Artists

*All texts curated by Sara van Bussel, Milan 2021

Daniëlle Van Ark

Daniëlle Van Ark
On Top Of It
Ceramic, magazines
85 x 48 cm (each)
2017


Danielle van Ark
investigates the object of photography, prompted by the belief that everything is ultimately relative, void and, above all, temporary. The core point of her research rests upon an interesting duality: the materiality of photography and its ephemeral quality at the same time. With the development of steadily more advanced reproduction technologies, the expiration date of a photograph seems to diminish exponentially. The reproduction of a memory is instantaneous now, affordable, and most importantly easily reproducible. So what is a photograph really, and where lies its value in contemporary society? While the attribution of value is thus invisible, extremely volatile and fragile, the photographic image is absolutely tangible, even in its processing, from the negative to the development and print of an image, substances and matter are fundamental.

Van Ark’s practice aims to point to this polarity, stripping photography of what connotes it the most; its capacity of reproducing reality and its link to a personal memory. As we can see in the series exhibited, titled ‘Desire has no history’, what interests van Ark is in fact not the personal aspect of the object, its exact contrary: the complete lack of it in the material itself. When you take away the nostalgic subjective to a portrait, not able to recognize the faces it depicts, or even more so not wanting to recognize them, what remains of a picture? The answer is: its formal qualities. Its matter. The negatives of the series, all acquired in different places and depicting random people’s lives and events, are here glued together and rearranged according to their shape, creating a geometric composition that reminds of the abstract works by Carl Andre. By sticking together on a surface they can no longer be printed, therefor, also their functionality is completely denied: the pictures fail to fit to their original representational function, and loose their connotation of eternal carrier of memories. What is fascinating is that, nevertheless, the temporal aspect is preserved, only this time is no longer in the intrinsic meaning of the object, but in its concrete matter instead, in its formal quality.

This can be seen also in her installation ‘On top of it’,consisting of of ceramic copies of the iconic Eames sideshell chair with a base formed out of magazine stacks. The stacks, arranged by sort, contain mostly popular culture (fashion, lifestyle) magazines and art-related magazines, belonging to the artist herself.
The Eames sideshell, a design icon, was once the archetype chair for waitingrooms and offices and is now a wanted design object for mostly domestic spaces, while the magazines, that are often placed in waiting rooms too, have the peculiar quality of capturing a specific time frame while being pisitioned in places that are meant to extend and prolongue a fraction of time.
In the installation, The two components are now ‘frozen’: the shell is not longer to sit on, the magazines can’t be read. Placing this items together and denying their function once again, deconstructing and reconstructing, rearranging and organizing what is left of the traces of time, van Ark accentuates the opacity of personal and universal value, as well as the poverty of function, highlighting the eternal quality of matter instead.

Daniëlle van Ark (Schiedam, 1974) studied at The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and was thereafter resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldendekunsten in Amsterdam. Her work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2006 Foam exhibited her first solo exhibition, For Art’s Sake, in Foam 3h. Van Ark’s work is included in the collections of Foam, De Nederlandsche Bank, ABN AMRO, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, LUMC, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, AMC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Museum Voorlinden, and various private collections.

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Adam Broomberg & Isaac Schaal

Adam Broomberg & Isaac Schaal
Going Full Time, 202
Singel Channel video
Duration: 6:40 min
Edition of 3 + 2 AP

Going Full Time is an AI portrait, created by Adam Broomberg computational artist Isaac Schaal , and the transgender activist, artist and actress Gérsande Spelsberg. The work explores how artificial intelligence, trained on a vast dataset of hundreds of thousands of human faces, visually narrates the process of gender transition and the issues emerging around that — including the biases inherent in such datasets

The artists gave an AI algorithm a seemingly simple task, to start with a single analog image taken of Gersande on a 5”x4” negative and to try and visually illustrate what a gender transition would look like. The dataset that trained the AI taught it to create a linear spectrum between male and female. Walk in one direction, become more feminine, walk in the opposite direction, become more masculine. Hidden within the folds and valleys of this space, however, is the ghost of the dataset the AI was trained on, which carries the human decisions and biases that went into its creation. This work is an unedited version of its week of hard labour.

Adam Broomberg (born 1970, ZA) is an artist and a professor of Art at Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. His forensic examination of the photographic medium engages a wide range of strategies from large format analogue film to images created by algorithms. All deployed in search of the very source-code of photography and always made in a collaborative mode. His work is held in many international collections including MoMa, The Tate Modern and The Centre Georges Pompidou. He lives and works in Berlin.Isaac Schaal (born 1997, US) creates conceptual and visual art using code and artificial intelligence. His art blurs the line between artificial and human intelligence, challenging viewers to reflect upon what ways they are, or are not, like a machine. His art explores value, empathy, humility, and our own algorithmic nature. He is a graduate of Minerva Schools at KGI, and lives and works in Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Paul du Bois-Reymond

PAUL DU BOIS-REYMOND
‘Reverberation’, 2021
Oil pastels and oil on canvas
160 x 200 cm

Paul du Bois Reymond makes oil pastel paintings of seemingly random objects of the everyday, overly saturated images that range from snapshots of our daily existence to fragments from the advertisement world. 

The material of Oil pastel is an unconventional choice: introduced in Japan in the early 20th century, it has traditionally been used as a recreational tool for children, and although later adopted by avant garde artists such as Picasso, it has kept an association with the lower arts to this day.

