Going back in time: Daniel Gould’s 3D List, Art in Amsterdam #30
3D is often asked what is it about about art that attracts him? The first answer is always: "I like to be visually excited." That's simple enough. After that, there are several more reasons. And close to the top is that art reflects the soul of society.
And sometimes the soul is pure; sometimes it is dark and moody. Plus everything in-between. This came to mind, this week, because of a review I wrote (see below for De Appel). It was not a spontaneous arrangement of words into thoughts, but a contentious formulation of aesthetic analysis and social conscience.
Will Rogers, an early 20th century American comedian/satirist, often said, "I never met a man I didn't like." I admire that statement, however, from time to time, I have had problems with emulating his sentiment. I loathe bigots. I can seldom find justification for their smears. But what is a bigot? Or, better said, what is a bigoted expression? Well, I guess you know it when you hear or see it. I feel the need to make this "editorial" comment because when I am introduced as a critic I correct the person, doing the introduction, by saying, "I don't critique artists, I only describe their work." Then there is the exception...
Bits & Pieces:
What You Missed Last Week:
What Is Happening This Week:
BITS & PIECES:
NIMk (neé Monte Video) is looking for a new "General/artistic director (m/f)." The deadline for application is 12th July, 2010. Interviews will be conducted in August and you start work the 1st December. For more info: https://bit.ly/2m4s9Hy
De Levante and the "FoEME" organization sponsor a conference titled, "EcoPeace, Environmental Peacemaking in the Middle East." If you think the biggest issue between Israel and Palestine is the "settlements" you may be surprised to learn that the last issue that will be settled will be who gets control of the Jordan River and how the water will be shared. This is one of the issue that will be discussed at the Felix Meritis (Keizersgracht 324) on Wednesday (30th June). There are two times: 15:00, for professionals; and 19:30, for the general public. Professionals pay 15 EUR entry; the general public, 10 EUR. Students, 5 EUR. Middle Eastern "hapjes" will be served and entertainment provided. Reservations required: https://bit.ly/2veVof0 http://ecopeaceme.org/
"Amsterdam's historic canal rings will be included on the UNESCO World Heritage listing," according to a report at https://www.dutchnews.nl/. Walter Schoonenberg, of the city center friends association, said "Amsterdam's image will hopefully change. The emphasis will be more on culture than sex and drugs and rock and roll." Wanna bet? Then there are the critics who oppose the designation by saying, "It will hinder the city's development and turn the city into a museum..." No way, José!
De Nieuw Kerk (Dam) continues its 600th year celebration with religious concerts from Thursday (24th June) to the end of the series on Wednesday (30th June). See the program at: https://www.nieuwekerk.nl/
"Barricade Design Sale," furniture, lamps and accessories from design studios. In Uithoorn, (Ondernemersweg). July 1st to 5th. No web-site address. For more info e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is nothing fishy going on in the Dutch marketing of haring...it's only business. An article by John Tagliabute (https://nyti.ms/1KHXXtg; 23rd June) says that the Dutch fishing industry is now marketing to the world Hollandse Nieuwe. They are shipping about five tons a year to the USof A alone. Some of the Dutch couldn't care less. One was quoted as saying that being of the younger generation he feels, "First, it's fish: smelly and raw." He goes on to state that the fish industry is driven by marketing. "It's like Beaujolais, the biggest fraud ever." Well, 3D thinks eating haring is like eating American fudge, a rich chocolate delicacy. The big difference is that haring is very, very good for you. It's win-win.
Bank robbers are nearly a thing of the past. The general security at a bank with their locked entrances; bullet proof glass that partitions the teller from the customer; special bags that explode a bright colored dye, when opened; and the collection of video cameras that monitor the space has discouraged even the most adventurous Bonnies and Clydes. That leaves only the dumb ones.
McArthur Wheeler certainly qualifies as one of the dumb ones. Mr Wheeler sort of stands out. He is about 168 cms., tall and weighs a whooping 115 kgs. He robbed a bank one afternoon, recently, and was captured on video cameras which recorded the event. That night, on the TV news, at 23:00, his picture was featured. Within an hour, he was arrested. He was flummoxed by the sequence of events. He was quoted as saying, " 'But I wore the juice...Apparently, he was under the deeply misguided impression that rubbing one's face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to video cameras,' " said a law enforcement official.
