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Aubertin, Schad and Siepman van den Berg…recommended group exhibition.

Not the most likely location to find these great artists all together within the same exhibition space with a small but excellent group presentation, but because of the recent initiative to start in Beetsterzwaag ,PROJECTRUIMTE HOOFDSTRAAT 17, it was possible to present Bernard Aubertin, Robert Schad and Eja Siepman van den Berg all together in the same space.

If you travel the north of the Netherlands/ Friesland, do not hesitate to visit Beetsterzwaag. A picturesque small dutch village between Leeuwarden and Heerenveen ( have lunch at HET is great) and visit Projektruimte Hoofdstraat 17. I have heard that the next exhibition will be on Armando and will let you know when this starts.

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Francis Bacon and Berlinde de Bruyckere


In my blog from Sunday you noticed that we visited the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag to have a look at the Riley CURVES exhibition. During this visit we walked the first floor of the museum with part of their permanent collection. Since the Bacon exhibition from 2001 , several painting are “on loan ” from other museums and they have now completed this room with a sculpture on loan from the Hauser & Wirth collection…and placed this in the same room as the Bacon’s….result….one of the most exciting and stunning Museum rooms i have ever seen.



Sometimes there are artists who look like brothers/sisters of each other, same approach to their subjects and this room is an example how closely both these artists are related in their art to each other. Here is the text the Gemeentemuseum published on their site on Berlinde de Bruyckere.

Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere (b. 1964) creates sculptures that reveal the human body and human life in all its frailty. Her installations of equine and human bodies evoke feelings of love and consolation, but also of terror and violence. The work is both emotionally immersive and provocative, regularly creating controversy. De Brucykere’s bitter-sweet images unite pain and suffering with a strong aesthetic appeal. Her Cripplewood presentation attracted great public attention at the 55th Venice Biennale. The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag acquired her sculpture Into One – Another II, To P.P.P., 2010-2011 in 2011 and is now about to hold a major retrospective of her work, much of it never previously exhibited in the Netherlands.

The human body and its visible suffering is the key theme in De Bruyckere’s whole oeuvre. We are now almost immune to images of suffering; the constant stream of ghastly pictures fed to us by the mass media has seen to that. Berlinde De Bruyckere seeks to restore our sensitivity to the suffering that is a timeless and universal part of the human condition. She makes us stop and look at it but leaves us free to make of her work what we will. In doing so, she unerringly explores the limits of the visual representation of physical and emotional pain. 

De Bruyckere constructs her sculptures of wax, resin, rope and worn leather or textile and strings together separate wax casts to create single bodies. She is concerned solely with bodies; faces are concealed behind shocks of hair or cloths; heads are often completely missing. Using special pigments, she transforms wax into pallid skin with vague glimpses of blood, veins and contusions. Red patches and ‘wounds’ give the impression of a tortured body and suggest associations with the religious symbolism surrounding martyrs like St. Sebastian – a figure of great significance to Cripplewood. In addition to these religious elements, classical mythology also has a place in De Bruyckere’s work. Ovid’s Metamorphoses are a constant source of inspiration.

Horses are also an important symbol in her oeuvre, used primarily as a metaphor to express profound human emotions surrounding death and mortality.

In addition to her sculpture, the forthcoming exhibition will also feature drawings and early works in textile. De Bruyckere uses her drawings – often made in a combination of watercolour and gouache on recycled paper or cardboard – as exploratory studies relating to the themes of her sculptures. In this respect, she frequently seeks inspiration in the bodies of dancers. The development of ideas with dancers in the studio is a technique of great importance to her and has resulted in various wax sculptures, as well as a number of different series of drawings. These series are not preparatory studies, but function as works of art in their own right, underlining the themes that together form the leitmotif of her entire oeuvre. De Bruyckere’s sketches, drawings, watercolours and sculptures are all interlinked and together constitute a single ‘body of work’.

De Bruyckere trained at the LUCA School of Arts in Ghent. Her work was first exhibited in the Italian Pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale. This led to immediate international recognition and her work has since been acquired by major museums, foundations and private collectors around the world. She returned to Venice in 2013 to represent her own country in the Belgian Pavilion.


For books on both these artists visit


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Tomas Rajlich…Structures in paint



Just a short blog to let you know that a large retrospetcive on Tomas Rajlich will be opened on the 15th of October 2016 which will be on show until 22nd January 2017.

