3D List: April 24th, Amsterdam Art & Galleries

By: Daniel R. Gould

Is anyone reading this?  Last week, 3D lectured on the need for "art lovers" to BUY! I saw little that would indicate that the my  readers got the message. Saturday was a complete wash out as far as red dots were concerned. Pity. Pity, because there was much that was good and the prices seemed unusually reasonable. You must do your part to keep the Amsterdam  art-scene alive, active and ac-citing [sic]. or should I say, art-citing. Hmmm, must be my cockney accent. 3D is giving his readers another chance to open your wallets---remember that thing---and DO it this week. Pleeeease BUY something, already...tell your partner---when they see the bank account debit---"3D MADE me do it!" .

 

Bits & Pieces:

 

What You Missed Last Week:

 

What Is Happening This Week:

 

 

BITS & PIECES:

 

 

Greger "Espen" Hagen (1964-2008). A Swedish artist, who had lived and worked in Amsterdam since the late 80s, died a little over a week ago. The first exhibition I saw, for him, was at the now defunct Galerie Drie Verdeipening---located just off the Haarlemerstraat---sometime around 1990. I was drawn to his work from the beginning. Not only did I find his technique on a high level, but there was humor in his work as well. I would buy a small mixed media collage piece that featured the image of Donald Duck, my favorite Disney character.

 

Since that time, I had seen many shows of his. One theme that was present, from the beginning, was his use of the American Indian as an inspiration. He painted a lot of Indians over the years. At his wake, at The Gallery (Leidsegracht 76)---one of several Amsterdam galleries which had given him an exhibition---a boyhood friend of his mentioned, in his eulogy to Hagen, that he had been infatuated with the first native Americans since he had been a kid; and, indeed, had gone to Canada, to live for a few years, to explore their culture in greater depth.

 

Then, somehow, he found his way to the Rietveld Academy and Amsterdam. But there was another influence he would discover, during his early years in the city, and that was the artist and the work of Herman Brood. He did adopt, for his own use, techniques Brood used. And, unfortunately, some of Brood's life style as well. I assume that  that may have been major factor in his untimely demise.

 

Espen I always found to be a mild sort of person in his manner and an very agreeable person to be around when he wasn't under the influence of any substances like alcohol and the more exotic mind-expanders and, even when he was, he was never aggressive nor confrontational. But no matter what his bad habits, he always worked and  was very productive.

 

The wake was not announced on the 3D List because I did not hear about it until Thursday evening, the time it took place. I was at an opening and someone mentioned it. And I went immediately to pay my last respects. And, in fact, when the official eulogies had been delivered and the audience was invited to make  comments if they  wanted, I took the opportunity to do so. After all, I  liked his work enough to have bought a piece; and it was a chance to say goodbye to another artist that left us too soon.

***   

Aha...Mystery solved!  Last week, I pointed out that I had not seen anything new from Amsterdam's most famous street poet, Laser 3.14. A 3D List reader, Donna D., sent on the comment to the man himself and she reported his reply:  "Laser says to pass on the message that you'll be seeing more of his work again now that it's getting warmer outside." So, it isn't writer's block, but just a bad case of the shakes and shivers brought on by Dutch winters. Hey, Laser, we didn't have winter this year...if you want to use the weather as an excuse, try living in Chicago during December, January and February!

***  

Well, the above was written yesterday. Today (Tuesday), I spotted two new location with Laser 3.14 contributions to his oeuvre. At Kerkstraat 246, "She's a template for a ballerina. Spinning in my head." (While this was new to the location, it rings a bell. Perhaps it is a repeat.) At Katenstraat 43, "A bowtie [sic] could make the weariest man look decent." 3D might argue with that. My experience is that men who wear bow ties tend to be conservative, in fact, very conservative.

***       

Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is continuing to try the same approach to solve a problem but expecting different results. Reminds me of a Dutch publishing company I was hired by to rectify nine straight years of red ink. When I changed the marketing approach, I was told, "We don't do it THAT way."  When my contract ended it was not renewed. 