It is thus rare to see paintings made in this medium, also because of the difficulty of the material:  unlike a brush, the thickness of the pastel sticks does not allow you to work in too much detail. The accuracy in which the works are made is therefore quite astonishing.

Du Bois playfully introduces a very different formal language, one that does not try to conform to the artistic set of rules of the classical media, but one that questions them instead. The colors are exaggerated and vibrant, the subject matter is magnified and distorted. So while he successfully attempts to re-create reality with a medium that doesn’t necessarily facilitate this process, du Bois re-shapes the aesthetic values given to it, Introducing new languages instead of compromising to existing ones.

By deconstructing snippets of reality and reconstructing them onto the canvas in a neo-cubistic manner, the artist re-defines our concept of beauty, questioning common definitions of high and low, chic and kitch, and what exactly shapes the dividing line between those categories.

Du Bois’ paintings are sensual results of picturesque constraints, formally and materially provocative. They are ironically Pop, challenging artistic and cultural conventions.

Paul du Bois-Reymond (Berlin, 1974) is an artist, musician and designer who lives and works in Amsterdam.

He studied at the Rietveld Academy of the arts (1992-1996) and was co-founder of the infamous DEPT, later Machine design collectives. In 2018 he co-founded the Amsterdam based band OWN.

In 2011 Paul du Bois-Reymond amazed the art world with his etchings for the first time. The extraordinary quality of his detailed pieces did not go unnoticed. Ernst van de Wetering –the world’s leading authority on Rembrandt– acquired a large piece.

Recent (solo) exhibitions include: YWGWYW with The Curators Room; Droste Gallery, Germany ; Kunsthaus Betanien, Germany,  Gabriel Rolt Gallery, The Netherlands  and Unruly Gallery, The Netherlands.

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Daria Birang

Daria Birang
Not titled yet
Oil on canvas
150 x 100 cm
2021

Daria Birang’s paintings are a recent development in her artistic practice, after years of working with the medium of photography. Her canvasses can be collages taken from shots from her own daily life: friends, acquaintances, and especially her children are the protagonists of the artist’s work. The influence of photography is still palpable, not only in the direct and uncut nature of the subject matter, but also in the precision of the painting technique, the meticulous technicality of the details and the refined interplay of dark and light, reminiscent of the rigour of photography. The realism of the style is coupled with unusually bright colors, oddly vivid, in scenarios of otherwordly nature. Even if slightly uncomfortable, the paintings are alive, not just because of the centrality of the figurative subjects but also because of the sense they deliver: the realistic yet weird positions of the bodies, the extremely close perspective and the fleshy presence of naked skin convey a feeling of profound viscerality, of beating life. The contorting posture of a child or the huge eyes that pierce through the canvas make room for nothing but them: they are here, incredibly present, confronting us with their humanity in an inescapable way, with an individual strength seen before in the work by greatest painters of the human such as Antonello da Messina. The element of life is what stays over, lingering through the series as a whole, immense in its power.

Daria Birang (Boston) studied at the SMFA of Boston and later obtained her BFA in the arts at the AKI (Enschede). Birang worked extensively in the field of photography in NYC (2000 – 2007) and Italy (2007-2020) as a photobook maker, editor, curator and collage artist with photographers as Inez and Vinoodh, Leonard Freed, Paolo Pellerin, Alex Majaoli, Moises Saman and others. For the last two years Birang has been focused on painting. Her practice centers around her own life as a single mother and the universe that is within her reach, mostly her children.

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Giuseppe Buzzotta

Giuseppe Buzzotta
AMNIOS, 2021
Oil on linen
205 x 180 cm

Buzzotta’s paintings are born from the desire to translate the ephemeral into solid pictorial surfaces. The fragile line between what is and what is going to/can be is the main departing point of the artist, who attempts to capture the pivotal shifting moment of transformation processes.

Buzzotta’s working process starts with an initial drawing phase that range from sketches on paper to watercolours, all drawn from life or from memory. Afterwords, the drawings are transposed to the tablet and partially re-drawn with pen and digital paint, often overlaid with details of photographs. The final stage is the employement of oil paint on linen, prepared with an old recipe primer, Bologna chalk, animal or synthetic glue and water.

The works showcase things that are about to evaporate, together with elements that change from solid to liquid, natural structures that under the influence of external forces redesign space, like branches moved by the wind, stones that roll, or water that fills a puddle. Nature meets also cultural inspirations, that, rooted in the history of human thought, provoked a state of transition: the birth of the poem moved by trauma, or classical myths that were able to break over monotheistic rhetoric.

Fractured and assembled in different shapes and tones, the immortalisation of change is the focal point of Buzzotta’s practice, the red thread throughout the history of the world as we know it.

Giuseppe Buzzotta was born in Palermo (IT), in 1983, where he currently lives and works.

After graduating in painting in 2008 at the Fine Art academy of Palermo Buzzotta pursued different curatorial projects; in 2008 he founded and directed the research space L’A PROJECT, with the aim of providing an experimental centre for local and international contemporary art in Palermo.

Parallel to the development of his artistic projects since 2017 he teaches Painting and anatomy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Syracuse.

His work has been exhibited in different international venues and features in private and public collections such as Collezione Privata Musumeci Greco (Rome), Fondazione per l’Arte (Rome) Collezione Museo Riso, museo d’arte contemporanea della Sicilia (Palermo) and Collezione Brusarosco (Milan).

