“Best of Graduates plays a very important role within the artistic program of my gallery. In these challenging times–in which artists and galleries worldwide are struggling–it is of immense importance to keep supporting new talent. I’m extremely proud that we managed to bring together work by twenty-five artists, who respond to new artistic issues and current global events. Young artists remain eyeopeners: they make us see the world from a new, joyfully surprising perspective.”— Ron Mandos
Best of Graduates 2020
Galerie Ron Mandos is pleased to present an online exhibition of Best of Graduates 2020. Curator Radek Vana and team Galerie Ron Mandos visited the graduation shows of the Dutch art academies to scout young talent. The selection resulted in a vibrant mix of ambitious graduation projects. This online presentation shows an overview of these projects and focuses on nine of the twenty-five graduates in the exhibition. For the duration of Best of Graduates 2020 we throw light on a new selection of graduates each week.
“Despite the limitations and difficult circumstances this year, BOG 2020 has become a very special edition with high-quality works of dedicated graduates. For some the lock-down offered a period of concentration. Some were inspired to explore new ways and means of expression. An important place in our show is dedicated to personal stories that may focus on the physicality or have political dimension. What I appreciate the most are those who were not afraid to respond directly to these challenging times. There are exciting examples of these attempts presented in our selection.”
– Radek Vana (Curator of Best of Graduates)
Karina Puuffin | Academie Minerva, Groningen
Karina Puuffin was born in a small town in Eastern Ukraine. She moved to The Netherlands when the situation there got unstable and unsafe. While applying to Minerva Art Academy, a completely new art scene opened up in front of her: here art was not appreciated superficially. A new dilemma raised up on the ashes of the collapsing world of previously established visual perception: “What is art? And what is a painting?”
Puuffin’s work is a celebration of art. It is an endless search for its possibilities through questioning the relationship between authenticity and fakery, reality and imagination, past and present. Does the dominant canon of art history detract from the authenticity of an art work? Can art be serious and humorous at the same time? Can it have a strong presence in the physical world but inseparably connect to the two-dimensional? In Untitled (version 2), Puuffin literally breaks through the 2D plane of traditional painting.
Untitled (Version 2), 2020 | Acrylic on canvas, wood and fabric | 200 x 100 x 130 cm
Karina Puuffin€ 2.400,- (Excl. tax)
Shimon Kamada | HKU
Shimon Kamada (1997) was born in Japan and came to the Netherlands for his study. He graduated from the Fine Art department of the HKU this summer. Strengthened by his Japanese background and Dutch surrealism technique, he integrates particular elements, such as certain superstitions, that might escape recognition from western audiences, or that might therefore evoke very different and unexpected interpretations. This gap opens up the ambiguity of his works.
Throughout his paintings, Kamada fuses recognizable settings from everyday life with fantasy and dreamlike elements, painted with his sensibility. By building his works in different layers, different stories, cultural symbols, and connotations intertwine. The complexity makes Kamada’s paintings full of narrative and association, both for the artist and his audience.
When his works tell a story that belongs to his melancholic, lonely, or embarrassing experience, they provide viewers a sense of nostalgia and sympathy in their narrative space. Looking at his painted sceneries relate to the experience of déjà vu, where things appear so familiar, but the context of time and memory are shaken up.
The surrealistic approach leaves mystery, stimulates the curiosity of viewers to make their imagery narratives from their previous experiences. From their various interpretations, viewers give him helping hands to spread a series of fake stories.
Untitled 3, 2019 | 60 x 200 x 60 cm | Ceramics
Anastasia Kiseleva€ 3.000,- (Excl. tax)
Do you need me or do I need you? (Sculpture 3), 2020 | Ceramics and steel | 280 x 100 x 180 cm
Hannah Reede€ 1.600,- (Excl. tax)
Jesse Fischer | AKV St. Joost
Jesse Fischer is a 24-year-old painter from Tilburg, The Netherlands. While studying at AKV Sint Joost he primarily focused on creating two-dimensional works. The last few years he also experimented with analog photography, photoshop and graphic methods, like etching and woodcuts.
The symbolic elements he uses in his work are found and collected from daily life. These could be dreams and memories, or people, objects and places that inspired him, or literature, myths and other stories found on the internet. All these different elements shape the language by which he conveys his story.