Tomas Rajlich, a minimal painter for whom the grid is the measure of things. Rajlich’s starting point is usually a network of horizontal and vertical lines, which he lays down and then covers them with loose brushwork. The result – constructed with an exceptional feel for colour, sheen and the substance of his materials- is a painted surface  in which texture and structure predominate.

The exhibition is made partly with works that Rajlich recently has donated to the collections of the Gemeentemuseum.

The Irma Boom designed book is available at

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Piet Dirkx daily ….033


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Bridget Riley


Schermafbeelding 2016-10-02 om 11.46.08.png

Yesterday we visited the exhibition of Bridget Riley in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. ( the exhibition is till open until the 15th of October 2016).

A fascinating show on the Curved paintings she made from the early sixties until 2014. Paintings which are extremely detailed painted and very well thought out. The sketches and colored cardboard models show the way in which Riley makes these projects from idea into a large canvas. Walking through the exhibition ( yes passing these paintings) shows the effect these patterns have on your eyes. Waves and curves begin to dance before your eyes and show that a still painting can have the effect of movement in your perception. Fascinating to discover this Optical illusion and certainly very effective Op Art . Riley stayed true to this way of painting and did not produce many of these paintings over the years. These paintings take a long time to paint, but when they are ready they are  all masterpieces.

Her first solo exhibion she had at the Gallery One in London in 1964, after that she was invited for the Biennale in Venice and het break through exhibition ” The Responsive Eye” in the Museum of Modern Art in 1965.

Her works can be found in Modern Art Museums all over the world, but the Tate modern has the largest collection of them.

Look at the pictures i took at the exhibition and get an impression how she meticulously prepares each new painting. has some nice early Riley titles available including the leperello which was published on the occasion she received the Sikkensprijs in 1992.

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Piet Dirkx daily …032


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Hans Bellmer ( 1902 -1975)

Hans Bellmer poster
Hans Bellmer poster

Is Bellmer a dadaist or a surrealist painter?

A discussion which is held for decades now, but to me he is more  a surrealist artist than a Dada one.


Born in Poland, but living most of his life in Paris he led a secluded life and died a lonely man in 1975. After his dead the appreciation for his art began. Books were published, exhibitions held and his works were sold all over the world, but during his lifetime he was not that well known, nor popular because of his chosen subjects.

Finally in the last decade of his life he was considered one of the leading surrealist artist from his time and specially the photo series on the doll/ “La poupée”  he made received international praise. His main theme in practically all of his works is an erotic approach to his subjects. Fetishism, voyeurism and sado masochism can frequently be found in his subjects, but the erotic content is not easily discovered. In most cases you have to study the composition of the work to distinguish the erotic parts within.

Finally in 1959 and 1964 he received some recognition by being invited for the Documenta in Kassel.

From 1953 Bellmer lived together with the writer Unica Zürn . A sad relationship , lonely , without any social activities, living in a secluded way in hotel de l’Esperance in Paris. Unica threw herself out of the window in 1970 and Bellmer died a lonely man in 1975. A sad life of a great artist . If you do not know anything about Bellmer start with Wikipedia and learn something about him and begin to discover the surreal world he has created.There are some great titles at to be found on this fascinating artist.


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Michael Parkes


I must have been one of the first to have seen the work by Michael Parkes outside of Spain.

Michael Parkes lived and worked in Spain for some time where he was “discovered” by Gerrit Steltman and asked to have a show in his gallery Steltman ( location Rozengracht ). It must have been around 1978 when the first Parkes exhibition was held in this gallery and Gerrit showed me a preview of the works he was planning to show. I bought a small painting instantly and my parents decided to buy a larger one.  I traded the small painting in for a larger one as soon as his second exhibition opened and my parents bought a second painting. It must have been 20 years later that both these larger works were sold to the US. Thanks to the promotional activities of Gerrit Steltman, Parkes had become one of the leading fantasy painters from his generation and paintings were sold for high amounts. If you ask me now what i think of Parkes. …  a great painter, highly recognizable, but also one who choses the easy way of producing art and never made an effort to develop his art into a new direction. His women are beautiful and the fantasy worlds he creates are PARKES his own “Disneyland”, but it is also a world where you will not be surprised. I you have seen 100 Parkes paintings you have seen them all.

You must admire him for his technique, but there are other artists from his generation who deserve to be noticed too.

Personally  i think Parkes has created fascinating worlds, but do not close you eyes for others. In the same period Gerrit Steltman has also presented artists like Massimo Rao and Fassoni . Artist who are far less predictable and whose works can still be picked up at far more reasonable prices.

for books on Parkes see