This incident was reported in an article by Errol Morris, "The Anosognosic's Dilemma: Something's Wrong But You'll Never Know What It Is (Part 1)," (http://www.nytimes.com, 20th June). Morris wrote, "If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber---that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity."
Hmmm. And 3D feels a bit stupid himself. The term "anosognosic" was unknown to me. So, I looked it up. In five dictionaries. The last one was the five kilogram plus, 2,662 page, "Webster's Third New International Dictionary: Unabridged." Hey, folks, it ain't there. Go figure...But I hadda KNOW, so I googled "anosognosia" and this is what popped up: "[It] is a condition in which a person who suffers a disability seems unaware of or denies the existence of his or her disability." Hey, I know of few of these people.
"Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter," by Tom Bissel (218 pages, Pantheon Books, $22.95), was reviewed by Chris Suellentrop (Int Herald Tribune,16th June) who said of it, "[The] book is about the profoundly ambivalent experience of playing them [video games]." The author, of the book, teaches fiction writing at Portland State University [USofA] and admits to spending more than 200 hours playing one game. He says, " 'Today, the most consistently pleasurable pursuit in my life is playing video games...The interactive nature of video games enables moments as gripping as any fiction I have come across.' He is smitten with Grand Theft Auto IV. A game he sometimes regards as 'the most colossal creative achievement of the last 25 years.' " Is this an indication that "fiction writing," as we know it, is now contending with the first stages of its demise?
A former governor, of the American state of Louisiana, had this to say, a few years back, about his reelection chances: "The only way I could loose is to be found in bed with a dead woman or a live boy." He was later tried, on another matter, for a felony violation, and acquitted. When a journalist told him that some of the jurors had left town with the hotel's towels he said, "Judged by my peers." For what it is worth his name is Edwin Edwards and he is now doing time for something or other.
Just what you wanted to know...The most unusual dog and cat names for 2010. And the winners are: 1. Pickle von Corndog. 2. Lord Chubby Pruneface. 3. Badonkadonk. 4. Ninjastar Dangerrock. 5. Molly McBoozehound. 6. Dog Vader...Well, you get the idea. There are a total of 35 of these gems. See more at: https://www.msn.com/nl-nl/
WHAT YOU MISSED LAST WEEK:
At the Amsterdam Stadsarchief (Vijzelstraat 32) is an interesting exhibition of photography and landscape design. It isn't a big exhibition, but it is inclusive as to the subject matter. As all of us who live in this great city knows, space always comes at a premium price. The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in the Western hemisphere. But the natives of Amsterdam compensate for a lack of space to make gardens by being innovative and using their imagination. Walk along any street and you will see "flower gardens" measuring one meter long and 20 cms., wide or smaller.
Sujata Majumdar (UK), a freelance photographer, and Patrick McCabe (Ireland), a landscape architect, searched out many of these improvised urban respites. "In many cases these gardens are an act of defiance, a form of anarchy in which the inhabitants typically annex or appropriate a public space, and then seek to defend it at all costs." This from the brochure promoting the show. Another welcome feature is that the liner notes accompanying the exhibition are in both Dutch and English. Until 29th August. FREE.
https://bit.ly/2ON1lbV http://www.redscape.nl/ https://bit.ly/2vmqXoh
At LUX Photographic Gallery (Postjesweg 1) is an exhibition for Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski (Neth) titled "Sequences: The Ultimate Selection." He photographs only in b/w and within this stylistic discipline he concentrates on contrast, shadows, parallelism and conceptual representation. If, indeed, the latter is the correct terminology to describe a series of six photos in which we see the same dessert scene lined with ripples of wind blown sand. An arm reaches out---with an extended thumb---and focuses on one rippled crest and in each successive photo we watch the thumb follow the crest from deep background to the foreground.
In another series, also with a series of six photos, the imagery is a hand that is grasping the faraway sun; and in each successive photo the hand slowly closes around it. Other photos are framed dip-tychs or trip-tychs and appear to be studies in parallelism, but in essence they are not because each corresponding photo is slightly different in either shadow or shape. (The photos vary in size and all are in editions of five. 1/5 is priced at 1,500 EUR; and 2/5 is priced at 2,000 EUR.) Until 16th July. http://www.luxphotogallery.com/
An exhibition is mounted by Bjarner Melgaard (Australia/Norway/USofA) in the name of Rod Bianco at De Appel (1e Jacob van Campenstraat 151). Call it confusion in the art world. Or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say, an identity crisis. ...But 3D is getting ahead of the story.
