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Rineke Dijkstra, Navid Nuur, Michael Raedecker

Freedom - The Fifty Key Dutch Artworks Since 1968 (group show)
Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle
19 January - 12 May 2019

An exhibition entitled Freedom – The Fifty Key Dutch Artworks Since 1968 will open at Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle on 19 January 2019. This ambitious and somewhat unconventional project will feature the fifty ‘key artworks’, the leading works produced in the Netherlands over the past fifty years. Freedom will be deliberately subjective, intended both as an invitation to debate and as a declaration of love for Dutch art. As such, Freedom will be unmissable for anyone who wants to see all the top art produced in the Netherlands over the past fifty years brought together in one show.

Freedom is being curated by art critic and author Hans den Hartog Jager (b. 1968). He has created a number of other exhibitions for Museum de Fundatie: More Light (2010) about the sublime in contemporary art, More Power (2014) about the possibility or impossibility of artists influencing processes in society and Behold the Man (2016), a portrait gallery that presented an overview both of social change and of developments in art over the past hundred years.

In these times of fragmentation, when the meaning of many things that for decades were taken for granted in the Netherlands is being called into question, we want to show the essential power of art: to open up new vistas, to challenge entrenched values, ethical standards and forms, and to reflect and anticipate the spirit of the age. That is why we have opted for ‘freedom’ as the underlying theme. This word has acquired a curious, almost populist political overtone in the Netherlands in recent years. Fifty years ago ‘freedom’ denoted the revolutionary developments that were breaking out of existing patterns, but now it has come to symbolise clinging to ‘authentic Dutch values’. At the same time, it is easy to maintain that a quest for freedom, independence and uniqueness has remained a core value of contemporary art throughout this period.

With the deliberate, almost classic choice of fifty ‘crucial’ works, we hope to highlight the main elements that constantly recur in the current debate. Art should unashamedly show what it can contribute to ideas, what a unique role it can play in society, whether it be a matter of the importance of a tradition (artistic or otherwise), the way in which art represents national identity, or the degree to which it reflects changing relationships in society. However, just as important is the fact that the exhibition will set out to show visitors how much fantastic art has been produced in the Netherlands over the past fifty years, from Jan Dibbets’ Perspective Correction (1968) to Ria van Eyks My Woven Diary (1976-77), from René Daniels’ Aux Déon (1985) to Natasja Kensmil’s Self-portrait with Cross (1999) and from Guido van der Werve’s Number Eight: Everything Is Going To Be Alright (2009) to Melanie Bonajo’s Night Soil #1 (2016). For decades, art in the Netherlands has been strong, vibrant and free – and it is time to put it firmly in the spotlight.

By bringing so many ‘key artworks’ of the past few decades together, we hope to re-energise the debate on the role of art in society. Ultimately, however, we hope above all that Freedom will be a celebration of the power of art, with an exhibition and a book designed to bring pleasure, inform and provoke thought, so important in the world today.

Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle


Additional:

Navid Nuur

Navid Nuur (solo show)
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague
From April 2020


Navid Nuur

Navid Nuur (solo show)
Marta Herford Museum, Herford
From January 2020


Rineke Dijkstra

Night Watching (film installation)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
5 September - 3 December 2019

Rineke Dijkstra, Night Watching, 2019, (film stills) © Rineke Dijkstra
Rineke Dijkstra, Night Watching, 2019, (film stills) © Rineke Dijkstra

Night Watching is Rineke Dijkstra's new film installation, on show in the Rijksmuseum's Gallery of Honour from 5 September. Presented as a triptyche, the film shows 14 groups of people looking at Rembrandt's The Night Watch and responding to it in their own way – the painting itself never appears. Dijkstra shot Night Watching in the Rijksmuseum's Gallery of Honour over the course of six evenings, her subjects positioned directly in front of The Night Watch to offer them the most powerful possible experience of the painting.

Rineke Dijkstra: The subtly layered film gradually impresses upon the viewer that it is impossible ever to fully know an artwork – even one as famous as The Night Watch – and that it is always worth sharpening our gaze, wheter on a world-famous painting, on people taking part in a contemporary film, or on those we encounter in everyday life.