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Jake & Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman
The man without qualities V, 2018
Watercolour with Hitler’s saliva and artist’s
saliva
Re-worked original Hitler painting
30.7 x 42 x 3.2 cms (framed)
Jake and Dinos Chapman
New Hell Souvenir 6 (VW Crucifix), 2018
Resin, metal, wood, enamel / oil paint
32 x 30 x 30 cm

The work of the Chapman brothers is often darkly humorous, hostile, and subversive, and the artists are cited as describing viewers’ laughter and reaction to their works as more significant than the work itself. In addition to their dioramas, the Chapmans are known for their mannequin-like sculptural works, which often resemble conjoined Barbie dolls and feature genitalia in unexpected places. By finding inspiration in both high culture and mass culture, such as Hieronymus Bosch (Flemish, c.1450-1516) and McDonald’s fast food, the Chapmans bring both gravity and comedy to their work. The three hell souvenirs exhibited here are perfect examples of the Chapman’s most recent work, which encompasses the influences mentioned above.

The second work exhibited in Shallow then Halo is a selection of six drawings from the series ‘’the man without qualities’’.

The chosen works are watercolours made by Adolf Hitler, acquired by the Cahapmans and then modified: the idyllic landscapes and cute realistic environments drawn by the dictator are embellished by the duo with little clouds, rainbows and sketches of the sun. By drawing on Hitler drawings, the Chapman brothers play with double intentions: on the one hand, they ruin what is considered to be a historical document and challenge therefor the idea of the purity of the official archive of history, something widely shared by the academic community and governmental or artistic institutions. On the other hand, by adding childish little sketches to what is already a pretty innocent landscape, they emphasize the contrast between the sweetness of the subject matter and its maker, a man considered to be among the most evil persons to have ever lived.

The irony of the gesture hides a certain playfulness, as the artists themselves admit: ‘’ The idea of Hitler turning in his grave because we painted rainbows on his pictures is fantastically pleasurable’’.

Brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman (British, b.1966; b.1962) are sculptors, printmakers, and installation artists who work together as a duo. Having graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 1990, their first critical success was Disasters of War (1991), a diorama-like sculptural piece comprised of reclaimed plastic figurines arranged to resemble the scene from the Francisco de Goya (Spanish, 1746-1828) painting of the same name. They are now known as two of the main protagonists of the YBA movement, one of the most important artistic currents of recent art history.

Their art has been exhibited in venues around the world, such as the Gagosian Gallery in New York, the White Cube Gallery in London, the Tate Britain in London, the Triumph Gallery in Moscow, and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, among many others. The artists live and work in London.

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Nik Christensen

Nik Christensen
Gathering Loose Ends 2020
Sumi ink on paper
185 x 149 cm

His most recent work exhibited here is called ‘Gathering Loose Ends’, a large work in which, once again, the nuances of the tones of black and white manage to amaze the gaze, suggesting without never fully disclosing. The work, contrary to his past paintings, has softer and less angular shapes, the brush has a lighter touch, while the central element appears a bit more collage- like and has a pop undertone to it. The half recognizable figure in the middle, emerging from the foggy background as a woman in old school movie, is reminiscent of black and white movies of Akira kurosawa, while the whole is clearly in line with Christensen’s general Ukiyo inspiration. The variation of tones drags the spectator into the mysterious, leaving a very intriguing feeling behind.

Nik Christensen (born 1973, UK) currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Influenced by cinema, literature and Japan’s Ukiyo-e masters, Nik Christensen creates large-scale, explosive ink-on-paper images that suggest impressionistic fragments of narrative, exploring the friction between the real and imaginary, he looks for new interpretations, reconfiguring that which looks familiar. Executed in black sumi ink, which he applies to white paper with his hands and a range of Japanese brushes, Christensen’s environments appear surreal or mythical, often populated by human-animal hybrids. Of working in a medium that morphs as it dries, he has said, “It’s that slight loss of control that captivates me.”

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Aukje Dekker

Aukje Dekker
TELL ME, 2021
Single Channel Video
Duration varies per secret

TELL ME

‘A work in which confidences fall on deaf ears’

This recent work by Aukje Dekker is a video installation, shot from a series of silent and secret conversations held in The Hague in 2021. The participants were given the opportunity to free some emotions without words. They shared their secrets with Dekker in a one-on-one setting without giving sound to it. Shared, but not outspoken, the artist ‘heard’ them by reading their lips. Dekker is born hearing impaired and a trained lip-reader.

The series touches upon different elements, from the iconography of language to the concept of privacy, the exploration of symbols and the power of interpretation. By confiding into the artist silently, the beholder sets in motion a chain of liberation: not totally given, not totally taken, it’s literally hanging in the air.

On the opening night Dekker will be once again the priestess you can silently pour you heart out to.

Aukje Dekker (1983, Rotterdam) is a visual and conceptual artist who lives and works in Amsterdam. Dekker graduated with honours from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2006. After this Dekker completed two Masters of Fine Art at Sandberg Institute Amsterdam and Central St Martins London. Dekker’s work has been exhibited in various national and international galleries, museums and fairs including Ultra Super New Gallery, Tokyo, JP (2015), Museum Boymans van Beuningen, NL (2012), IMT Gallery, London, UK (2011), Tel Aviv Museum of Art IS (2018), Unseen Amsterdam, FIAC Paris and Loop Barcelona. Name it; she has been there. Alongside her projects as an independent artist, Aukje Dekker is the co-founder and director of SEXYLAND; a conceptual nightclub and SEXYLAND World; a conceptual world.