Tasio Bidegain | Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Born in 1996 in Menorca, Tasio Bidegain grew up in Paris where he started to autonomously develop several independent artistic practices like painting, drawing, video, or photography as a quotidian way to react and reflect on my surroundings. Curious and eager to complexify his graphical language, he specialized in photography while continuously learning as many analog and digital techniques of image-making, ranging from printmaking (lithography, etching…) to video installation, ceramics, and textile printing. He now works on merging those practices together into crafted images that can carry complex narratives. Trying to create new visual ways of describing the intricate facets of reality is at the center of his practice, in an attempt to synthesize and fixate in time the experience of our chaotic world.
For his presentation at Galerie Ron Mandos, Tasio Bidegain created a new wall drawing of 2 by 4 meters on top of which there is a group of 10 framed drawings, all from his latest series called Paris Syndrome. In Paris Syndrome, Bidegain documented the visual manifestations of the corona pandemic by redrawing virtual images he was exposed to. The 10 framed drawings are a coherent series in the sense that they form a continuous and linear narrative, with a beginning and an end. All of them are composed of the three same elements: amateur footage of everyday life scenes of the pandemic, medical depictions of the virus and augmented reality technology.
All of the drawings were made during the lockdown between March and May 2020 in Paris.
The dreaming, 2020 | Graphite on paper | 42 x 29,7 cm
Tasio Bidegain€ 1.130,- (Excl. tax)
Danielle Alhassid | Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Danielle Alhassid is an Israeli-French artist based in Amsterdam. She is a graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie 2020. Her works involves drawing, print making, animation and performance. She focuses on the intersection of memory, identity, immigration and the urban experience as her main subjects of investigation.
For her graduation project Alhassid created Memories of a Stone, a series of animations which treat the uncanny feeling that darker memories hide under the surface. The animations depict stones as a symbol of memory, which exhibit the feeling of remembering a whole history while never revealing it. Inspired by her childhood in Tel Aviv, Alhassid interrogates questions of memory and deals with the myth of the modern city, which often whitewashes its narrative from the traces of other histories, those of racism, colonialism and exploitation.
Born from Sea and Cloud, 2020 | Stop Motion Animation | 3:57 min
Danielle Alhassid€ 1.800,- (Excl. tax)
“I work with ink, stones, water color, sand, paper cuts… everyday materials. For me the stones have a special meaning. They are special objects, like talismans, that exhibit the feeling of remembering a whole history while never revealing it. I use the stop motion animation technique to extract this element of time. When they are animated the stones grow a life of their own, which hold in it stories, memories and emotions. Under the stones, maps of the old city appear and slowly take over, only to be overcome by another grid.”— Danielle Alhassid
Marta Capilla Urbano | Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Marta Capilla Urbano (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 1988) is based in The Netherlands and is part of Trixie, an artist-run space in The Hague. She holds a BA in Film Studies from Complutense University of Madrid and graduated with BFA in Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
Untitled (making of a floor, 1), 2020 | Archival Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta | 55 x 44 cm
Marta Capilla Urbano€ 600,- (Excl. tax)
‘Making of a floor’ comprises a series of photographic studies discovering one’s perspective. Shot during lockdown, Marta Capilla Urbano photographically reworked the domestic space as an extension of her body, linking body to body, to objects and space.
In ‘Making of a floor’ the artist examines the floor as an element of support, a given structure that grounds the space we occupy and from where we hold our views. A floor can be a psychological space that structures beliefs and gives sense. By moving upon floors we take positions and acquire new perspectives. New relationships arise between the things we touch and see.
Untitled (making of a floor, 33), 2020 | Archival Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta | 100 x 72 cm
Marta Capilla Urbano
Untitled (making of a floor, 20), 2020 | Archival Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta | 55 x 44 cm
Marta Capilla Urbano
Untitled (making of a floor, 2), 2020 | Archival Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta | 55 x 44 cm
Marta Capilla Urbano
Philipp Groubnov | KABK
Philipp Groubnov (Belarus, 1995) moved to The Hague 5 years ago to study at the KABK. Before moving to The Netherlands he studied physics at the Belarussian State University. His artistic work is a reflection of the relationship between art and science, both sharing a similar foundation of inquiry into nature and the construction of knowledge. Groubnov’s practice is strongly informed by his desire to inquire the structure of the world. He continuously investigates the transitional state of matter and relationships between elements in ecosystems. The materials he uses in his installations are often prone to change and growth.
“This work was inspired by my contemplation on the change around me. In the last couple of months, more than before I felt how unstable different things are. I started with the thought about death. Death as an idea that all of a sudden pervaded daily news and minds more than before, and also as the end of four years of belonging in a certain place and goodbyes to people that were close to me.
