Saturday, 12 September 2020

Michel Hoogervorst / Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud

Interior at Paddington 


oil on canvas

152,4 x 114,3 cm

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK



The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real. 

Lucian Freud


This painting of Lucian Freud intrigued me when I was young, his whole oeuvre still does.

Michel Hoogervorst, 2020


Michel Hoogervorst (NL)



acrylic and fineliner on canvas

220 x 160 cm


Saturday, 22 August 2020

Marjolein Landman / Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg 
oil and silkscreen ink on canvas
213,4 x 152,4 cm
The Sonnabend Collection 

Robert Rauschenberg 
oil and silkscreen ink on canvas
243,8 x 182,9 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Robert Rauschenberg has had an important influence on me as an artist. His history in abstract expressionism, which is strongly reflected in his assemblages, his image construction full of hard cuts and graphic elements, as well as his pop art mentality, are things that I feel very much related to. In addition, he has a breathtaking sense of color and his work always has the right dose of swagger and energy.

Marjolein Landman, 2020

Marjolein Landman
acrylic, spray paint and oilstick on canvas
220 x 165 cm

Marjolein Landman
acrylic, spray paint on canvas
180 x 160 cm 

Marjolein Landman (NL)
work in progress

Saturday, 8 August 2020

John Robinson / Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer
Melancholia 1
24 x 18,5 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have selected the artwork 'Melancholia 1' by Albrecht Dürer. So much has been written about the symbolism and all that stuff, loads of interpretations, loads of works satirizing it too. I think what I liked about this picture - always the keystone for me - was that it looks like a painting made on a planet orbiting a star in a galaxy far far away. I know it's an engraving, that's not the point. In my brain this image lives its own private life. There is so much to forget in the picture, the props, the positions of the objects and so forth. When I'm not looking at it, it lives on in my subconscious, offering all sorts of new images. I love this little engraving because it is a seed constantly spitting out misinterpretations. 

It's always really problematic to use language to ensnare gorgeous enigmas like this picture. So I won't even bother to interpret it with my pithy language skills. 

Like most humans living in the early 21st century my brain doesn't work well. I don't respond to stress well. I'm a terrible partner and friend. I lie to my therapist and feel alienated from an art world which feels like a luxury commodity market. I don't feel like I belong here and often don't want to be bothered while I stay in bed. Robert Burton would probably say that I'm suffering from an imbalance of the humours, a melancholy, by 17th century standards anyway. There are a few images that keep me tethered to life though, especially this one. It is the central gravitational point of the private life of the mind. That great stone with the skull subtly etched into the surface after the angel has spent the whole fucking day making it perfect, makes me feel better about screwing up yet another painting. 

Someone said it was Dürer's spiritual self portrait. I guess he is in drag then, I like that. Maybe it's Dürer's alter ego from that other galaxy, but whatever it is, it seems the closest image of depression - a very exultant life affirming misery full of comets and intensity. My work tries to do that and, like the angel and her downed tools, I manage to fuck things up royally most of the time. This is perhaps what's beautiful now - the misinterpreted life of the mind. 

John Robinson, 2020

John Robinson (UK)
I love you I'm sorry (Te Quiero Lo Siento) 
40 x 50 cm
oil on canvas

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Anita Groener / Anni Albers

Anni Albers
Drawing from a notebook
not dated
pencil on paper
25,4 × 20 cm
Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, CT, USA

Anni Albers 
Notebook 1970-1980
Publisher: David Zwirner Books

Anni Albers
Typewriter drawing
not dated

Anni Albers
colour silkscreen
25,5 x 25,5 cm

Thinking and the process of making are deeply connected in Anni Albers work through a profound understanding of materials and techniques. Drawing was vital in her work but was never performed as preliminary sketches for weaving. Through drawing ideas are born. Inception equals promise, it is a territory full of vital potential that fuels the process of becoming [something else]. Like early mornings in the studio. Beginnings signify tentative arrangements, explorative boundaries, open developments, connecting possibilities. 

The connection for me, as an artist, is foremost with Anni’s drawings, with the trajectory of the delicate lines and shapes quavering and pondering across the surface, surging through the artist’s rules and process of control in order to find ultimate harmony and balance. The image, the composition, the whole, an optical, unique and timeless universe, a collection of primary marks, dots and lines, is repeatedly more than its constituent parts. Yet, each fragment retains its own identity, is vibrant and alive. Visually striking, the intricate and exquisite patterns in Anni’s work are idiosyncratic.

The intergenerational relationship between her visual language and mine, especially in the use of lines, points and grids was reaffirmed when I saw her inspirational drawings in the flesh in the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut. It was a privilege to have been given access to the archive of Anni’s drawings in 2010 while working there as an artist in residence. From time to time, on and off but always on cue, Anni Albers’ work endures, she is one of those artists that keep on nurturing me in the studio.

Anita Groener, 2020

Anita Groener
collage on paper
57 x 76,5 cm

Anita Groener
Sketchbook drawing 
10 x 15 cm

Anita Groener (NL/IE)
I Have Spread My Dreams Under Your Feet
polymer gouache on archer paper
57 x 76,5 cm

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 the Lukhang Temple in Tibet, 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)