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Bas Geerts

Bas Geerts
‘A Sky For The Sacred’ (2021)
150 x 150 cm
gold leaf, patinated brass leaf, shellac and acrylics on linen

The question at the core of Bas Geerts‘ practice is the timeless discourse on mimesis: how to represent reality. What interests him the most is however not the actual material world, but the digital one (even if one could ask whether such a distinction can be truly made, nowadays). His works serve as a possible way of translating the digital realm, ubiquitous and contemporary filter of our life, onto a concrete and tangible surface. To do so, Geerts employs precisely what today’s technology has to offer: digital instruments. During the years, he developed a computer program able to transform technological algorithms into organic designs, shapes and forms of unpredictable format.

To then materializing them into the physical, Geerts then proceeds to transpose the resulting patterns upon the surface of canvases, using metal leaf (24k gold, aluminium and brass) and by applying pure pigments, combined with contemporary synthetic pigments and acrylics. Like a craftsman, he succeeds in the process of transposition: from one realm into the other.

The interesting aspect of this process is that he takes on two roles, that of the creator and designer of a system and then that of the implementer, who follows what the system creates. This is peculiar because by doing so he bypasses one role: that of the actual maker. He is now the origin and the result, without being the direct author. The beautiful and abstract works that emerge from this complex procedure are the materialization of the ephemeral, the formal answer to a new way of making art, painting with the possibilities that today has to offer.

Bas Geerts (Leiden, 1971) is a visual artist and poet, who studied at the University of Amsterdam, where he currently lives.

Fascinated by technology and its possible translations onto pictorial surfaces, Geert’s work has been shown in different solo and group exhibitions, most recent ones include: You Won’t Get What You Want (curated by Gabriel Rolt) ; The Collective Space, Amsterdam ; Christian Ouwens Galerie, Rotterdam ;  JollyJoker, Amsterdam ; NARS, New York ;  Neuer Kunstverein, Pfaffenhofen ; Paradise Row Gallery, London and Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam

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Martin Kanja

Martin Kanja
Brothel Hell, 2016
Bible Channel video
Edition of 3 + 2 AP
1:49 min

Alongside the burgeoning experimental electronic scene in east Africa is a small but committed underground of metal bands, based in Nairobi. These groups are breathing life into a field hampered by a continued lack of diversity and the preponderance of racist imagery. Duma is one of them, driven by the artistic experimental force of Martin Kanja.

The music by Duma, where the vocals are swahili mixed with slang, takes a surrealist approach to its metal and electronic influences, scattering elements of different styles while preserving a distinctive and unique character.

The work exhibited in the show is a video collage of found footage with vocals by Kanja, a collage of mixed influences from films (Bunuel) to psychedelic visions, science fiction cartoons and photographic fragments from scientific documentaries. The random succession of scenes of fantastic creatures, semi recognizable bits of surrealistic undertones, old experiments with filming techniques and animations of deathly acts in combination with the swirl of Kanja’ s voice creates an unsettling, unresting sense of fear. The low frequencies and the weirdly calming and monotonous vocals increase the emotion of restlessness in the viewer, reminding us of  how colorful darkness can really be.

Martin Kanja (1990) is a musician, artist and fashion icon. Emerging from the Nairobi metal scene, he is the founder and singer of electronic pychedelic metal duo ‘Duma’, increasingly popular in Africa as well as in Asia and the US.

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Eduardo Millan

Eduardo Millan
Autorretrato en el estudio
Oil on canvas
130 x 195 cm
2021

Eduardo Milan’s work is in first glance extremely analytical. His paintings follow a rigorous making process that departs from the strict observation of reality and his close environment, from his house to his city and the Andalusian surroundings, to himself. Each canvas is produced across a series of different live sessions, taken repetitively at the same axact spot, observing the same exact image. The tools employed to paint are, among others, ancient measuring instruments such as compasses, used to

measure ratio and perspectives during classical antiquity. This incredibly accurate working method is the reason of Milan’s low production rate, which in ideal conditions reaches up to 2 paintings in 3 months.

Nevertheless, the way the paintings are made is fundamental because it generates a unique result to the viewer.  While we are confronted with a static picture, a faithful representation of reality fixed on canvas, the impression left behind is the one of permeating movement. As we can observe in the self portrait series by the artist, the eyes of the beholder oscillate constantly between the near and the far, entering and exiting the pictorial surface in an interplay of closeness. This is because what we are looking at is in fact an accumulation of moments: fragments of the self registered in a succession of hours, days, months. The contrast between the immediacy of the image and the temporal duration of the making process pervades the surfaces, allowing his works to feel oddly intimate, as if we as well are made part of the artist’s self discovery.

Eduardo Millán (Cadiz, ES, 1979) finished his MFA at the Faculty of Arts of the Sevilla EndFragmentUniversity in 2002 and completed his PhD in 2012 with honours. in 2018 he completed  the  Avigdor Arikha  Artist Residence JSS (Jerusalem Studio School) in Civita Castellana (Italia).  Since 1999 Millán has participated in over 80  exhibitions and has won 18 international art prices.