I titled this work “Natural Philosophy” because I think it shares with ancient scientists the desire to reflect on the self as part of the environment and it has certain romantic connotations in the gestures.
I use water as a medium that has potential for accommodating life, but also as a medium that is corrosive for other materials. One of the legs of the metallic structure is submerged into the water, it becomes rusty and gives a distinct color that reminds pollution, or a desert, while the water also disrupts continuity of the shape.
The upper part of the structure contains glass and clear water which is moved by the mechanical source of wind. Resting in this water you see the cast of my face looking at it’s changing reflection, or maybe glazing through the liquid in a dreamy state. The cast is slowly disappearing into the water, once it is completely gone I am going to make a new cast and replace it. Therefore, this element of the work will grow older with me and will eventually be gone completely. Together with me.” – Philipp Groubnov
Matthijs Jeuring | AKI ArtEZ
Matthijs Jeuring is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Enschede. He studied painting at AKI ArtEZ and makes video and music as well. This year he was nominated for the Dutch Royal Award for Modern Painting.
Inspired by mysticism and early gnosticism, Jeuring focuses on the day to day dialogue with ‘the material realm’. He explores the duality of Ideas and the manifested form of ideas. His paintings are meant to inherit as much suggestive information as possible, to act as honest cultural artifacts of this day and age.
Jeuring likes the idea of using the chaotic nature of reality with a sense of unconditional trust, so his methodology is often an act of improvisation. It’s true meaning can be revealed later on when time can put the images in perspective. He believes that way a personal work can even become political, and maybe even in a more honest way, because it can reflect a deeper truth or struggle that could only surface through the unconscious mind. That’s why he wants to save his perspective of reality through his work and encrypt it, so that one day, he knows better why he needs to paint.
“I generally don’t study many other painters, but I have a soft spot for Pierre Bonnard. I see a certain resemblance in his intimate approach to painting. It fascinates me how he portrays the microcosm of the domestic scene as a vast landscape. In his work I see how a personal experience can simultaneously reflect a larger idea. It is his color use and his play with contrasts that inspired many of my new works.”— Matthijs Jeuring
The Star, 2020 | Fine art print on an aluminum plate with rounded corners | 60 x 34,5 cm
Mayis Rukel€ 1.100,- (Excl. tax)
Narges Mohammadi | KABK | Winner of the RM Young Blood Award
Narges Mohammadi is an artist, curator and DJ and is currently based in The Hague (NL). She graduated with a BA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from Utrecht University in 2018 and completed her BA Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Arts The Hague. Her artistic practice stems from a position of in-betweenness – a space embedded within separated cultural histories.
In her artistic practice she makes works that embody long lost memories, which she translates into immersive installations and sculptures. Her works can be characterized by a play with fragrances, colors, symbols and habits of different cultural heritages. By using simple and widely accessible materials in atmospheres that have seemingly outgrown them, she allows my different senses of home to come together.
For BOG 2020, Narges Mohammadi created a new version of her installation Passing Traces that includes a video showing the ‘making of’ of the original installation at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). The original life size sculpture consisted of 700 kg of halva – hand stirred flour, butter, shivering hot sugar syrup and soft cardamom flavour prepared by many strong hands. Halva is a Persian sweet traditionally prepared at funerals, collectively eaten it comforts the bereaved. Passing Traces is a room of halva in a narrow passage-like space. The walls depict impressions of a sober bedroom interior. The furniture leaves traces of a long-lost presence. Just as life is finitely ungraspable, Passing Traces follows its own lawless path, slowly decaying and visibly cracking due to gravity’s weight.
Can we imagine art as a means for connection, for sharing long lost memories? Personally, I envision art’s potential as a tool for emotional understanding, one that doesn’t require you to speak, but kindly asks you to feel. It invites you to be immersed in the moment, to get lost in imaginations.— Narges Mohammadi
RM Young Blood Award
During a “covid-proof” RM Young Blood Award Ceremony, Barbara Bos, Head of Exhibitions at Museum Voorlinden, announced that Narges Mohammadi (KABK, The Hague) has become the recipient of the 2020 RM Young Blood Award! Winning the RM Young Blood Award means that the work by Mohammadi will be placed in the permanent collection of Museum Voorlinden – Congratulations Narges!
RM Young Blood Foundation
Best of Graduates 2020 and its awards are made possible by the RM Young Blood Foundation. Established in 2018 to support young artists at the start of their career, the Foundation creates an environment that fosters young artistic talent for decades to come.
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