ABOUT THE FAIR
During Art Rotterdam 2020, Galerie Ron Mandos proudly presents a group presentation at the Main Section with Lieven Hendriks (NL, 1970), Remy Jungerman (SR, 1959), Ron van der Ende (NL, 1965), Boris Tellegen (NL, 1968), Levi van Veluw (NL, 1985), and Bouke de Vries (NL, 1960). These artists draw special attention to their authentic use of materials: centuries old tin-glazed earthenware, robust wooden structures covered in kaolin clay, and richly colored and patterned textile. The craftmanship used by these artists invites the viewer to take a step closer and experience the richness of form and color through a multitude of layers.
This year we also participate at Art Rotterdam Projections, showing work by Hans Op de Beeck and Geert Mul. The renowned Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck (1969) will show his Staging Silence (3), from 2019, which is the final installment in a series of autonomous art films by Hans Op de Beeck. It takes the viewer on a journey through a series of desolate scenes, gradually constructed and deconstructed by a pair of anonymous hands that act as either divine creator or grand puppeteer. Geert Mul presents a new lightbox, called Breaking Dawn Forever, which depicts a 500 year old oak in a landscape. Being unsure whether this work presents a post-apocalyptic scene or the break of a new dawn, it reflects on (our) nature in the context of the Anthropocene.
This year, Kendell Geers will perform his Ritual Resist during the Performance Show. There will be continuous program from Friday through Sunday at a stone’s throw from the fair: in the industrial setting of AVL Mundo/Atelier Van Lieshout. For Ritual Resist, a man and a woman are engaged in the martial art of vanity. Neither can see the other and both struggle against their own reflection in a square mirror.
ABOUT Remy Jungerman
Born in 1959 in Moengo, Suriname
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Remy Jungerman attended the Academy for Higher Arts and Cultural Studies in Paramaribo, Suriname, before moving to Amsterdam where he studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. In his work, Jungerman explores the intersection of pattern and symbol in Surinamese Maroon culture, the larger African Diaspora, and 20th Century “Modernism.” In bringing seemingly disparate visual languages into conversation, Jungerman’s work challenges the established art historical canon. As art and culture critic Greg Tate has remarked “Jungerman’s work leaps boldly and adroitly into the epistemological gap between culturally confident Maroon self-knowledge and the Dutch learning curve around all things Jungerman, Afropean and Eurocentric.”
Born and raised in Suriname, he is a descendant, on his mother side, of the Surinamese Maroons who escaped enslavement on Dutch plantations to establish self-governed communities in the Surinamese rain forest. Within their rich culture, many West-African influences are preserved including the prominent use of abstract geometrical patterns. Placing fragments of Maroon textiles, as well other materials found in the African diaspora such as the kaolin clay used in many African religious traditions or the nails featured in West African Nkisi Nkondi power sculpture, in direct contact with materials and imagery drawn from more “established” art traditions, Jungerman presents a peripheral vision that can enrich and inform our perspective on art history.
ABOUT Lieven Hendriks
Lieven Hendriks takes everyday subjects in which the human touch is visible as a starting point for his work. For example, he paints nails in walls, stars and vases cut out of paper, and finger drawings on foggy windows. By using trompe l’oeil effects, his flat canvases appear as loosely stretched linens, deceiving the eyes of the viewer. In his work, Lieven Hendriks, plays a game with the nature of observation. His paintings anticipate how we look at art, how we focus our attention, and how this process is affected by surrounding circumstances. In this way, his work touches directly on the essence of painting and the value attached to it.
Creating hyperreal illusions requires mastery of one’s technique. When seeking to deceive his audience, Hendriks pulls out all the stops to make his work absolutely lifelike. Nothing is allowed to interfere with the illusion. For the artist, painting amounts first and foremost to a conscious demonstration of the highest professional skill. He uses his technical virtuosity to make the viewer think about the way we are used to look at paintings. Although his images seem to be crystal clear at first, they actually make us doubt through their ambiguity.
Lieven Hendriks (1970) studied at the HKU in Utrecht and was a resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. His work is part of many renowned international collections, including Museum Voorlinden, ESMoA Los Angeles, and the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.
ABOUT Kendell Geers
Born in May 1968, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium
Born into a working class Afrikaans family during the height of Apartheid, Kendell Geers quickly found himself fighting a Crime Against Humanity on the front lines of activism and protest. Running away from the military regime and a six year prison sentence, he escaped to London in 1988 as a political refugee. In 1989 he moved on to New York where he found employ as Richard Prince’s full time assistant. Following the release of Nelson Mandela, Geers returned to South Africa in 1990 to help build the new democracy.
