ABOUT THE FAIR

Booth 7 + 8 (SOLO) + BEELD 2

Museumplein, Amsterdam

During the fair the gallery is open from 10 am – 18 pm (Wednesday – Saturday)

BOOTH 7 | Group presentation

ALDO VAN DEN BROEK (NL, 1985). A combination of the themes in which Aldo van den Broek worked in for the past years are history, underground, punk and romanticism. Architecture and people meet in his works. He is fascinated by the urge of people to strive for safety and freedom simultaneously and the deconstruction that usually follows. Therefore Aldo travelled to the suburbs of the post-communistic Belgrade and Tbilisi. In 2015 He got invited to the artist in residence ‘Beautiful Distress’ to stay for four months at the psychiatric department of ‘Kings County Hospital', the only mental institution in New York with a government-sponsored health insurance. By living so intensively between mostly poor and mentally ill people Aldo was confronted with his own way of living, working and surviving. His work tells the story about his interpretation of the pureness and beauty in the ugliness. Therefore Aldo choses to work with wasted materials without any value, used and re-used by himself, or found on the streets and abandoned places. By literally using his own past failures as a beginning for his new works, these different themes are constantly transforming and melting together. 

RENIE SPOELSTRA (NL, 1974), strives for intentional apathy with her grand charcoal drawings; hours and days pass in a flash, every moment frozen in time and every moment the same. The last six months Spoelstra has worked on her new series Stretching Universe, part…, for which she connects cinematic characteristics with “authentic” landscapes of breathtaking nature. Stretching Universe refers to the scientific fact that our universe is expanding, while at the same time people on earth have become less tolerant towards each other and in this respect the world thus seems to be shrinking due to narrow-mindedness. Spoelstra’s work was a.o. shown at Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam,Centre Pompidou in Paris, ARCO in Madrid, Louis Dreyfus Family Collection,Witte de With in Rotterdam and the Teylers Museum in Haarlem. 

SEBASTIAAN BREMER (NL, 1970) was born in Amsterdam but works and lives in New York since 1992. He always works with photography but developed an unusual style in which he uses different techniques to add an extra layer on the image. By doing so he continuously stretches the limits of photography and explores its endless possibilities. Painting, drawing, carving, always used in combination with photography, which he randomly finds, knowingly selects or happens to own. In the current digital times, where everyone seems to be a professional photographer, Bremer brings back the artistic signature in photography by manually adjusting the image with paint, pen and encryptions. Bremer’s work is part of several collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, AKZO Nobel collection and the Burger Collection. His artworks have been exhibited a.o. at the Tate Modern, London, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, MoMA PS1 in New York and at Het Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.

COEN VUNDERINK (NL, 1979) His paintings and sculptures are closely connected within his studio practice. His sculptural works function as a motif in his paintings, while he also takes on a painterly approach towards many of his sculptures. The impetus for this cross-pollination is Vunderink’s interest in the genesis, the creation of the work of art, and the interplay of forces that come into effect in order to enable this process. His most recent paintings which will be presented at Amsterdam Art Fair, are variations on the ‘painting as a window’ theme. While using different ways of applying paint - airbrush, casting, scraping, splashing and using expressive brushstrokes- the artist aims to suggest space. Some paintings seem to give a view of what could be a landscape. However, most paintings have closed the curtains. The blinds will be the subject. Patterns, color, folding of the fabric and the sharp lines of Luxaflex create abstract worlds of light, color and suspense. Vunderink straddles the line between material and image, figuration and abstraction, tradition and modernity. His work was shown  a.o. at the Kunstverein Mischpoke e.V. in Mönchengladbach, Germany, the W139 in Amsterdam, Paradise Row Gallery in London and at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Vunderink participated in The Royal Prize for Painting exhibition in 2007 at The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and in 2012 and 2013 in the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Vunderink lives and works in Groningen, Netherlands 

BOOTH 8: winners of the Ron Mandos Young Blood Award 2015 Juan de Porras-Isla & Wouter Paijmans At the Double Booth of Amsterdam Art Fair, Galerie Ron Mandos presents Curtains and Calls with wotks by the winners of the Ron Mandos Young Blood Award 2015. Juan de Porras-Isla (ES, 1991) and Wouter Paijmans (NL, 1991) deal with various contradictions within their work; it’s both flat as three-dimensional, sculptural as well as digital. At Amsterdam Art Fair, the duo will present a diverse set of latest pieces, in which they explore the pictorial-historical tradition, and the intersection of industrial production, content economy and the dislocated materiality of our current times. An important departure for their works can be found in a conversation about the publication: Mind Over Machine, written in 1986 by the American philosopher Hubert Dreyfus. The publication discusses how intuition and perception will never be replicated by computers, as they’re processes that only belong in the human psyche. The result is a material investigation that brings together handcrafted and computer processes in a large scale installation.