His work can be found in the permanent collections of Fundación Focus-Abengoa (Sevilla); Fundación Museo Ibáñez (Olula del Río, Almería); Museo de Santa Clara (Zafra, Badajoz); Colección Forum Filatélico; Fundación Gaceta Regional de Salamanca; Museo de Alcalá de Guadaira (Sevilla); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Infanta Elena. Tomelloso (Ciudad Real) Fundación Ramón Areces; Joseph Rivera Foundation (Miami).

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Lisette Ros 

Lisette Ros
‘Reframing Conventions’ for INTERBELLUM #1 (2013/2020)
(In collaboration with Rob Schröder, Gabrielle Provaas)
Single channel video
Duration: 20:12 min
2021
Edition of 3 + 2 AP

The research of Lisette Ros is complementary: towards society, unmasking how collective mechanisms work; conditioned by an understructure rooted in our basic, daily behavior, and most importantly towards herself.

While her performances always carry recognizable elevments, she analyses routines and questions conventions, daily rhythms and their self-evidence. She sees the consequences of socio cultural praxis that affect us, whilst the peculiar element to her work is that this all cannot exist apart from her persona. Her body is therefor the pivotal space of action, the battlefield where these types of questions are asked; her ground for exploration. Ros’ performances are marked by reiterations of the same gestures and acts, increasing the feelings of discomfort in the spectator. However, instead of using herself simply as a vessel, an instrument such as a canvas can be, Ros’ body is symbol and flesh at the same time. Standing naked as an iconographic emblem of general humanity, hers are the muscles, hers are the lungs, hers are the tired legs after writhing in the spasm of moving. It is her body that shapes the physical joint between herself and the world, and it is exactly there that the artists’ process of research manifests itself, as a quest towards collective mechanisms, and as a quest towards her own, fluid identity. Who is she, in the midst of it all? A hybrid form of existence, morphing between the fragmented categories of existing species.

This is the profound reason why Ros’ aching need of understanding has to pass through her body. Feelings are confronting, but at the same time introduce her with vulnerabilities, her flesh, her blood. She is bleeding, she is breathing, she is wondering.

The polaroids taken by Marieke Gras are fragile and tender testimonies of this – sometimes exhausting – search, as if the gaze of an outsider could help to disclose Ros’ persona, fixing her image on the shiny surface of the picture.

This dichotomy of research is what makes Ros’ practice unique. Successfully managing to combine the universal with the personal, in a way that is so candidly true, pure, and therefor necessarily physical: in this succession, not the other way around.

Lisette Ros (1991) is a performance artist from Amsterdam.

“Where does my conditioning end and where does my (our) autonomy begin?”

Lisette Ros’ conceptual art and durational performance works challenge the basic conventions and routine behavior that shape the core of human society. The starting point of Ros’ work always emerges for a confrontation with herself; a constant self-reflexivity that questions and challenges the normative values that she, as we all do, has internalized from society at large and manifests in physical impulses. In her durational performances, Ros dramatizes and aestheticizes the confrontation that she subjects her body and spirit to, sharing thus her critical findings with her audiences. Ros materializes her research into live performances, performance video art, audio works and installations, depending on the context and concept analyzed. Becoming aware of one’s body is a fundamental pillar in this respect.

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Javier Ruiz Perez

Javier Ruiz Perez
Vida plácida, protégenos de todo mal III
Oil on canvas
190 x 220 cm / 74,8 x 86,6 inch
2021

Javier Ruiz Perez (La Carolina, Jaén, Spain, 1989)’ pantings are collage-like compositions consisting of visual footage collected from social media and the
internet. The depicted subjects are always living figures, a group of people or single individuals, against a background of andalusian landscapes.
The medium employed is oil paint on canvas and paper, applied quickly, wet on wet, a technique that confers a sense of urgency and immediacy to the works.
This intuitive conviction that appears to guide Perez’s making process stems from the nature of his subject matter: the obvious of the real. His paintings always
manage to deliver an uncanny balance between credibility and oddity, resulting in depictions that are incomprehensible, yet plausible.

Javier Ruiz Perez (Jaén, 1989) graduated from the Escuela de arte 10 in Madrid and the Pasadena Art Center in Los Angeles in 2013.
His work is part of important private and museum collections including Museum Voorlinden , NL and MEAM (museum of European Art Barcelona), ES.
Ruiz Perez lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Caleb Stein & Andrea Orejarena

CALEB STEIN & ANDREA OREJARENA
Allegory of War, IV. 2020
27,94 x 43,18 cm
edition of 10 + 2Aps
CALEB STEIN
Men & Huskie. The Watering Hole. Poughkeepsie,NY.2018
50,80 x 76,20 cm
edition of 10 +2Aps

Caleb Stein is a multidisciplinary artist, who explores themes of memory and cultural identity with a full spectrum of artistic media. The selected works exhibited in the show are photographic series, which, even if stylistically different, all share the common thread of mixing the personal with the general, starting from either of the two poles. Often drawn by personal interest or past events, the series then expand the focus to culturally specific geopolitical or social aspects, taking into consideration marginalized narratives, stories of local communities and long-term effect of historical events, all intertwined with the concept of time and the personal role of the artist’s identity, who often questions his sense of belonging to the complex system called America. ‘’Long time no see’’, the result of a collaboration with multi-media artist Andrea Orejarena, is a fragmented collection of visions that explore the memory of the Vietnam-America War and the ongoing legacy of chemical warfare, bringing together photographs,

paintings and video made in collaboration with Vietnamese veterans and their

descendants. Over a two year period, the artists worked closely with the community at Làng Hữu Nghị — a residence in Hanoi for veterans and younger generations affected by Agent Orange, a genetically mutating chemical weapon used by the U.S. during the war.

