Galerie Ron Mandos is proud to introduce Mirrors / Mirages, an exhibition that delves into the ability of light to both reflect and refract reality. The works by Lieven Hendriks, James Turrell, Ann Veronica Janssens, Brigitte Kowanz, Iván Navarro, Troika, Sarah van Sonsbeeck, and Jonny Niesche show how light is both generated, dispersed and obscured. Through apertures and mirrors we are invited into worlds that intertwine the material and the virtual, the inner and the outer self. As these worlds converge, our understanding of reality begins to shift.


In the paintings of Lieven Hendriks (NL, 1970), prisms and other magical reflections create mirage-like visuals that capture a deep urgency to see something. Like the desert Fata Morgana, Hendriks’s works are driven by desire and imagination – a form of optical illusion that since antiquity has been fundamental to the visual arts. From the renaissance to present day, artists have contemplated whether one should hold a mirror to nature, or to represent it the way they wished to see it.

Whilst historically, light and its effects have played both subject and muse, the work of James Turrell (USA, 1943) uses light as medium. Light, the immaterial and ephemeral, is granted a sense of form and solidity. In Howdy Doody (Magnatron), this pioneer of light art has made what appears to be a television, but on further inspection the work opens into a deep space filled with oscillating light. This subversion of our sense of light and space is echoed in the work of Jonny Niesche (AU, 1972), whose painting-objects become actual conversation pieces as they engage both viewer and environment. Likewise, the Magic Mirror by Ann Veronica Janssens (BE, 1956) functions as a portal opening up into a magical universe of blue.

In the work of Brigitte Kowanz (AT, 1957), light’s connection to color is severed. Instead, opting to use an obliterative white. Here, light and its ability to carry information is central to her practice. Within her reflective spaces, our sense of orientation is warped, and we are brought into a limbo between a material and immaterial reality that feels all too familiar in today’s digitally saturated world. Similarly, Iván Navarro (CL, 1972) has created uncanny and infinite spacial constellations. Within Mirage, Navarro has formed a miniature black hole where everything seems to collapse into oblivion and danger lies in wait.

Within the objects of artist collective Troika – Eva Rucki (DE, 1976), Conny Freyer (DE, 1976) and Sebastien Noel (FR, 1977) – lies a phantasmagoric spectrum of colors. These infinite, almost liquid spectrums display the same vibrance of an endless loop of sunset and sunrise. The sunset is arguably the most extensive and ubiquitously photographed natural phenomenon. Here, Troika takes an interest in our collective longing to freeze-frame and capture this perpetually fleeting moment. Meanwhile, Sarah van Sonsbeeck’s (NL, 1976) light installation tantalizes us with the possibility that we might be able to hold on to this blissful moment. Though, who’s to say how long we can cling to this beautiful fiction?

Mirrors / Mirages | 3D gallery tour



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 Troika

Troika is a collaborative contemporary art practice formed by Eva Rucki (b. 1976, Germany), Conny Freyer (b. 1976, Germany) and Sebastien Noel (b. 1977, France) in 2003.

With a particular interest in perception and spatial experience, their collective works manipulate our experience and understanding of the world. They challenge our assumptions and ask the question why we know what we know, and whether this knowledge is certain.

As Troika experiments with new ideas and processes, the artists work across media including light, soot, water, dice and electricity. Their work often presents a double, deceptive nature, at once deliberate and spontaneous, calculated and random, allowing Troika to explore ideas around man made structures, control, repetitive actions and systems and how these coincide, conflict, or unite with the unpredictable, the unknowable, and irrational.

Troika’s work is part of the permanent collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; M+, Hong Kong; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA, New York; Jumex Collection, Mexico City; and the Israel Museum. In 2010, Troika was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to produce three site-specific installations for the UK Pavilion, designed by Heatherwick Studio, at the Shanghai Expo. In 2014 Troika was selected to present their work ‘Dark Matter’ at Unlimited, Art Basel.

Eva Rucki, Conny Freyer and Sebastien Noel live and work in London.