From his strong experiences as a revolutionary, he developed a psycho-social-political practice that held ethics and aesthetics to be opposite sides of the very same coin, spinning upon the tables of history. In his hands, the discourse of art history is interrogated, languages of power and ideological codes subverted, expectations smashed and belief systems transformed into aesthetic codes. The raw energy of a Punk attitude is blended with the visceral visionary philosophy of poets like Rimbaud, Blake and Burroughs in an uncanny cocktail of unexpected contrasts.
A European by descent, an African by birth, Kendell Geers work embodies the contradictions of his identity, being both Animist and Mystic, Shaman and Alchemist, Punk and Poet. The warp of popular culture is woven into the weft of poetry, painting, literature and ritual. He uses experience to colour perception, spiritualising matter and materialising spirit, mocking tradition like an iconoclast whilst celebrating history like a Medieval Monk.
Believing that art is as political as it is spiritual, Kendell Geers’ varied practice cannot be simplified, cannot be reduced to cliché or fashion. Working as an artist, musician, designer and writer, his strategies are without compromise because he believes that “Art changes the world – one perception at a time.”
ABOUT Boris Tellegen
Born in 1968, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Boris Tellegen (NL, 1968) began his artistic career in the 1980s, using his pseudonym DELTA. As a Graffiti artist, Tellegen treated the two-dimensional frame of the letter and the word as sculpture, bursting out or morphing into the wall, piercing its boundaries by adding a dimension. By combining the reliefs of his practice with his education in industrial design, he soon started to create three-dimensional work on the intersection of architecture, painting, sculpture and installation.
In his body of work made over a thirty-year span, Tellegen explores how to transcend the boundaries of walls by annexing, deconstructing and recomposing them, to ultimately disregard them in recent installations. Through the ever-fluctuating shape of his work, Tellegen continues to disrupt our perception of surface and space.
Boris Tellegen received his education in Industrial Design Engineering at the Technical University of Delft (NL, 1988-94). Tellegen has exhibited widely in European, North American and Australian museums, institutions and galleries. Recent exhibitions include MIMA, Brussels (BE, 2017), Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (FR, 2016), Amsterdam Museum (NL, 2015) and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (FR, 2014). Tellegen regularly creates commissioned sculptures in the public spaces. A recent example is a series of sculptures between Amersfoort and Utrecht in the framework of De Stijl’s centenary celebration (NL, 2017).
ABOUT Bouke de Vries
Born 1960 in Utrecht, NL
Lives and works in London, UK
Bouke de Vries studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and Central St Martin’s, London. After working with John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Zandra Rhodes, he switched careers and studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College. Every day in his practice as a private conservator he was faced with issues and contradictions around perfection and worth:
‘The Venus de Milo’ is venerated despite losing her arms, but when a Meissen muse loses a finger she is rendered virtually worthless.’
Using his skills as a restorer (c.f. Ron Mueck’s model-maker skills), his ‘exploded’ artworks reclaim broken pots after their accidental trauma. He has called it ‘the beauty of destruction’. Instead of reconstructing them, he deconstructs them. Instead of hiding the evidence of this most dramatic episode in the life of a ceramic object, he emphasises their new status, instilling new virtues, new values, and moving their stories forward.
The more contemplative works echo the 17th- and 18th-century still-life paintings of his Dutch heritage, especially the flower paintings of the Golden Age, a tradition in which his hometown of Utrecht was steeped (de Heem, van Alst, van Huysum inter alia), with their implied decay. By incorporating contemporary items a new vocabulary of symbolism evolves.
These ‘dead natures’ – natures morts – give everyday household objects, a plate, a milk jug, a teapot, a modern poignancy that refers back to the vanitas and memento mori paintings of that period. An installation in de Vries’s London house is arranged in the manner of Daniel Marot with white Delft domestic pottery rescued in fragments from 17th- and 18th-century rubbish tips, now dug up and partially pieced together. Among them are two small artists’ paint pots with the pigment still in them, as possibly once used by – who knows? – Vermeer or Rembrandt.
ABOUT Geert Mul
Born in 1965 in Alphen aan den Rijn, NL
Lives and works in Rotterdam, NL
Geert Mul has been exploring for over 25 years the possibilities of a poetry in the language of new media. This resulted in a flow of experimental artworks in a wide range of media: prints, light-objects, video and interactive/generative computer installations. In Mul’s works, the interrelationship between technology, media and perception is a central theme. Mul’s practice engages the broader public through commissioned artworks in public space.