Many of the people in the photographs contributed paintings, and sometimes drew directly on them, blurring the lines between author and object of research, in the attempt of offering a counter-narrative to the dominant historical narrative of the Vietnam war in the U.S.

The series  ‘’down by the Hudson’’ is an example of a more personal quest of the artist and his interest towards the concept of inhabiting. The series can be seen as a personal ode to Poughkeepsie, NY, a small town in upstate NYwhere the artist has lived for years and that he tried to place within his idea of home by walking through and capturing its streets, each day for a year long. Stein’s personal research towards the feeling of belonging is mixed here once again with the specificity of the territory and its own story, as well as with the political climate of the town in that specific time frame. The last series exhibited in the show is Andrea (2014 – ongoing), a selection of work made as an artist duo with Andrea Orejarena (b. 1994, Colombia). The photographs are made as a collaboration with a realtime, live monitor so that both artists contribute in equal parts to the final image. In the series the duo analses and dissects the preconception of the “photographer” and the “model”, challenging traditional conceptions of authorship and ways of making artistic works. This project is a personal archive intended to function as a set of lyrical, romantic and personal documents, gifted to us in an exhibition setting.

Caleb Stein (b. 1994, UK) is a U.S.-based artist. He graduated from Vassar College in 2017 with a degree in art history. His work explores the fragility of memory through an embrace of community and the dynamic, energetic interactions that occur within it. Questions surrounding mythology and narrative as they relate to the United States and the international influence it exerts sit at the core of much of Stein’s work, as he grapples with his relationship to the country that has become his adopted home.

Stein’s work has been exhibited internationally, including the Palm* Photo Prize at Photo London, Red Hook Labs in New York, Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, Pole Gallery in Lago di Garda, Vincom Center for Contemporary Art in Hanoi, Vin Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, Rose Gallery in LA, Carmel Center for Photographic Art in California, and Broken Screen Festival in Buenos Aires. 

Stein’s work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, i-D Vice, Vogue Italia, Dazed, WePresent, LensCulture, It’s Nice That, Der Grief, Hamburger Eyes, and Paper Journal Magazine, among other places.

Orejarena & Stein’s, ‘Long Time No See’ will be published by Jiazazhi Press in 2021, with texts by Forensic Architecture and Đỗ Tường Linh, designed by Brian Paul Lamotte. 

His work is a part of several private collections including the Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection. His work is also included in the permanent collection of the Nguyen Art Foundation.

Andrea Orejarena (b. 1994) is a Colombian-born American multi-media artist. Orejarena received a BFA from Vassar College in 2017 with a degree in art & cognitive science. Her work employs the intersection of technology, memory and desire to explore American mythologies and narratives as she grapples with her relationship to the country that has become her adopted home. Orejarena often works as an artist duo with Caleb Stein to explore these concerns together. 

Orejarena’s work has been exhibited internationally, at the Vincom Center for Contemporary Art in Hanoi, at Vin Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, at Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival in Chicago, OLA Latin American Film Festival in the Hamptons, NY, Broken Screen Festival in Buenos Aires, and Under the Subway in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

Awards include a nomination for the 2019 Burn Emerging Photographer Fund, a nomination for the 2020 W. Eugene Smith Grant (jurors include Teju Cole), and a nomination for t

Andrea Orejarena (b. 1994) is a Colombian-born American multi-media artist. Orejarena received a BFA from Vassar College in 2017 with a degree in art & cognitive science. Her work employs the intersection of technology, memory and desire to explore American mythologies and narratives as she grapples with her relationship to the country that has become her adopted home. Orejarena often works as an artist duo with Caleb Stein to explore these concerns together. 

Orejarena’s work has been exhibited internationally, at the Vincom Center for Contemporary Art in Hanoi, at Vin Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, at Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival in Chicago, OLA Latin American Film Festival in the Hamptons, NY, Broken Screen Festival in Buenos Aires, and Under the Subway in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

Awards include a nomination for the 2019 Burn Emerging Photographer Fund, a nomination for the 2020 W. Eugene Smith Grant (jurors include Teju Cole), and a nomination for the 2021 Foam (Fotografie Museum Amsterdam) talent Long List. Most recently, Orejarena & Stein were selected as a Juror’s Choice in the prestigious Hariban/Benrido Prize, Kyoto by Yasufumi Nakamori (Senior Curator, Tate Modern) for their work ‘Long Time No See’. Nakamori will write a text dedicated to this body of work, to be published in the award’s catalogue in the spring of 2022. 

Orejarena’s work has been published in i-D Vice, Vogue Italia, It’s Nice That, Public Offerings Ltd., Paper Journal Magazine, Matca, Port Magazine, and Urbanautica among other places.

Her work is a part of several private collections including the Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection. Her work is also included in the permanent collection of the Nguyen Art Foundation. 

Orejarena’s work has been published in i-D Vice, Vogue Italia, It’s Nice That, Public Offerings Ltd., Paper Journal Magazine, Matca, Port Magazine, and Urbanautica among other places.

Her work is a part of several private collections including the Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection. Her work is also included in the permanent collection of the Nguyen Art Foundation. 