***    

Somewhere in this list, I used Marshall McLuhan's most famous statement which was made about television. I was unsure about the spelling of his name so I googled. There is a site in his honor. You can click on to other quotations from the man. Here is a sampling:  "Money is a poor man's credit card....The nature of people demands that most of them be engaged in the most frivolous possible activities---like making money...You mean the whole fallacy's wrong?...The road is our major architectural form...Today, each of us live several hundred years in a decade." And, I might add, when he made that last statement there was NO Internet nor cell phone. www.marshallmcluhan.com 

***    

I saw a poster for the : Alzheimer Cafe Oud-Zuid (Schinkelkade 69) announcing a meeting on the 6th May @ 19:00. I assume it is for those people with a family member who is afflicted and/or for someone in the early stages of the disease. For details see:  www.alzheimer-nederland.nl

***      

 

 

 

WHAT YOU MISSED LAST WEEK:

 

Wednesday:  17th April 2008

 

PuntWG presented "Impro Muisic" with two sets each by  different  performers; and each a completely different style of sounds. I use the term sounds because this was a night of "new music"  and there are those among us that often describe "new music"  as "non-music."  Well, true, it is not really possible to dance to, nor hum along with the melody of which there is generally NONE, but if your hear and enjoy the sounds, well, need 3D say more? So, "sounds"  is a fitting description and should work for the purest as well as the average Joe, Jan or Kees off the street.

 

Alfredo Genovese, el gt [sic] (you will be seeing other alpha abbreviations that sometimes I can only guess at the meaning. In this case, I assume "el" is "electronic"  and "gt"  is "guitar." Whom ever did the e-mail announcement was too lazy, or something, to spell anything out). But, I digress...The guitar player wore socks. I wasn't sure if he was just too poor for shoes or trying to make himself feel at home. It would develop that neither was the case. As the two performers were setting up someone said to 3D, "There are a lot of pedals!" I looked in the direction he was pointing and indeed there was an array of pedals---about ten---along with an assortment of other electronic implements; many with knobs and buttons, I replied, "You would have to be a ballet dancers to manipulate all of them." The man, making adjustments and fine tuning---if that's the phrase---looked up at me and smiled. Later, as I watched his shoeless feet dance across the pedals, as his plucked at his guitar strings, I thought him as nimble with his toes as with his string pulling fingers.

 

His partner had his own bag of tricks. He was sitting behind a four drum set with five cymbal stands, but he doesn't always use drum sticks to coax out the sounds from the taught skins. He improvises with things like a very small 10 cm copper pan;  a tin cookie box; chain links and other uncommon "music" making tools. The composition began subtly and on a soft note; and slowly rose to an intense driving flurry of sounds.then back to a mild   interlude---no drums---and so it went. Good performance.

 

This was followed with what, at first, resembled a traditional four piece band. There was a trumpet player, big bass fiddle player, trombonist and a man playing both the clarinet and sax. They were (and I will let you determine what the alpha designations stand for): Renato Feiresa, ts, cl;  Walter Wierbos, tb:  Eric Boeren, trp; and Raoul van der Weide, b, crackly box. What you heard would have also been nearly impossible to dance to and that had a lot to do with the way the players extracted sounds from their instruments as it did to a melody line. The trombone player, at one point, removed the slide and played THAT, then reconnected the slide of the horn section but improperly and played on.The trumpet player used a very unconventional way to blow into the instruments mouth piece; the bass player play "drums"  using the wood of the bass as his "skins;"  and the clarinet player did something with the reed that made a sharp snapping sound. There was no melody line or rhythm pattern that I could discern but at one point I felt the end (more than heard it) and I began clapping and the rest of the audience followed. Often, with new music performances, there is a long lull at the conclusion of a piece because those listening are uncertain if the piece has ended.

***    

Thursday: 17th April

Studio Apart (Prinsengracht 715)  hosted a "Fifty Year Retrospective" exhibition for an American photographer, Martha Cooper. Actually, I think the show's title refers to Cooper's "age"  and not fifty years of her work. If it is the latter, I want to know what the lady is eating. This is 3D's second review for her in less than a year. During 2007, she had a book presentation at the ABC Treehouse along with b/w samples of her work. The photos pictured areas of Manhattan that no tourist will see unless they get hopelessly lost. We saw the grimness of young children playing among the piles of trash and littered vacant lots.

