Sunday, 26 May 2013

Anthony Cudahy / Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman
film Persona

Anthony Cudahy (US)
Oil on Canvas
35,6 x 48,3 cm

I think I could turn myself into you. If I made a real effort. I mean inside. You could turn yourself into me just like that.
From film Persona 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Toon Teeken / Broodthaers-El Greco-Van der Weyden

Marcel Broodthaers
Langage de fleurs
wood, paint, plastic
30 cm diameter

El Greco
oil on linen
142 x 193 cm

Rogier van der Weyden
ca. 1435-1440
oil on oak panel
220 x 262 cm

In the course of time I have been influenced by different artists from different disciplines: El Greco, Giacometti, Manet, Bonnard, Carpaccio, all the Italian Renaissance, Pierre Boulez, De Chirico, Rothko, Elliott Carter, Hanne Darboven, Teresa de Keersemaeker, Rogier van der Weyden, Monteverdi, Marcel Proust, Marcel Broodthaers, Helmut Lachenmann and many others. I deliberately do not mention them in chronological order. Besides philosophy, my travels in West Afrika, a lot of contemporary music and the daily practice of life, especially El Greco and Marcel Broodthaers have been decisive. From the latter I saw a retrospective in Brussels and there I recognized language as image and image as language. Language as unlimited generator of meaning that also swallows up meaning. Maybe I also saw that very early in El Greco, whose free hand of painting makes the picture appear as readable calligraphy in an abstract, relatively flat space. Early on I called him the first cubist. But I guess the best work I've ever seen is the Deposition by Rogier van der Weyden at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Toon Teeken 2013

Toon Teeken (NL)
Being a statue
oil on linen
160 x 200 cm

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Simon Schrikker / Herman Kruyder

Herman Kruyder
De Hond
oil on linen
110 x 122 cm

Despite the rather stylized way of painting it has a raw edge. This could of course be related to the psychological state of the painter. One year after making this painting the painter dies as a result of a previous suicide attempt. Of course, you do not need to know this as a viewer. I think it's a very exciting, dark painting, even without knowing this story. The colors, the bone, the dog with a rope around his neck and his genitals visible to the viewer take you back to the farmyard where Herman and his wife lived in isolation. Over the years I often have been looking at this painting in the Boijmans.

Of course my work is not a literal copy of this work, and as an artist I have many examples. Too much to list here. At the academy I wasn't occupied with figurative painting. In fact I was more interested in paint and its functioning. I still love that, I can sit in my studio for days muddling with paint without anything solid coming out. When I came up with a painting of a deer in a swamp of paint during my follow-up study, it was Emo Verkerk who pointed me to this work of Herman Kruyder. Spontaneously I changed the deer into a Rotweiller. I have the feeling that figurative painting is somewhat out of favour lately. One critic recently called it 'Deer Art'. However, using the subject-matter of the dog, I still think it's very exciting time and time again to seek this specific point where something unexpected happens, with the image, the technique and of course with the viewer. 

Simon Schrikker 2013

Simon Schrikker
oil on linen
210 x 250 cm

Friday, 3 May 2013

Rinus Van de Velde / Ellsworth Kelly

Rinus Van de Velde (BE)
Self-portrait as a young Ellsworth Kelly
charcoal on canvas
270 x 360 cm

What you see in this drawing is not me drawing the drawing you are looking at, as you, meta-minded as you probably are, might believe. It is me drawing number 516 of what will be an infinite series of plant studies, a project in which I’m trying to forget the tradition I am part of to enter a realm of pure form. I have surrounded myself with plants and plants only, and I will take care of them until they overgrow me and my language, until there will be nothing but charcoal lines drawn by an automatic hand that doesn’t belong to me anymore. I will live in a world where drawing and nature are the same thing and meta is dead.

Rinus Van de Velde