BEELD 2 
CHRISTIAAN ZWANIKKEN (NL 1967) Besides our participation at the main Amsterdam Art Fair, Galerie Ron Mandos also joins the exhibition BEELD 2, about contemporary sculpture in its various forms of expression. At Beeld 2 we present Dutch artist Christiaan Zwanniken’s latest project Nose Patrol (2015). Zwanniken has received international recognition through his kinetic and mechanical sculptures, sound works, performative and responsive installations. Using a variety of sculptural media, robotics, biology, micro-controllers, and sound— his work is both an artistic and technological experiment in which innovation and invention plays an important role. Nose Patrol is an interactive kinetic sculpture, which diffuses a certain scent. Zwanniken’s ‘scent canon’ transcends the boundaries of a traditional sculpture and shows us an exhilarating contemporary alternative. His work has been presented a.o. in solo and group exhibitions at the Museum of Natural History (NYC), Exit 2011 (Paris), ISEA2012 (Albuquerque), Kinetica Museum (London), Museum Tingeuly (Basel), Kunsthaus Graz (Austria), ICC Centre (Tokyo), National Galerie (Prague), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taiwan), Museu del Chopo (Mexico-City), and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (Netherlands). His work can be found in numerous public and private collections and in 2014 he had a major retrospective show at Museum Het Valkhof (Netherlands).

Beeld 2 can be visited at the Johannes Vermeerstraat, the former Joop van den Ende building, which is now beautifully restored by the recent owner. The exhibition is only 100 m. away from the fair and your entrance ticket will give you free entrance to the show.

AMSTERDAM ART FAIR 2016 After the unexpected success of the Amsterdam Art Fair 2015 in the former Citroën garage in Amsterdam, the second edition will take place at the Amsterdam Museumplein - the very heart of Dutch culture – from 25 till 29 of May. For this edition the selection of 45 leading Dutch Galleries will be extended with 15 foreign galleries and will take place in a temporarily pavilion surrounded by the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Amsterdam Art Fair focuses at private collectors and art lovers. Especially for this occasion several galleries will make a solo presentation and take the opportunity to show surprising debutants.

FAIR IMAGES

FAIR ARTWORKS

ABOUT Sebastiaan Bremer

Sebastiaan Bremer is renowned for transforming ordinary snapshots into grandly baroque and surreal tableaux by a careful process of retouching and enlargement. Since his first solo show, in 1994, he has exhibited in venues such as the Tate Gallery, London, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, and the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut. He has been based in the United States since 1992.

Although Bremer has always been interested in photography, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that he began to draw directly on the surface of photographs. He has been inspired in part by nineteenth century spirit photography, and fin de siècle Symbolists such as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and painter Odilon Redon, but his methods partake of advanced photographic techniques. Often he will begin with a simple snapshot of friends or family or familiar places, and after enlarging it far beyond conventional dimensions, he will begin altering and embellishing the image with India ink and photographic dye.

He has often used the ink to produce fine patterns of lines reminiscent of cobwebs, or readings from seismographs. Photographic dyes also enable him to blur and mute some forms while accentuating others, and make some colors bloom while others recede into mysterious darkness. The result is an image that seems to literally vibrate with hidden consequence, as if the subject matter has sent cracks across the surface of the picture. Whilst Bremer’s choice of images inevitably grounds his work in his own biography, his imagery also makes reference to alchemy, art, and the occult, establishing unexpected connections between ordinary life, history, and the unconscious.

Sebastiaan Bremer lives and works in New York. He studied at the Vrije Academie, The Hague, and Skowhegan School of Art and Sculpture, Maine. He has published two major catalogs: Monkey Brain (2003), and Avila (2006). His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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ABOUT Renie Spoelstra

 

Renie Spoelstra uses film footage as a starting point for her charcoal drawings. The suede like and velvety texture is achieved by the many layers of charcoal, which are skilfully positioned on top of each other to re-create an almost cinematographic scene. The balance between darkness and soft beams of light is rendered through the many shades of black and grey, creating a notion that something may be lurking below the surface. Spoelstra’s deft, artistic sensitivity has created moods through landscape throughout her career.

The arduous process begins with a journey. For close to a decade, Spoelstra has travelled to coasts, lakes and beaches throughout the United States of America, looking for landscapes that speak to her. Once she has found these locations, she films the scenes, and using the stills from the footage she is able to move on to the next phase of conveying this personal representation of a geographic location.

Spoelstra looks for an atmosphere, and it is this atmosphere that she tries to re-create in her drawings. The dark hues, empty landscapes and sheer size of the works evoke an existential, melancholic sentiment, and allows for the viewer to lose oneself in each piece. Although these works are reproductions of real places, and are not imagined sceneries, the soulful nature of the drawings, and dark depths, reveal a personal interpretation of the artist’s emotion.

Themes of intensity, secrecy and mystery are reoccurring in Spoelstra’s works. There is an alluring and mythical feel of a place. The series ‘Stretching Universe’ refers to the scientific fact that our universe is expanding, while here on earth it feels as though it is shrinking with the rise of xenophobia, narrow-mindedness and the continuous threats of climate change. Fleeing, or escaping to nature is not as easy as it may seem.