ABOUT Ann Veronica Janssens

Ann Veronica Janssens (BE, 1956) adopts the visual languages of science and minimalism. Her work suggests that all perception is fragile at best. Creating installations, projections, immersive environments, urban interventions, and sculptures, Janssens explores the sensory experience of reality. Space, distribution of light, radiant color, and translucent or reflective surfaces all serve to reveal the instability of our perception of time and space. She explores properties of matter and physical phenomena in order to destabilize ideas about materiality. Janssens took part amongst others in the Venice Biennale in 1999 and the Sydney Biennale in 2012. In 2018, she had a large survey exhibition in De Pont in Tilburg and more recently, in 2020, the Danish museum Louisiana dedicated an exhibition to her.


ABOUT Sarah van Sonsbeeck

Sarah van Sonsbeeck’s (NL, 1976) work is two-sided: on the one hand, she tries to define, defend and extend private space; on the other, she simultaneously reveals the impossibility and perhaps even undesirability of being completely shut off from the world. Her work focuses on the thin permeable line between interior and exterior – without concern for the façade. This detour brings her to an investigation of a more immaterial side of architecture, in which she scrutinizes all the small elements that determine how we live in our homes, the things the architects cannot control. She amplifies these elements and devises shields against them, but also welcomes the unpredictable. Van Sonsbeeck studied architecture at TU Delft (MA) and art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (BA). Her work was amongst others on show at De Nederlandsche Bank; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Musem Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Sarah van Sonsbeeck lives and works in Amsterdam. She is represented by Annet Gelink Gallery in Amsterdam.


ABOUT Jonny Niesche

In Jonny Niesche’s (AU, 1972) practice colors are presences, or performers. Each tone deliberately selected for its resonance and how it exists in conversation with the next, Niesche understands and exploits the power of color to trigger our senses. Trawling fashion, music, makeup, and his own practice he digitally selects and distills hues to define the right experiential outcome, often one that offers a certain frequency to the gallery space. His practice is characterized by a plurality of color field combinations, seriality, and a play of light and motion. Niesche studied fine arts with Mikala Dwyer at Sydney University. His work is held in a number of collections, including Artbank, Sydney; Museum of New and Old Art, Hobart; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; as well as private collections in Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia and Australia.


ABOUT Iván Navarro

Iván Navarro (CL, 1972) is a conceptual Chilean sculptor. His work utilizes neons, mirrors, and optical phenomena to convey complicated textual information, usually pedagogical in nature and politically charged. His time spent living under a Chilean dictatorship shapes his choice of subject matter—specifically that of electricity, which has been used as a tool of torture, execution, and political dominance in Chile, with power regularly cut off as a means to foster isolation and subservience. His work has garnered international attention, with Navarro participating in important numerous exhibitions across the globe, including at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, Egeran Gallery in Instanbul, and Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris, among numerous others.

Navarro is born in 1972 in Santiago, Chile, he lives and works in New York, NY. He is represented by Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris.


ABOUT James Turrell

James Turrell (USA, 1943) has worked directly with light and space for over half a century, to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. Turrell considers the sky as his studio, material and canvas.The artist is most well-known for his Skyspaces, chambers with an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky. The simple act of witnessing the sky from within a Turrell Skyspace, notably at dawn and dusk, reveals how we internally create the colors we see and thus, our perceived reality. Turrell has installed works in twenty-two countries and in seventeen US states that are open to the public or can be viewed by appointment.

James Turrell lives and works in Arizona, US. He is represented by Häusler Contemporary, Zürich.


ABOUT Brigitte Kowanz

Brigitte Kowanz (1957-2022) is known for her evocative sculptures, installations, and environments with a decidedly non-physical medium: light. Since the early 1980s, she has been exploring both the utilitarian and conceptual resonances of light with neon tubing, LED bulbs, aluminum, mirrors, and text. She draws upon such multidisciplinary sources as advertising, architecture, film, music, and the history of painting for inspiration. Through her use of mirrors, Kowanz aims to break down the boundaries between art and life, drawing viewers into her illuminated visions. Kowanz studied from 1975 to 1980 at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She has been Professor of Transmedial Art there since 1997.