than the knowledge and skills to make folds and material expression. One can sense that both aspects had full attention, nevertheless, several things in this panel look a bit clumsy; the accumulation of people does not quite fit inside the frame, the upper figures are a bit smaller and seem a bit crammed in. The perspective is not quite right and some figures seem ‘cut out’. These imperfections do not disturb me at all, on the contrary; they enlarge a feeling of vulnerability and sincerity. 

Other aspects on the other hand, are done brilliantly in this work. It is a large group of figures spinning over each other and converging in the image as a pattern. The detailed and refined expression of the fabric is phenomenal. Even with your nose very close to the work, there are no brush strokes to be seen anywhere and I am enchanted by the precision of the details. Some of the drapery folds are highlighted and seem to shine as if the painter used a thin layer of gold. And everything is intertwined in a playful, loose and at the same time convincing way. My eyes do not rest for a moment and are tossed back and forth over the entire surface, constantly enthralled by elaborated details. The twigs with green leaves are nicely spread over the entire image and let it sparkle. The funny striped tight trousers and the clownish shoes do not seem to match the beautiful fur collars and richly embroidered fabrics, but they seduce my eyes even more to focus intensively.

Over the years I have seen this work several times and every time I seem to find something new and it does not stop to take my breath away. Although I don't want to compare my work to the insane level of this masterpiece, I do recognize the desire to leave no part of an image untouched in my work and to tempt the eyes to keep looking as intensely as possible. 

Suzan Drummen, 2020

Suzan Drummen (NL)
Commision at the entrance of a parking garage in Apeldoorn
photo prints and convex mirrors on wood
280 m2

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Peter Morrens-Point Blank Press / Martin Kippenberger

Martin Kippenberger
Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm Dich (Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself)
hard foam, cast resin, latex, acrylic, metal, Styrofoam, foam rubber, clothing, iron plate
175 x 68 x 44 cm
© Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
photo: Ron Amstutz

I'll have a good laugh with your confusing self-taunt and your compulsion to compare.

The life-size sculpture 'Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm Dich' (Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself), was created in response to an article in a German art magazine in which Kippenberger was accused of being a drunken cynic with questionable politics. The artist made six versions of the sculpture, each one with a slight variation in treatment or material.

Point Blank Press, agency for immediate language, is a one-man publishing house for uncensored, politically incorrect and other (un)heard statements. Founded sometime around 1998 by Peter Morrens and continuous if urgent, it spreads through analog means: drawings, books, postcards, objects, murals.

Peter Morrens, 2020

Point Blank Press (BE)

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Peter Morrens / James Castle

James Castle
22 x 26 cm  recto/verso
from : James Castle, Show and Store 
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid ( 2011)


James Castle, a deaf-mute and unskilled artist from Idaho (USA) made beautiful, intense drawings of his rural surroundings all his life: mostly barns and attics in complex perspectives. He made his drawings with coaldust from his stove mixed with his saliva, mostly on found paper. He often populated the barns with his own drawings and with 'friends', drawn schematic figures.

In a run down barn in Diepenheim (NL) I made the installation 'Lichtwit': three wall-filling trompe-l'oeil's of open drawings, painted directly on the wall: full drawings of blank pages. You could look at the installation through a window in the fourth wall while standing on a small podium. The viewer became an integral part of the work.

The repro's come from catalogs: the place where we had most encounters with works of art in the 20th century. Both choices play with duplicity: Castle's drawings are on both sides of the paper. My drawing is a renewed 'cover' drawing, based on the original in situ installation (2014).

Peter Morrens, 2020

Peter Morrens (BE)
lichtwit, 2014
'ik tel 37 tekeningen, ik had er 52 verwacht'
posture editions no 10, 2014 

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Charlotte Besuijen / Colijn de Nole

Colijn de Nole
Tomb of Brederode 
Avender sandstone, Baumberger sandstone, hardstone, wood 
388 x 450,3 x 328 cm 
Grote Kerk, Vianen NL

Tomb of Brederode, fragment
Baumberger sandstone
Grote Kerk, Vianen NL

The Brederode chapel of the church in Vianen contains the tomb of Reinoud III van Brederode (1556) and Philippote van der Marck (1536). The Brederode grave monument is an example of a memento mori monument: the recumbent effigies depict Reinoud and Philippote as if they had recently died, in stark contrast to the single transi below it, which depicts a deceased person in an advanced state of decomposition. In the Middle Ages, this type of monument was often designed to remind the passersby of the transience and vanity of earthly life, as well as to instil confidence in resurrection.

In the lecture ‘Subjective Histories of Sculpture’ Lucy Skaer also speaks about a transi tomb, namely that of John de Arundel (1435). Skaer adds an extra phase to the "stages" of the monument by including the mortal remains, which are under the tomb and out of sight, in her observation:
“The tomb can be read from top to bottom; the diminishment of the person from recent death through the transitional macabre decomposition to the actual remains. Or from the bottom to the top; from the corpse to the enduring object of the person as he or she was in life.”

This is different in the Brederode monument. After all, there is only one transi on the grave monument, while there are two effigies on the top plate. Thus the transi is not a representation of the bodies of the couple themselves, but a general representation of impermanence. As passersby we cannot relate to an experience of death, but the monument does reveal the mutability of death.

In my work Transi each of the drawings after the initial one follows on from the one before. As such the work knows several stages. Together, these nine drawings create a space that spans time and encapsulates transience and transformation.

With special thanks to Margreet and Hans Kluit on behalf of the Grote Kerk Vianen.

Charlotte Besuijen, 2020

Charlotte Besuijen (NL)
graphite and papier-mâché on paper, wood
100 x 293 x 270 cm
on display at: RuimteCAESUUR, Middelburg NL

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Romee van Oers / Giorgio Morandi

Giorgio Morandi
Natura Morta
oil on canvas

In this painting, the objects that are placed close to each other appear to have more mass then a single object that is placed higher in the image. A mass of objects exerts pressure on the adjacent empty space with an object above it. A strange tension arises between the group of objects, the detached object and the empty space between them. The empty space seems almost a presence.

The lines that represent the shadows between two objects also have a clear presence. Morandi gives a single line a lot of responsibility. The objects are almost reduced to shapes and lines, but are never only that. He places the strength of a line in the tension between his simplicity as a line and his existence as something else.

It touches me how Morandi almost always used a number of everyday objects such as pots, jugs and vases as the starting point for his work. How he could give so much attention to such a simple, everyday subject. The objects have a kind of human appearance. A tension between things has been created with great care. A tension that you can compare with relationships between people. 

When a painter's gesture is a painter's gesture but at the same time something else I find interesting. I use the properties of paint: The width of the brush stroke, the transparency of paint, the precision in how the shape is set and how the paint stroke overlaps. But it always refers to something existing. What is important to me is that the image feels close. This is mainly about attention and simplicity. Attention while observing the object, carefully placing shapes in relation to each other, mixing the correct intensity of paint and the final determination of the frame of the painting.

Romee van Oers, 2020

Romee van Oers (NL)
Vier rollen
175 x 190 cm
egg-tempera on linen

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Klaas Gubbels / Rembrandt

Klaas Gubbels studio wall with
Rembrandt, two self portraits: newspaper clipping and etching print (bottom)
Klaas Gubbels, two small paintings (top)

Self portrait
newspaper clipping

Two self-portraits by Rembrandt and two small works by myself hang on the mantelpiece in my studio. I feel the same passion as Rembrandt. I think he belongs in my studio, and he never leaves. He looks at me all day to see if I am doing my job well.

Klaas Gubbels, 2020