Optical movement

Imagine standing in front of a geometric black and white painting with a repeating pattern, a zigzag for example, and wondering why it attracted your attention. At first you do not understand, but as your eyes examine the paintings surface you will start to see movement in there. You do not believe your eyes since it is only paint on a canvas, or is it a trick? No, this is what meeting an early Bridget Riley painting is like. The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague currently houses an exhibition where you can experience this for yourself.

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Alice Wonders

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) never ceases to spark the imagination. From the many book versions to a multiplicity of plays, dances etc., the story remains popular. Even visual artists find inspiration in Carroll’s famous narrative, as the recent exhibition No Cover Image at Arti et Amicitiae proved. Artists Stephan Jäschke, Laurent Proux, Tillmann Terbuyken, Marjolijn de Wit, Thijs Rhijnsburger, Arthur Stokvis and Bonno van Doorn created a space where one art piece flows over into the next and engaged the audience.

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Colorful reflection

Big shoes, collar, overdone painted smile, red round nose and an overall colorful outfit, who does not recognize the figure of the clown? He is a well-known character in popular culture and therefore presented artists with a relatable subject. Artists like Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Georges Seurat and Charley Toorop have concerned themselves with this red-nosed individual in their paintings. Today the colorful appearance of the clown decorates the exhibition space of the Boijmans van Beuningen in Ugo Rondinone’s Vocabulary of Solitude.

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Living in a quantifying world

In the article about Lisa Park I have already discussed the collection of data as a trait of the present times and Park’s visualization of this. However Park is not the only artist concerned with this interest; the group exhibition Spending Quality Time With My Quantified Self at Tent brings various artistic perspectives together. But where Park attends the data collection itself, the artists at Tent are preoccupied with the body, the self, within this omnipresent tendency.

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Intersections at Art Rotterdam

For those art lovers who missed it, Rotterdam was the place to be last week. It was art week, which meant lots of openings and events organized around Art Rotterdam. For the third time the art fair took place in the Van Nelle Factory, befitting this purpose very well. This year was the second time the fair hosted Intersections. Off the main fair areas and in the outbuildings Intersections was the space where visitors could experience art without the pressure of possibly buying something. Curator Suzanne Wallinga organized a diversity of installations from several non-profit art spaces. From video work to performances, sound installations, paintings, sculptures, moving objects and even a complete house transferred from Detroit, one could see it at Intersections.

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Identity and time

Who am I? It’s a question most of us have asked ourselves at least once in our lifetime. We are trying to identify ourselves and consequently relate to our environment. This mental process is the subject of the film History’s Future by Fiona Tan. It features a man (Mark O’Halloran) who literally does not know who he is due to memory loss caused by being beat up. The movie shows him traveling and taking on different personalities which lead him into diverse situations.

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In search for my religion

In the history of art religion has played a major role. In Western Europe for example, artists mostly received commissions from the Church and their subjects were often biblical. Today religion seems to have vanished in art, or at least it is being criticized. The current exhibition ‘I am closer to you than your very self’ at Nest shows otherwise, it presents artworks by three artists with a religious background. Nest invited the artists to examine the significance of their religion in their art and life.

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