First, the art. What we see is an interesting body of work. In one gallery there are eight paintings (200x250 cms.) that appear to have been painted from a series of photos taken in an artist's atelier. We go from simple representational composition to an interpretation of motion photography set to the rhythm of strokes of paint, on a brush, to linear abstraction.
In another gallery, the paintings are a mix of representational imagery with an overlay of stenciled figurative icons. The gallery space is "framed" with a couple of continuous 10 meter+ canvases flanking all four walls. We actually desecrate the works by walking across them. In a nut shell, I would label the style of the work as Pop/Con (Contemporary Pop School). The artist paints colorful and representational imagery then dresses it up with overlays. The overlays range from stenciled images to abstract symbolism---or something like that---and typography. His colors are good and the compositions are traditional.
In another gallery there are 18 bronze dogs ranging in size from about 25 cms., high to over 125 cms., tall. My first question was, "Did he sculpt them?" The answer, "No." They are traditional sculptured works from Benin of the 18th and 19th century. Unfortunately, this info is not included in the gallery room, but a detailed explanation concerning it is in the small booklet labeled "Viewing copy" that you obtain at the reception desk.
Now to the negative aspects of this show. His notations---Melgaard's? Bianco's?---painted on some paintings, I found to be racial slurs and/or misogynous. To wit: "fuck my brains out nigger cunt" against a pastoral 19th century scene; and "Wanna Be A Black Whore" against the same landscaped background. But, wait a minute, that little green book, which is the "viewing copy," has a disclaimer: "Like most of the characters that pop up in Melgaard's work he [Bianco] is namely present as a suggestion or idea; he does not have a biography and does not receive a specific physical form in visual representation...Bianco might be a product of the imagination but is far from being a second self; nor a pseudonym, alias or 'nom de plume' for the artist Bjarne Melgaard.." Hmmm. Well, when I see a skin head tattooed with Nazi symbols I think he is trying to convey a message of sorts by recreating his feelings graphically. The little green book goes on to say, "Melgaard's work is never a comfort for those fond of political correctness. Chaos, violence and excess, injuries and dependencies as well as emotional ambiguity are recurring motifs in his work. He has becomes notorious for explicit, homoerotic and violent imagery..." and the list goes on. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...Well...
The Catalog: "BLANCO"
This is even more difficult to comment on. Difficult because all the negative factors mentioned above are here in spades...A real royal flush in fact. But on the other side of the coin, it is a beautifully realized work of typographical and layout art. There is nothing to fault it in that respect. It is dived into sections. The sections are delineated both by subject matter and paper. At the opening of the catalog, the paper is identical to that used in pulp magazines published during the 40s and 50s: same quality, paper weight and garish color reproduction. Other sections feature high quality rag paper. The graphics are superb. But...but, again, here is an excerpt from a "novel," by Rod Bianco, and on designated page "18.7." it reads, "I guess I was an art world whore always. Got my first show by screwing a gallerist, fucked a curator or three. Don't get it why I think of this still (?) (?) (?)" [sic]. Oh, but wait, this is NOT a novel by Bianco, but phrases taken from a left-behind notepad, etc. Then there is the section labeled: "Big Fat Black Cock, Inc." There are a series of photos which picture just that imagery. There is one reproduction of a painting of the American flag and with that very phrase replacing the "stars" against the field of blue. At the back of the book is a series of doodles, in b/w, with captions like: "Daddy Seeks Bitch" and "Whore Seeks Daddy." Basically, the sexual illusion and asides are what I expect from art academy students or those just out of an academy and discovering sex for the first time, but not from a mature artist. Hey, go at your own risk. Until 5th September. A FREE guided tour will take place of the 11th July (Sunday) and the 4th of September (Satursday) at 15:00. Reservations at: email@example.com