The Night Watch and me
Night Watching sees Dijkstra continue on a course she set with her classic 2009 film / See a Woman Crying, which shows a group of English schoolchildren viewing a painting by Picasso. Night Watching goes further, however: filming 14 groups rather than one means that as well as focusing on the rich subject matter of The Night Watch Dijkstra has been able to create individual portraits of each group and reveal their hierarchies and relationships within them. A group of Dutch schoolgirls discuss whether Rembrandt really did give the only girl in the painting the face of his wife Saskia; staff from Japanese Chamber of Commerce see the painting's potential for tourism ('Night Watch cakes!'); and young artists discuss what it must be like to make such an incomparable masterpiece – does the artist actually have any control over such matters?

Rembrandt and Rineke Dijkstra
Dijkstra's film subtly echoes Rembrandtesque mechanisms to reinforce the connection between art and life: the school pencil pointing outwards like Van Ruytenburch's lance; the small red-haired woman who appears among a group of engineering students in dark clothing – and proceeds to explain to them how paintings are made.

Rineke Dijkstra
Since the early 1990s, Rineke Dijkstra has produced a complex body of photographic and video work, offering a contemporary take on the genre of portraiture. Her large-scale colour photographs and videos mainly of young, typically adolescent subjects, show subtle, minimal contextual details and encourage us to focus on the exchange between photographer and subject and the relationship between viewer and viewed. Dijkstra was born in the Dutch town of Sittard in 1959. She attended Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, from 1981 to 1986. In 2017, she was honoured with the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography and SPECTRUM International Prize for Photographie. Rineke Dijkstra was recently the subject of a mid-career retrospective at Museum of Modern Art; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2012).

The film installtion Night Watching was made at the invitation of the Rijksmuseum and will be on view in the Rijksmuseum's Gallery of Honour from the 5 September to 3 December 2019. The film installation has been made possible by Joep and Monique Krouwels/Rijksmuseum Fonds.

2019, the Year of Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum
This year is the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) – reason enough to honour Rembrandt and devote extra attention to the artist, his work, his contemporaries, and the 17th century. The year-long theme Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age brings all these aims together, with exhibitions and activities taking place around the Netherlands. In addition to Night Watching, the Rijksmuseum will close this year of celebration with the exhibition Rembrandt-Velázquez, Dutch and Spanish Masters (11 October 2019 to 19 January 2020), which will include masterpieces by Rembrandt and his contemporaries on loan from museums such as Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Navid Nuur

Navid Nuur: Chapter 1NE (group show)
Het HEM, Zaandam
21 June - 1 September 2019

Navid Nuur, Tentacle Thought (PUSH IT), 2006-2019, Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenberg © Het HEM
Navid Nuur, Tentacle Thought (PUSH IT), 2006-2019, Photo by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenberg © Het HEM

Het HEM’s opening chapter tells the story of Edson Sabajo and Guillaume Schmidt: a creative entrepreneurial duo known for their successful streetwear and lifestyle brand Patta.

Deeply rooted in hip-hop culture, Sabajo and Schmidt are among the cultural vanguard of Amsterdam. As facilitators, they are in constant contact with their artistic and musical environment, and give a face to a new generation of ‘homo universalis’: multitalented makers, in no way bound to a single form, discipline or artistic expression, venturing off the beaten tracks and away from standard platforms to create ripe conditions for realising their ideas.

‘Music is at the heart of everything we do,’ says Guillaume. ‘One of the basic principles of hip-hop is that you are unique: that you distinguish yourself from the rest and that you’re your own person.’ This is reflected in the music and rap texts, but also in clothing and in the overall lifestyle. Much more than a popular music genre, hip-hop takes the form of a philosophy of life, in which social awareness, brotherhood and a do-it-yourself creativity are intertwined.

Culture takes shape in communities. It develops through inspiration, interaction and the integration of new ideas. Through different historical periods, across various cultures and geographical influences, and among friends, family and kindred spirits. James Brown’s motto weaves a common thread through CHAPTER 1NE, which explores the nature of culture as something that is fluid and passed from one person to another. In addition, the famous words of the ‘Godfather of Soul’ – who regularly used his unique voice to express his political and social beliefs – also relate to Sabajo and Schmidt’s personal motivation to make a lasting social contribution through their entrepreneurship.

