Galerie Ron Mandos is proud to present the exhibition RE: USED. A group show with works by Aldo van den Broek (NL, 1985) Geert Mul (NL, 1965), and Bouke de Vries (NL, 1960). The historical narrative can be seen as an important aspect in the works included in the new exhibition; also a similarity in the use of materials is what connects these artists. Elements like old DDR newspapers, Chinese landscape paintings or antique porcelain. Within the artworks, the materials reflect the opinion of the artist, rather than their original function.

Q&A Aldo van den Broek – Tiana Wilhelm (Director Stedelijk Museum Zutphen I Museum Henriette Polak)
more info: https://ronmandos.nl/news/qa-aldo-van-den-broek/


Aldo van den Broek has practiced painting in the city of Amsterdam in his early twenties. Due to this method of learning, Aldo is autodidactic in his work. He used to live in a 1000m2  squat, where he painted together with a group of artists that later formed the Biltzkrieg collective. 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.”

Geert Mul can be seen as one of the founders of multimedia art. He uses existing images for his interactive installations. For his most recent work, Shan-Sui, Mul was inspired by Chinese landscape paintings. The artist states that by looking at others, the relativity of the perception becomes most clear. Shan-Sui offers a subsidiary view on how ‘the East’ experiences the landscape (in relation to ‘the West’).

Bouke de Vries studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven and Central St. Martin’s. He also studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College. In his artworks he uses his skills as a restorer, but instead of reconstructing broken ceramic objects, he deconstructs them into fragile sculptures: emphasizing their new status and moving their stories forward.




Installation views


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 VJs, 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 Bouke de Vries

Bouke de Vries (1960) was born in Utrecht, NL
He 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.