 

This show is much broader in scope. Not only in subject matter but also the sheer volume of work: Over 300 pieces (most in wall maps). And there is color. She has a very good eye and her sense of composition is impeccable whether she is shooting a portrait, landscape or city scape. As for the subject matter, she is eclectic. We see Africa, "Mali," (1979, ed. 1/1/, 600 euro, all works are an "edition" of 1/1 and priced @ 600 euro); a lady and museum guard in a Washington D.C. museum (1968); a colorful arrangement of textiles and fabrics being dried in the sun,  "India"  (1965); a tanning factory, "Morraco"  (1983); a turkey butcher, "Baltimore"  (1978); and a pickle farmer, "Rhode Island"  1973).  Until _______  www._______

***     

Friday: 18th April

 

I was amazed at the similarity of the work by Nancy Spero (USA) and that of Anton Heyboer. There is her heavy use of typography and even the  stick figure like drawings of people. That is not to say that I found it derivative, but the similarity was uncanny. I thought it would have been highly unusual for her to have known the work of Heyboer. On closer inspection, I noticed that the work, I was looking at, had been executed during the 60s. Well, maybe Heyboer had seen her work. In another gallery, there are pieces from the 80s which are very different and have figures that look like the Indonesian puppets and there is color. There is much social commentary in the work which relates to the times of their execution. The press release from de Appel states, "...Spero ranks as one of the most important artists of her generation."

 

Paul Sietsema is also an American. He is from LA (the home of Hollywood)  and makes film...but nothing you will see in any commercial cinema. I wasn't quite sure what to make of these three short films on view, so, in fairness to him, I will quote from the press release: "Experiments with exposure, close-ups, framing, unusual camera angles and montage result in poetic, textless and associative sequences of images that establish complex relationships between the domains of photography, painting, architecture, cinema and history."  If that triggers your interest, go see it. Until 26th May.  www.deappel.nl 

***     

Saturday:  19th April

 

Well, Malsch and Serieuze Zaken Studioos is at a new space, Lauriergracht 96, but while he has changed addresses, once again, he hasn't changed his peculiar ways...and that's a positive for 3D...he saves me time. There are no name tags to indicate who-is-who (not to mention size and prices); and of the latter, I didn't even ask for a price list nor the prices knowing what the answer would be:  "There isn't a price list...and, I don't know!"

 

There are nine artists showing and I am assuming that they are all Chinese (one piece---a white face mask in water and blowing bubbles---reminded me somewhat of the work of a Korean artist who showed recently in Amsterdam. I guess I should look it up...I did. His name is Wang Zi Won. Not any of these). Anyway, you will also see paintings, water colors, objects and photography. If you are not yet familiar with contemporary Chinese artist this is a good overview and well worth making a trip to see. Until 16th May. www.galerieserieuzezaken.com 

***     

At "No Name Gallery" (well, there is no name and only an address on the invite, but that is listed in such a way that makes it obvious it is NOT meant to be a name. The gallery holder says she likes that I call it the No Name Gallery...so, okay...) there is not, really, an "art exhibition"  in the sense that there are no paintings, drawings, etc on view. It was actually a presentation for a new book of poetry by the 18 year old  writer, Renee van der Bijl, "Gedichten, Over het Groene Water aan de Gracht." However, the work was presented in an artistic and visual manner: Seven umbrellas devoid of their coverings---that is with the metal skeleton spokes exposed---hung from the ceiling and to the spokes  was a pierced  page taken from the book---with a poem, of course. Cool and imaginative.  Sorry, I found no dates nor other info and forgot to ask. Prinsengracht 575.