Stemming from hip-hop culture, this group exhibition focuses on the artistic language of sampling and assemblage, and on the philosophy of learning through doing as the basis for the emergence of new cultural narratives. The artworks unfold a layered story about the role of communities and the rise of a powerful and expressive urban culture, developing beyond the realm of the establishment and its conventional cultural venues. The programme zooms in on three specific aspects.

First, the method of breaking, sampling and assemblage as an artistic language and modus operandi to create something new based on the work of others. Aware of standing on the shoulders of giants, this sampling culture honours icons from the past through the free appropriation of references and quotes, and places Western concepts about originality and creative genius in a broader perspective.

As a counterculture, developing outside the established cultural venues, hip-hop has grown from a philosophy of learning through doing. Working independently from such institutions, cooperation, brotherhood and mutual support are an important engine for exploring new terrains. The community is therefore an essential hothouse for creativity, providing makers with the encouragement and incentive needed to make something out of nothing.

The third aspect lies within the roots of this culture, a complex story of migration and the representation of role models of colour. The body itself functions as an instrument of self-expression, as an anchor for rapprochement and social cohesion, but also as a beacon of conflict. All to often, individuals are held responsible for the image and reputation of an entire group, while this is based solely on skin colour or ethnicity. By exposing ourselves to diverse stories, examples and role models, we aim to break ingrained mechanisms of rash and often harmful assumptions.

Het HEM, Zaandam


Navid Nuur

Nine Iranian Artists in London: THE SPARK IS YOU (group show)
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London
22 May - 30 August 2019

Navid Nuur, Broken Square (detail), 2017. Courtesy of the artist
Navid Nuur, Broken Square (detail), 2017. Courtesy of the artist

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present Nine Iranian Artists in London: THE SPARK IS YOU, a group exhibition of works by contemporary Iranian artists whose vision looks beyond the ordinary. Each piece was selected for the affinity with openness, respect and human interconnectedness evinced in the work.

The Nine Iranian Artists in London: THE SPARK IS YOU exhibition, curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parasol unit, is presented through a prism of classical Persian poetry and, fittingly, coincides with the 200th anniversary of West-oestlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan), 1819, a book of lyrical poems written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in homage to the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafez. The exhibition, which includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and film, focuses primarily on early- and mid-career artists who live either in Iran or elsewhere in an adopted country. A sense of duality exists within their works, with concepts stemming from private and collective experiences manifested either figuratively or in the abstract. Living and working in disparate parts of the world, each of the artists responds uniquely to modern society, yet a common heritage of poetry, evident in their use of metaphor and parable, runs through all their works.

Navid Nuur whose practice moves between concept and form, makes innovative and challenging works in response to human experience and abstract phenomena. The sky-blue light emanating from the 30 parallel rows of the wall-mounted Broken Blue Square, 2017, looks like neon but the cylindrical tubes are in fact filled with crushed glass and argon gas which glows an eerie blue when electrically charged. Presenting a substance that is not light per se, and what seems to be a static image but is actually a sculptural form in active chemical motion, is a reminder that appearances can be deceiving.

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London


Navid Nuur

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice (group show)
To coincide with the 58th Venice Biennale
Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia, Venice
9 May - 23 November 2019

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice, installation view, Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello, Venice, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Parasol unit. Photo: Francesco Allegretto
THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice, installation view, Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello, Venice, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Parasol unit. Photo: Francesco Allegretto

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present, through a prism of classical Persian poetry, an exhibition of works by nine contemporary Iranian artists at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia from 9 May to 23 November 2019.

Curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parasol unit, London, THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition has at its heart the need to develop mutual respect and understanding between different nations and cultures. Fittingly, this exhibition coincides with the 200th anniversary of West-oestlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan), 1819, a book of lyrical poems written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in homage to the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafez.