Renie Spoelstra (1974) has studied at MFA Post-St. Joost, Breda and at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. She has exhibited in the Netherlands and abroad. Highlights are presentations at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and Rijksmuseum Twenthe. Her work has been included in renowned collections such as MACBA Barcelona, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Cobra Museum, Teylers Museum, Museum Voorlinden, Bouwfonds Kunstcollectie, Guerlain Fondation, and many other (private) collections.

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ABOUT Aldo van den Broek

Aldo van den Broek (1985) began practicing painting in the city of Amsterdam, which began in his early twenties. He used to live in a 1000m2 squat, where he painted together with a group of artists that later formed the Biltzkrieg collectiveDue to this method of learning, Aldo is autodidactic in his work. When he was offered the chance to move to Berlin, Van den Broek decided to do so. In Berlin, he found focus and concentration that he hadn’t had before, so he was able to develop his very own style as an artist. Van den Broek is known for his huge, multi-layered, outspoken paintings and collages. History, underground, punk and romanticism, architecture and people meet in his works. He is fascinated by the urge of people to strive for safety and freedom simultaneously and the deconstruction that normally follows. In the organic process of Van den Broek, his paintings are constantly transforming. “The end result should show you that it wasn’t just some cardboard pasted together and then painted. The process has many layers and gradually gets his final form.” 

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ABOUT Coen Vunderink

Painting and sculpture are closely connected in Coen Vunderink’s studio practice. Sculptural works function as a motif in his paintings, while he takes a painterly approach to many of his sculptures. The impetus for this cross-pollination is Vunderink’s interest in the genesis, the creation of the work of art, and the interplay of forces that come into effect to enable this process. His recent paintings, created with spray paint, home in on the dualism between figure and ground, between monochrome and stereoscopy, in painted constellations that appear to vibrate gently. Text by Dominic van den Boogerd, 2011, Amsterdam.

The blessing of an empty paradise; reflecting on ‘Paradise#1’ (2015).
Coen Vunderink’s paradise seems to be unpopulated – empty, in this sense. We see palm trees, suggesting a geographical place, on earth. We are not there, but we could be. We could strive to be there – just as with every other place we know of.

But when thinking about ‘paradise’, we are not just reflecting on an ordinary place. The word ‘paradise’ has strong normative connotations. ‘Paradise’ is another word for a certain type of perfection. A paradise must be good, true and beautiful – otherwise it wouldn’t be a paradise. For the very same reason, inhabitants of a paradise are necessarily happy, beautiful and good.

In other words, ‘paradise’ is the golden standard of places. When you are not in paradise, you want to get as close as possible. You want to reach it. The idea of a paradise alone steers your wishes and your actions. And when you are in, you know that being kicked out of it is not a good thing. Matters will only get worse.

So, what should we think about the fact that Vunderink’s paradises are empty, that traces of human beings are entirely absent? One could argue that Vunderink’s view is pessimistic, but I would like to argue that this is not the case. An empty paradise is a blessing.

A paradise is a place where everyone feels fine. It’s always summer, living is easy. But would you really want to spend your life in such a place? Suppose, as a famous philosophical thought experiment goes, that you are offered to spend your life in a kind of dream machine, a capsule, and that this machine will manipulate your brain, causing an endless sleep and giving you a continuous flow of great sensations. Would you step into it?

If you think that being happy is the same as feeling happy, it would be perfectly rational to answer ‘yes’. But to put it in Nietzschean terms: what you would choose then is a life filled with pills: a pill for the day, a pill for the night, and, when it all comes to an end, an extra pill for the moment of your death. Easy living.

We humans are ‘the most chronically and profoundly sick of all sick animals’, Nietzsche wrote. We are indeterminate beings, not capable on acting upon impulses alone, as healthy animals do. Rationality, our capacity to think, to determine what we should do, the instance by which we can regulate our impulses – it is not a characteristic that makes humans special and valuable, as the we often tend to think.

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ABOUT Christiaan Zwanikken

Dutch artist Christiaan Zwanikken creates kinetic works of remarkable ingenuity from found animal skulls and bones. He transforms these parts into moving mechanical sculptures and installations. Their composite natural and mechanical make-up gives these figures their own unique character. He breeds these new species in a 400-year-old monastery located in a remote village in Portugal. He also works in Amsterdam and New York.

His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Gasunie collection, Netherlands Media Art Institute and numerous other public and private collections.

Zwanikken’s installations are like interactive Wunderkammers, configurations of hybrid, techno-animalistic figures, that come to ‘life’, responding to the viewer and to each other. Zwanikken plays nature – against artificial – against viewer removing any authoritative role: his hierarchy is governed by a different order. Due to the unpredictability of the computer-aided elements, it is not certain who responds to whom, and who is looking or being looked at.

By making technology seem to be ‘out of control’, Zwanikken ironizes the hype around interaction in media art and the illusion of smooth-running communications. As a rule his installations demonstrate human or animal conduct and thus serve as a handle for investigating and critiquing nature and behavior. His fusion of organic and inorganic materials mashed with interactive technology demonstrates the evolution and de-evolution of sculpture in the twenty-first century.

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