***   

 

Gallery nine (Keizersgracht 552)  shows the photos, drawings and sculpture work of Ronny Delrue. The drawings are conceptual in approach but with an element of the figurative. Two large, about 180x 100 cms., photo prints are very interesting if only because of the technique. He has taken an old photo and painted over---sometimes, partially---the people pictured. He then photographs it and makes it into a large print. There is the sense of mystery which in turn makes the work dramatic in its b/w imagery.Well, you got to see it to appreciate the effect. Until 17th May. www.gallerynine.nl  

***    

Miles Aldridge brings "Acid Candy" to the REFLEX New Art Gallery (Weteringschaans 83) and, indeed, sometimes the imagery in these photographs appear to be how someone tripping on LSD see the colors of the world. The colors are garish neon hues that radiate from the wall like it was radioactive. For the most part, you could describe the work as contemporary pin-ups but the likes of which you have never seen before. There are even two waif like Madonnas whose breast are just barely concealed (let's hope that that is sufficient so that the Catholics of the world will not riot in protest). But what is strange is that the erotic elements, of some of the photos, nearly go unnoticed because of the colors and/or elaborate staged set designs  like a naked woman playing billiards where there are 15 red balls and one yellow set against the table's green felt top;  a women in a revealing pink dress who is draped across a checkered kitchen table cloth surrounded by the makings for a cake. Hmmm. There is a poster on sale for 10 euro and a book for 65 euro (124 pages).  Until 7th July.  Sorry, no web-site address on invite; which reminds me, 3D wasn't asked for his invitation...well, you just never know...unless you GO.

***      

The work of Reinoud Oudshoorn at Wetering Galerie (Lijnbaansgracht 288)  is simple and minimal in concept and execution. They are wall or floor objects made from metal frames and frosted glass. But it is the design and configuration that make them unique and memorable.(38x150x19 cms., @ 5,500 euro; 98x330x123 cms., @ 12,000 euro.)  An oval wall hanging wood piece is formed by a collection of concentric circles stacked one upon the other in a staggered way (60x60x15 cms., @ 4,000 euro).

 

Paul van Dijk exposes work on paper and uses a mixed bag of techniques: photography, etching, object and mixed media. A series of five photos of a roadway through a wood is accented with linear lines or drawing over the imagery  creating a conceptual sense to the work. There is a b/w  etching which the artist has attached a copper medal funnel to. (Piezo print, ed. 15, 53x41 cms., @ 450 euro; etching and copper, 110x155x15 cms., ed. 3 @ 1,750 euros; beton and ceramic 140x90x90 cms., @ 8,000 euro.)  Until 24th May. www.weteringgalerie.nl 

***      

At Galerie W. van Leeuwen (Hazenstr 27)  "Personal Best" is the title for Elliott Erwitt exhibition of photography from 1950-1975. His interest was the passing scene, that is, life as it was lived. He was as interested in the "players"  as much as in the backdrop. There is a group photo for seven people who were part of the making of "Misfits"  (1960). We see Marilyn, Clark Gable, Montgomery Cliff and Arthur Miller (Monroe's husband, at the time, and the writer of the film. By coincidence it was Monroe and Gable's last film, they would die shortly thereafter. I think the same was true of Cliff) and to make it all the more sad and tragic the film, itself, was a dud. ("Reno Nevada" 40x50 cms., @ 3,500 euro.) A landscape titled "U.S.A. Wyoming"  (1953) captures a "race" between a Studebaker automobile and steam engines and is dramatic in the imagery.(40x50 cms., @ 3,500 euro.)  A newly wed couple is seen sitting on the back bumper of a 50s auto with this sign attached to the car: "She got me this morning. But I'll get her tonight." (1958, @ 3,500 euro.) Good work. Until 24th May. www.galeries.nl/wvl  

***   

At TORCH (Lauriergracht 94) is a show for Twan Janssen. I had just walked through the door and was looking at two paintings, to the right of me, on the wall, when the lights went out. Damn, late again...Pity, because the two pieces got my attention. They both had simple circular images (shaped like a doughnut) with a gentle change in colors as you moved from the center to the outer ring. Until 24th May. www, opps, no web-site address. But as readers to this list might recall, even when you know the address, it can be difficult or impossible to access...but, maybe that has changed, I haven't tried for a year or more...