The nine artists, all of whose vision looks beyond the ordinary, were selected for the affinity with openness, respect and human interconnectedness that is evinced in their work. Stemming directly from a long and magnificent tradition of Persian poetry, this philosophy of life is a fundamental element of the Iranian/Persian character. Dialogues open up across the exhibition, not only between the different generations of artists and the geographical regions from which they now draw inspiration, but also through a common desire to interact openly and respectfully with others. And, just as Goethe through his poetry sought to bridge East and West, these artists too seek to communicate mutually across all borders.

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition of paintings, sculptures, installations, multi-media and film brings together Iranian artists of different ages, who now live and work either in or outside of Iran. Having had a similar early education and grounding in classical Persian poetry they have all benefited from thought processes that are rooted in concepts such as the use of metaphor, openness, dialogue and figurative thinking. Shown together, their works create a sense of exchange that is felt in many ways across and beyond the exhibition, not only between the art works but also in the desire of the artists to communicate with thinkers from other cultures, and finally between art and music.

Venice, with its renowned history of being central to so many connections between East and West, is an ideal setting for The Spark is You exhibition. Presented at the Conservatorio di Musica in Venice, visual art and music interact harmoniously, a reminder that different art forms are all part of a single discourse. Each artist presents their work in a separate room or an outdoor courtyard, which allows ample mental space for viewers to reflect on the exhibition and create their own dialogue with and between the works.

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition highlights the vital importance of open dialogue in the development of greater understanding between all nations. Particularly in the tumultuous and uncertain times of today, this exhibition is timely and informative in ways that we hope will further engender curiosity, understanding and appreciation of other cultures and stimulate more conversations.

Parasol Unit


Rineke Dijkstra

RE-VISIONS (group show)
Pinakothek der Moderne - Sammlung Moderne Kunst, Munich
28 February - 17 November 2019

For more than four decades Ann and Jürgen Wilde have been compiling their unique collection of modern and contemporary photography, which has been affiliated with the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen since 2010, as the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation. Works by photographers like Aenne Biermann, Florence Henri, and Germaine Krull lie at the collection’s core. The program at Galerie Wilde (1972–1985), which was the only gallery in Germany to specialize in photography at the time of its founding, was also innovative for including female photographers, among them Jan Groover, Marcia Resnick, Gwenn Thomas, and Deborah Turbeville. To this day, Ann Wilde remains particularly interested in promoting and acquiring work made by female artists and photographers. On the occasion of her birthday, the donor is opening her private collection to the public for the first time. Re-visions presents photographs that speak to Ann Wilde personally: work from the 1920s up to the present, made by artists like Johanna Diehl, Rineke Dijkstra, Marie Jo Lafontaine, Barbara Probst, Alexandra Ranner, Judith Joy Ross, Martina Sauter, Eva-Maria Schön, Kathrin Sonntag, and Heidi Specker.

Pinakothek der Moderne - Sammlung Moderne Kunst, Munich


Rineke Dijkstra

Treasury! Masterpieces from the Hermitage (group show)
Hermitage, Amsterdam
2 February - 25 August 2019

Rineke Dijkstra, Marianna (The Fairy Doll), 2014 (film still) © Rineke Dijkstra
Rineke Dijkstra, Marianna (The Fairy Doll), 2014 (film still) © Rineke Dijkstra

The tenth anniversary of the Hermitage Amsterdam will trigger a year-long celebration in 2019. The initial event will be Treasury!, the first of the two anniversary exhibitions, featuring a cross-section of masterpieces from the entire collection of the St Petersburg State Hermitage. Including big names in art history like Bernini, Da Vinci, Fabre, Matisse, Rembrandt and Velázquez. Also on show are outstanding works of art from cultures dating back to early prehistory (23,000 BC) and from Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome; as well as antiquities from civilisations as far afield as Siberia, the Middle East and East-Asia. In the main gallery, below a spectacular piece of light art, you will enjoy thrilling combinations of works from widely differing times and places. What, for example, links Maarten van Heemskerck’s sixteenth-century Calvary triptych with an image of the Buddha made in twelfth-century China? To find out, visit Treasury!

Hermitage, Amsterdam