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Shoe

For ’Shallow Then Halo’, Shoe has turned the exhibition space into a gezamtkunstwerk consisting of a room-filling mural and a selection of his most recent painting series ‘and/or’ created in Berlin last spring. In these works the artist has undergone a survey into his artistic developments within the last 30 years. The presentation as a whole could be seen as a mini mid-career retrosprective showcasing all the stages of his practice from 1990 until 2021, ranging through graffiti, calligraffiti to his most recent abstract vandalistic signature styles. 

The titles of the works feature a dual and/or: a binary opposition that aims to point towards his personal and artistic duality. Coherence versus the contradictory, struggle versus harmony, failure versus victory, a perpetual research towards the borders of his artistic persona. The works as whole will be showcased on the walls of the spaced painted in bright pastel colours, turning the presentation into a playful time capsule, a contemporary period room illustrating the many challenges and current position in Shoe’s career.  

Niels Shoe Meulman (1967) is an Amsterdam based visual artist, known for his gestural paintings which reveal vivid traces of graffiti and calligraphy. He revolutionised the art of writing when he initiated the Calligraffiti movement, claiming “a word is an image and writing is painting”.  Being a graffiti pioneer, Shoe tagged along with New York counterparts like Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring in the 1980s. Equally influenced by abstract expressionist painters and pop artists, he gradually found a unique way to translate street attitude to galleries and museums. Experimenting within the traditional medium of paint-on-canvas, but also unafraid to venture into other domains like conceptual installations and poetry, Niels Shoe Meulman keeps pushing the limits of the global urban contemporary art movement. H

Shoe’s work can be found in te permanent collections of Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Museum of Graffiti, Miami and several international private collections.

Recent (solo) exhibitions include : Het HEM, Zaandam ; , Netherlands What the fuck? Straat Museum Amsterdam, Netherland ; Negative Space Museum of Graffiti gallery Miami, United States ; Unstallation, Ghost Galerie Marseille ; Unidenticals and Reverse Paintings, Galerie Droste Wuppertal, Germany ; Uncontrolled Substances, Galerie Gabriel Rolt ;  White Walls gallery San Francisco, United States ;  Saatchi & Saatchi gallery ,Auckland, New Zealand.

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Freddy Tratlehner

FREDDY TRATLEHNER
‘I was born into the world as the king of truth for the salvation of the world’
Plexiglass, wood, basalt stone, acrylics
148 x 148 cm
2021

Fascinated by Pop culture and the mechanisms of contemporary consumerism, Tratlehner creates installations that ironically comment on our vices, while exposing us as victims of a system at the same time. 
In his installation ‘The Suiting Sound of Forever Luxury’ empty boxes of luxury shoes are filled with fake diamonds and attached to mehcanical arms of steel, which then move at the same rithm causing the diamonds to roll and to recreate the sound of the sea. The odd associacion between the suiting, calming sound of waves and the artificiality of its source creates an absurd feeling in the viewer, who finds him-herself amused by this nature-culture contrast. 

It is even more interesting to think that the serenity of senses  and the calming effect of the work is delivered by a symbolically perfect machine of consumption. The long reseach towards the right material is pivotal to the works, its quality strictly connected wit hits symbolic value: Fascination intertwines with the ridiculous, in the attempt of investigating the peace of senses that  advertisement strives to recreate. 

The world of the sacred comes back in the second series of works exhibited here, circular compositions of plexiglass and basalt stone, where the plexiglas serves as a shop window material depicting fragments of luxtury watches.

The titles of the pieces are all inspired by quotes from the Buddha, their status elevated to the one of contemporary icons, hypnotizing halos of the invisible. 
The interesting aspect to the work by Tratlehner is that, contrary to the most critical approaches to contemporary society, there is a softness to it, a funny, tender understanding of the consumer-viewer. The implication that we search for  spirituality in the wrong places is nuanced by the aknowledgment that the advertising world exploits this need to appeal to the masses, emphatizing how compreendsible it is that we fall in those traps. The sardonic tone of the works is therefor not accusatory, but ironically simpathetic, and points towards the absurdity of the lives of us all.

Neo-Reinasance man Freddy’ Tratlehner (Amsterdam, 1983) Graduated at the Rietveld Academy in 2007. Trattlehener si a musician ( aka Vjeze Fur from the Dutch Hit-band De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig) chef (Lekker Fred) and a fashion designer (Tratlehner / Dure Merk), but his all around definition is in fact the one of the artist, who, as he quotes: ‘’when he has a project in mind he wants to carry out, he just does. A true millennial, haha’’.

Tratlehner works with a broad range of media, from drawing, to video, to performance and installations.

His work has been exhibited at Gabriel Rolt, Down the Rabbit Hole’, Sign Groningen.

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Vincent van de Waal

Vincent van de Waal
Baatstraat 2020
Acrylics on canvas
100 x 100 cm

Vincent van de Waal’s paintings hit the glance immediately. Simple, unpretentious, direct. Made in a minimal style, the depicted scenes are displays of the everyday, urban representations of anonymous lives. 

The extreme simplicity of lines and the playful use of colors remind of a formal language employed in typical tales of the city, like in Jacob Lawrence’s The migration series’, where cartoon -like figures tell the story of a collectivity, the story of people trying to fit in.

In van de Waal’s paintings a figure dances in what looks to be a deserted alley, one fights with a cat, boys climb over a wall while others sit on the side of the road and observe the tall buildings of their surroundings. The backdrop is most of the time urban, skyscrapers, courtyards, cement.