Geert Mul studied art from 1985 -1990 at the HKA Arnhem where he graduated with computer animations, video and kinetic sculptures. After his studies, he traveled in Mexico, the United States and Asia. He resided for one year in Tokyo. Since 1993 Mul lives and works in Rotterdam, Holland. In the mid-1990s, Mul became one of the first VJ’s, in the alternative Techno scene. These events grew into interactive audio-visual environments, commissioned artworks and installations which were exhibited in a variety of contexts: public space, museums and festivals. Mul has produced over 20 commissioned art installations and exhibited at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, Museo Nacional Reina Sofia Madrid, Institute Valencia Arte Moderne, Museum of contemporary Art Chicago.
Geert Mul teaches “Unstable Media” at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (DogTime).
ABOUT Levi van Veluw
Levi van Veluw was born in 1985, in Hoevelaken, The Netherlands
He lives and works near Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Since graduating in 2007, Levi van Veluw has produced multi-disciplinary works that includes photographs, videos, sculptures, installations and drawings. This varied body of work has been showcased in many different locations across Europe and the United States, earning him a number of nominations and awards.
The artist first became known in 2008 with his solo exhibition Landscapes at Galerie Ron Mandos in Amsterdam. This coincided with him being awarded the International Photo Award in New York for the photo series “Ballpoints”, and the selection of one of his video works for the Whitstable Biennale UK.
In 2010, the work of the artist was showcased in a series of major museum exhibitions, including the exhibition “Dead or Alive” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem and Ars Electronica in Linz.
2013 saw the publication of the book “Origin of the Beginning”. This singular book is a work of art in itself, published in an edition of 1000 hand-signed copies. The book, which is widespread among collectors and enthusiasts, provides an overview of the artist’s work from 2006 to 2013, a rich oeuvre that includes photographs, drawings, installations, sculptures and videos.
The work of Levi Veluw has been exhibited internationally in leading museums and institutions, and is included in both public and private collections, such as the Borusan Collection, Istanbul; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Museum MORE, Gorssel; the KPMG Art Collection, Amstelveen; the Ekard Collection, Wassenaar; the Lakeside Collection, Rotterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection. In addition to his work in his individual practice, Levi van Veluw has also worked on commissions for private clients. In this way, he has collaborated, in 2012, with curator Marc Coetzee on the film “Family” in the frame of the “Films4peace” project. In 2014, van Veluw created for Hermès a life-sized site-specific installation for one of their main windows in Shanghai. Van Veluw’s works have also been widely shown at international art fairs such as, among others, The Armory Show New York, Art Brussels, Volta Basel, Unseen Amsterdam and the Barcelona Loop Fair Barcelona.
ABOUT Hans Op de Beeck
Hans Op de Beeck was born in 1969 in Turnhout, BE
He lives and works in Brussels, BE
Hans Op de Beeck produces large installations, sculptures, films, drawings, paintings, photographs and texts. His work is a reflection on our complex society and the universal questions of meaning and mortality that resonate within it. He regards man as a being who stages the world around him in a tragi-comic way. Above all, Op de Beeck is keen to stimulate the viewers’ senses, and invite them to really experience the image. He seeks to create a form of visual fiction that delivers a moment of wonder and silence.
Over the past twenty years Op de Beeck realised numerous monumental ‘sensorial’ installations, in which he evoked what he describes as ‘visual fictions’: tactile deserted spaces as an empty set for the viewer to walk through or sit down in, sculpted havens for introspection. In many of his films though, in contrast with those depopulated spaces, he prominently depicts anonymous characters.
Hans Op de Beeck was born in Turnhout in 1969. He lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. Op de Beeck has shown his work extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world.
ABOUT Ron van der Ende
Ron van der Ende is a sculptor living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He specializes in wall mounted bas-reliefs constructed from found wood. The original color and texture of the wood is utilized to form a gripping and realistic mosaic. The realism is further enhanced by the perspective built into the relief. Van der Ende uses his method to conjure up dark industrial and space age imagery.
His work was shown a.o. at Ambach & Rice Gallery, Dallas, Museum; Voorlinden, Wassenaar; de Kunsthal, Rotterdam; Kuenstlerhaus, Dortmund; Groninger Museum, Groningen; Stadthausgalerie, Munster; Dallas Art Fair; The Armory Show in New York; OkOk Gallery in Seattle, and Ampelhaus in Oranienbaum.