Missed the opening at Galerie Lieve Hemel for Karel Sirag's exhibition of miniature paintings. And they are indeed small; the diminutive paintings began at about three by two centermeters and expand all the way up to five by ten centimeters. The subject matter ranges from landscapes and city scapes to abstractions that pay homage to Piet Mondrian to playful subject matter like a giant frog caught in a "down pour" of bananas. The work is meticulous in detail. This was the closing. 14 red dots. (2,300 EUr to 6,000 EUR) Hey, nice things come in small packages. https://bit.ly/2MioNwa
Dirk Polak is a man of many talents: He writes, he sings, he paints, draws and makes objects. He seems to have more talents than the late Vladimir Nabokov who he shares a like passion. They both are/were lepidopterist, lovers and students of butterflies. But 3D is getting ahead of the story. The title of the exhibition at "RADAR architecture & art" (1e Rozendwarsstraat 17) is "from engineers of yesterday aka so far no good." Huh? Doesn't matter. In a vague sort of way, it refers to the "Meccano" toy that was developed by an Englishman, Frank Hornby, in 1901. In America, we called it an "Erector Set." You bought steel shafts in different lengths and lined with holes, nuts and bolts electric motors and belts, etc. You could make Ferris wheels, automobiles, airplanes and whatnot from the kits. It was the forerunner to Lego. Polak must have had a passion for the toy since, at some point, he began to make objects from the material. On view is a five piece band: drummer, piano player, guitar player, etc. But he extends the concept by making drawings and paintings that form the imagery as if he was using the toy's sections. And it is at this point where one of his passions appears to coincide with Nabokov. What we see are "butterflies" made from a Meccano set. As an artist, he says that he is "drawn to Surrealism, Dada, Futurism and Constructivism." Damn, forgot to check the price list. Until 17th July. https://bit.ly/2AmjWZr
Galerie Fons Welters (Bloemstraat 140) is showing the conceptual sculpture/objects of Magali Reus. She works with very simple themes. One piece, that stands out, consist of three oil barrel like objects with an aquamarine strip which bring two of them together. It is simple and monumental. A four meter+ high three prong tubular steel piece is also monumental in its simplicity. Two other works use wood marbled with shades of orange. Actually, each work has three or four sections and each part is for sale separately at 2,000 EUR. The sections are in various sizes and shapes. The artist also presents a video work, "Finish." (320x60 cms., aluminium + tubular steel @ 2,000 EUR; "Heat Treatment," Jesmonite, silicone rubber, invariable size @ 7,000 EUR.)
At the entrance, to the gallery, in what is called "PLAYSTATION," is the work of Lena Rot (Ukraine). Her work is a nice change of pace for an abstract/expressionist. Sometimes the style just comes across as boring. It has all been done before. Ms Rot does it differently. And in several forms and interpretations. There are a variety of colors or just sometimes a lack of color. Her "canvases" are more often than not material from the street like old MDF, wood or mirrors. One example of the latter, is a series of mirror strips with an overlay of painting. Then there are rectangles, squares and even a disc. Nice. (7x10 cms., mixed-media on wood @ 100 EUR; 20x13.5 cms., mixed-media on wood @ 200 EUR; 30x33 cms., mixed-media on wood @ 400 EUR) Until 31st July. https://bit.ly/2NOPpoX
WHAT IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK:
Reminder: From time to time you may see (?) which is meant to indicate that the info is possibly WRONG. This is also true when you see "*" and you are advised to check on the info any way you can. 3D can't do it all for you.
THURSDAY: 24th June, 2010
THURSDAY: 24th June, 2010
(?)17:00 Allard Pierson Museum (Oude Turfmarkt 127) "Sail Rome: Schepen en havens in de Romeinse tijd."