And then there are they: seemingly faceless figures, living creatures in the stillness of the city. While their common gestures or settings deliver a quiet and reassuring recognition, the details reveal that there is something more to these scenes of apparent calmness. The colors on the canvases become thicker on their hands, on their faces. Layer upon layer the stratification of acrylic paint creates a collage, a powerful conglomerate of color. It’s the condensation of a whish, of a desire, of a fantasy. It’s a bliss, permeating the greyness of daily life. Vincent van de Waal paints the streets, what he knows, what we all know: the dullness of quotidianity and its trivial nature. Nevertheless, there is something common to all of our lives that always manages to shimmer through:  flashes of grace. Little squares of hope, always winking somewhere on the back.

Vincent van de Waal (1981) lives and works in Amsterdam.

He graduated in 2006 at the Rietveld academy of Amsterdam at the graphic department and afterwards developed a career as illustrator, designer and graphic designer. Since 2011 he is the creative director of Patta, an Amsterdam based streetwear label, and parallely develops his own artistic projects that range from paintings, graphic prints, to music, or poetry based work.

Recognizable from his versatility of mediums and his direct and uncut style, his works are now shown in national and international venues.

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Special Guests:

Joseph Abraham Doneus (Surinam, c. 1825 – after 1878)

Joseph Abraham Doneus
(Suriname, c. 1825 – after 1878)
oil on mahogany panel, a triptych on a fold-in base, total height 31 cm,
the main panel c. 27.7 x 23.1 cm, the wings each measuring c. 27.9 x 11.7 cm
signed on the left wing l.c.: J : A Doneus • pinx
a handwritten inventory number in black felt pen on dorso t.c.: K -21-47
Provenance: private collection, The Netherlands

Hardly anything is known about the generation of Surinamese painters who mastered the art of painting during slavery. Among the group of eight people mentioned as painters before 1863 is Joseph Abraham Doneus. Not much is known about his life, his work is the only tangible testimony left of his existence. It is very interesting and rare to be able to exhibit this work, not only because of its beauty, but also as a historical document of the stylistic development of the surinames art community: what subject matter they chose, what technique they used. Moreover, the painting presented here is in full ‘J.A. Doneus pinx’, signed, and is the only existing exampled of a work signed by a painter born in slavery during the Dutch Kingdom. Formally, The depicted figure group gives the impression of going back to an existing example, possibly a print, and the same seems to apply to the floral still life visible on the shutters (de carnation does not originally occur in South America). Rather than a classic triptych this is a single continuous representation, in fact a ‘folding painting’, and the work in this setup seems to withdraw from the Western tradition. Technically the piece is skilfully painted, showing that the atist had had some training in oil paint. Delicate and simple, the work is a precious trace of time, one to hold dear and that deserve much broader research within the realm of Dutch art history.

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Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes 

FRANCISCO DE GOYA Y LUCIENTES (1746-1828)
You who canst not (Tu que no puedes)
Plate 42 from: Los Caprichos
etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving, on laid paper, a good impression from the First Edition, published by the artist, Madrid, 1799, framed
Plate: 83⁄8 x 6 in. (213 x 152 mm.)
Sheet: 113⁄4 x 8 in. (298 x 203 mm.)

Shallow then Halo will host 21 prints, selected pieces from three different series: Los caprichos (1797),The disasters of war (1810), and Los Disparates (1815). Los Caprichos are a set of 80 prints in aquatint and etching created between 1797-1798, published as an album in 1799. The prints were an artistic experiment: a medium for Goya’s condemnation of the universal follies and foolishness in the Spanish society in which he lived. The criticisms are far-ranging and acidic; the images expose the predominance of superstition, the ignorance and inabilities of the various members of the ruling class, pedagogical short-comings, marital mistakes and the decline of rationality. Some of the prints have anticlerical themes. Goya described the series as depicting “the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance or self-interest have made usual”.

 ‘The disasters of war’ is a title given later on to the series by art historians, Goyas  handwritten title on an album of proofs given to a friend reads: Fatal consequences of Spain’s bloody war with Bonaparte, and other emphatic caprices (Spanish: Fatales consequencias de la sangrienta guerra en España con Buonaparte, Y otros caprichos enfáticos).Aside from the titles or captions given to each print, these are Goya’s only known words on the series, but it is believed to be a visual protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War of 1808–1814 and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814.

 With these works, Goya breaks from a number of painterly traditions: He rejects the bombastic heroics of most previous Spanish war art to show the effect of conflict on individuals. In addition, he abandons colour in favour of a more direct truth he found in shadow and shade.

The last series, ‘Los disparates’, also known as Proverbios (Proverbs) or Sueños (Dreams), is a series of prints in etching and aquatint, with retouching in drypoint and engraving. Created between 1815 and 1823, the series is impossible to categorize thematically. The best way to describe its scenes is, in fact, as the materialization of dreams and proverbs drawn from Spanish culture,dark, dream-like scenes that scholars have related also to the Spanish carnival.

The works by goya in their totality will mark the rithm of the whole exhibition, guiding the viewer across the path of works by the different authors, anchoring the underlying tread within it all. Like a virglius throught the circles, Goya, the master, accompany us in a forest of shallow, then halo.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish painter and printmaker. He is considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, often referred to as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns.

His paintings, drawings, and engravings reflected contemporary historical upheavals of his time and influenced painters from all over the world, and still do to this day.