***  

Sunday:  20th April

 

At Willem Kerseboom modern & contemporary art at the Leidsegracht 38 address is the work of the Chinese artist Yin Kun. At first glance, his work is figurative representational in style. But the more you ponder over it and take in the garish neon like  colors of red and green hues the more you forget about the apparent imagery and concentrate on the expressionistic elements. The latter affect comes mostly from the green brushwork. But, as to the figurative, what we see are small children with pursed spital drooling lips dressed in Chinese Red Army uniforms brandishing pistols, rifles or lances. But, again, what you see isn't necessarily what you get. Nice. (100x120 cms., @ 20,000 euro;  150x180 cms. @ 40,000 euro.)  A well illustrated catalog available. Six red dots and two green at opening. Until 30th May. www.kerseboom.com.

 

At Kerseboom's additional---and newest---address (Keizersgracht 488) is also the work of a Chinese artist, Ren Zhenyu, titled "Another Portrait." How to explain his style?  Contemporary impressionism? Figurative expressionism?  On exhibition are five "portraits"  of Mao and two of Warhol. But if you are looking for a mirror image of these two 20th century icons, you won't find it in these works. The artist covers the entire color spectrum and the stroke work only seems to illustrate a face. In a couple of paintings, you really have to strain your eyes to see what might be a profile. Doesn't really matter because if you get off on the colors this work is for you. (All 150x150 cms., @ 15,000.) Two green dots. Until ?. www.kerseboom.com

***    

Agata Siwek, a Polish artist, is showing at Galerie Josine Bokhoven (Prinsengracht 154).  I describe the work as contemporary figurative representational water colors. The scenes she portrays are people out of doors; strolling with a baby buggy; or swinging a tennis racket. She also does pussy cats and in a simple Japanese/Chinese brushstroke drawing wash style, about 20 on view. There are also four clay horses which are very nice.(The cat series, 30x40 cms., water color @ 400 euro;  70x100 cms., @ 650 euro;  160x120  cms., acrylic @1,500-2,600 euro. Clay horse about 25 cms., @ 450 euros; etching @ 200 euro.) Until 27th May. www.galeriejosinebokhoven.nl 

***       

 

WHAT IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK:

 

WEDNESDAY:  23rd April 2008

WEDNESDAY:  23rd April  2008

 

(?)15-18:00 FOAM (Keizersgracht 609) This is an exhibition for 12 young photographers from the masterclass for the 14th annual World Press Photos/Joop Swart..

 

18-20:00 Arps&Co @ Dikker & Thijs Gallery (Prinsengract 438, restaurant). "Iceland's Gold," Fernando Nocco (Italian), photography. www.arpsgallery.com

 

20:30 STEIM (Uttechtsedwaarstr. 134). Presentation by electronic/computer/interactive pioneer David Behrman and conversation with Joel Ryan. He has been active as a composer since the 60s. He has made sound and multimedia installations...."  FREE. RSVP:  knock@steim.nl or (020) 622.86.90  More info:  www.sternworks.org 

 

THURSDAY:  24th April

THURSDAY:  24th April

 

14:00 The Gallery (Leidsegracht 76). Johan van der Dong, "Verkiezing heiligste boontje van Nederland."'  A conceptual art project. www.heiligeboontjes.nl

 

17-21:00 Studio Apart #2 (Prinsengracht 88. Note: this is a second location for the gallery). Showing, Daan Noppen, "Opus II"  Eight b/w "photo images with a fascination for mythology and divine women...The women portrayed are all Chinese."  www.studioapart.com

 

17:00 LUX Photo Gallery (Postjesweg 1). Robert Knoth and Lana Slezic. 

 

18-20:00 Gallery LL (Koninginneweg 83).  "Exterior,"  Jeroen Buitman. Paintings, drawings and sculpture. www.galleryll.com

 

20:00 Nieuwmarkt, "Coro Cantoro,"  A Cuban Music Choir. www.coro-cantoro.tk or www.youtube.com then type in "coro cantoro."

 

20:30 STEIM (address, see 23/4 above). A lecture by Jonathan Sterne, writer of "The Audible Past." and a catalog launch of "Dissecting the Ear"  featuring installation and talks by particiapating artists. RSVP: kncok@steim.nl (020) 622.86.90 

 

 

 

FRIDAY:  25th April

FRIDAY:  25th April

 

17-20:00 Cultuurhuis Diamantslijperij (Tolstraat 129). Edward Asscher, Egbert de Vries and Carolien Gehrels. .