17:30 "foam" (Keizersgracht 609). "Pretty Much Everything - Photographs, 1985-2010," by Inez van Lamsweerde andVinoodh Matadin. Also, in another gallery, Karl Blossfeldt (German), plants and flowers. https://bit.ly/2Lavlwl
FRIDAY: 25th June
FRIDAY: 25th June
17:00 ARTTRA (2e Boomdwarsstraat 4). Hassan Mosleyani (Iran/Neth). Expect expressionism. http://www.arttra.com/galerie/
17:00 VOUS ETES ICI (Lijnbaansgracht 314). "It was twenty years ago today..." continues with Part 3, "Art Meets Design." The show combines form, furniture and art with several artists represented. With any luck, the 20th year celebration will continue to Part 8 or 9, through July and August, and give gallery bums something to do during those quiet months. https://bit.ly/2vwApoe
17-19:00 Galerie Beeldend Gesproken (N.B. @ "ei-complex," H.J.E. Wenckebachweg 115). Bastiaan Benders, mixed media; Ronald de Hoogh, acrylic on paper; Norbert de Jong, oil on canvas. https://www.beeldendgesproken.nl/
20:00 OT301 (Overtoom 3091). "Room Service Presents: Netherland ISBN 9780007275700." This appears to be something unusual. Joseph O'Neill's novel "Netherland" was given to eight artists as a starting point to develop a work of art...And this is the result. https://bit.ly/1NjORS7
SATURDAY: 26th June
SATURDAY: 26th June
13-18:00 The American Book Center (Spui). "The ABC Urban Arts Festival: A Cross Fertilization Between the Worlds of Design and Crafts." On the square, in front of the book store, there will be an "outdoor ateliers" opening with several artists showing and creating before your very eyes. Kid you not! Dutch and international and ALL types and styles. And here are some of the names: XSTREETS Collective, Maki, The Ladies Fancywork Society, Buzz Polle, Molly Crabapple...Wonder if she is related to Susie Creamchesse? Put them together and you get Mom's apple pie with a slice of cheese. https://bit.ly/2Jp6HX6
15-20:00 No-name Venue (Marnixstraat 78). Leo Kogan unvails "The installation I've tinkered way at for at least 3 years...Come by and have a look at the paintings, sculptures, the monorail, the pendulum lamp and so on..."
16:00 Galerie 59 (Van Eeghenstraat 59). Luis Acosta, paper design and objects; Tobias Böhm, drawings; Bernadette Bevink, abstract drawings and paintings. https://bit.ly/2OtOCLj
16:00 Eduard Planting Fine art Photography (1e Bloemdwarsstraat 2). "Fashionstas! - Photos by Rohn Meijer." He is a Dutch/American fashion photographer. https://bit.ly/2lZLxFJ
16:00 Galerie W. v. Leeuwen (Hazenstraat 27). "Summer in the city '10," with eight photographers. http://www.woutervanleeuwen.com/
SUNDAY: 27th June
SUNDAY: 27th June
15:00 ZET Foundation (Glazenhuis, Amstel Park). Burkina Fonds launching with Gilbert van Drunen, Marho Postma and Altie Thijsen. https://bit.ly/2MimSrC
15:00 Jos Art (KNSM-laan 291). Yvan Theys, figurative expressionism. https://bit.ly/2KTfwOo
16:00 Galerie 23/Hedendaagse Afrikaansekunst (KNSM-laan 307). "Memories de la Negritude," installation (object, photographs and video) from the Pan African Contemporary Arts & Film Collective (Brazil, Netherlands and Senegal) with a performance by Quinsy Gario. https://bit.ly/2ndlxav
16:00 TEN HAAF PROJECTS (Laurierstraat 248). "From a certain point of view," curated by the fashion designer Frans Molenaar who will also exhibit his own "classical modern glass sculptures." Also the work of Sander van t' Sas,paintings on wood; Sean Mac Andrew, photographs. http://www.tenhaafprojects.com/
17:00 Beeldhouwerscollectief ABK (Van der Hoopstrasat 39). "Puur Water, Bijbels Musuem Amsterdam," nine sculptures. 3D assumes that this is the collection from the Bible Museum and not AT the museum. But you never know. https://bit.ly/2nc0Hbq
Yeah, yeah...3D knows! Nature has created its own work of ART. The Amsterdam sky is blue, the sun warm and the livin' easy. Vondel Park and all the others dotting the city call to you with open arms. So who wants to visit a gallery? Hmmm. Gotta admit, that's a hard question to answer. But someone gotta do it. Let it be you. Rise above the plebeian demands of common gratification and do a few galleries...You will ALWAYS be surprised by what you see. Kid you not!
Photo: 3D stuck in the middle with two pretty ladies, sorta...It doesn't get any better! On the right, Eva Bartels stands before her paintings and talks with Froukje Jansen, TV personality at WALLS, Photograph Guillaume Ehrenfeldt