 

19:00 De Brakke Grond/VCC (Nes 45). "Retrospective" Nicolas Provost's "Plot Point"  Shot with hidden cameras around Times Square (New York). Also a discussion about the interface and differences between visual arts and cinema. Hosted by Binger Filmlab. www.nicolasprovost.tk

 

20:00 Theater de Cameleon (3e Kostverlorenkade 35). A political satire play titled, "The Looking Glass."  "A zanny look at Alice's journey through a political wonderland."  I reviewed this work, by the American, Donna DuCarme, a few weeks back. If you are into the American political scene this is a MUST  see. Both funny and very entertaining. Also on Saturday. 10 euro. RSVP:  info@theaterworksamsterdam.nl

 

19:00 "1646,"  (Boekhorststr. 125, Den Haag). It is not often that I make note of openings outside of Amsterdam, but the title of this show---which will introduce the gallery's new space and location---got my attention and appeals to my funny bone: "Attack of the Sorority maggot bingo in the slimeball bowl-a-rama studios,"  by Bas de Boer. But I can't help wondering if in "...Sorority maggot bingo..."  if the latter word was not meant to be "bimbo." as in an overly sexy "babe" without an ounce of brains. 3D awaits clarafication.  www.enter1646.com

 

SATURDAY:  26th April

SATURDAY:  26th April

 

___?___ Akinci (Lijnbaansgracht 317). No opening time listed. Matthias Hoch, photography. www.akinci.nl

 

(?)15:00 Galerie Radmakers (Prinsengracht 572). Carli Hermes.

 

16-18:00 Gelerie R. Katwijk (LangeLeidsedwaarstraat 198). Milly Betten and Henny van der Meer. www.galerierogerkatwijk.nl

 

(?) De Op Steker (Noorderstr. 61).

 

16-18:00 galerie ra (Vijzelstr. 80 hoek Prinsengr.). The Esther Knobel collection titled "The Mind in the Hand." www.galerie-ra.nl

 

16-19:00 Jaski Art Gallery (Nieuw Spiegelstraat 29). "Show Me,"  Emilio Kruithof. www.jaski.nl

 

17-19:00 Fons Welters (Bloemstr 140). Pere Llobera; and in Playstation, Lucy Teasdale. (In one  source I use, I found this opening listed on Sunday. Welters' last opening was on a Friday, generally his openings are always on Saturday. So, it's a toss-up. Call ahead.))

 

(?)17-19:00 Galerie Smits (Fokke Simonzstraat 29)  Stefan Annerel vs Bülent Evren [sic] And it is titled "Duel."  So I guess they really do mean "vs." Hope it doesn't get too bloody.

 

 

 

SUNDAY:  27th April

SUNDAY:  27th April

 

14-17:00 PS (Leidsekade 60). Michal Skoda. Expect minimal conceptualism. www.psprojectspace.nl

 

14:30 Gallery Paule Carre (Cornelis Schuytstr. 44). Alfred Kareh. www.paulecarre.com

 

(?)17:00 Oude Kerk, World Press Photo Awards.

***

 

Again, the only profusion of red dots I saw was on Sunday; and at only one location. Amsterdam artists deserve better. Come to think of it, the  red dots on Sunday weren't for a Dutch---nor even a western---artist, but a Chinese one. Is there a message here?  Marshall McLuhan said of television, at its inception, "The medium is the message!"Perhaps the message here is "the style." Why ARE people buying Chinese? Is it really because of the auction market hype they get with the astronomical prices? Well, a contemporary Dutch artist, Marlene Dumas, has had two pieces, from the 80s, go at over a million dollars each at  auction houses in both London and New York. And when you consider the amount of money that the Chinese command at their gallery shows,  you must stop and ponder the fact that there seems to be no price resistance to the new "boys"  on the block. After saying that, it occurred to me  I have yet to see a show for any female Chinese artist. 

 

Hey, that reminds me, 3D has a special offer this week on real and true and authentic Chinese restaurant fortune cookies...made at a factory in New Jersey (USA)...and you can't get them at a Chinese restaurant in China...and 3D's fortune is....

 

'Til next week...3D  rides the dream....red dots forever...

 

Copyright: Daniel R. Gould