An artist from my generation is Roni Horn and since the days i worked at the Gemeentemuseum i came across her works. This is not the easiest art on the planet, but it is fascinating and some wonderful books have been published with her works. Some of these are available at www.ftn-books.com. Here is a text i found recently in which is explained some of the qualities of her works.
Since the mid-1990s, Horn has been producing cast-glass sculptures. For these works, colored molten glass assumes the shape and qualities of a mold as it gradually anneals over three to four months. The sides and bottom of the resulting sculpture are left with the rough translucent impression of the mold in which it was cast. By stark contrast, the top surface is fire-polished and slightly bows like liquid under tension. The seductively glossy surface invites the viewer to gaze into the optically pristine interior of the sculpture, as if looking down on a body of water through an aqueous oculus. Exposed to the reflections from the sun or to the shadows of an overcast day, Horn’s glass sculpture relies upon natural elements like the weather to manifest her binary experimentations in color, weight and lightness, solidity and fluidity. The endless subtle shifts in the work’s appearance place it in an eternal state of mutability, as it refuses a fixed visual identity. Begetting solidity and singularity, the changing appearance of her sculptures is where one discovers meaning and connects her work to the concept of identity.For Horn, drawing is a primary activity that underpins her wider practice. Her intricate works on paper examine recurring themes of interpretation, mirroring and textual play, which coalesce to explore the materiality of color and the sculptural potential of drawing. Horn’s preoccupation with language also permeates these works; her scattered words read as a stream of consciousness spiralling across the paper. In her ‘Hack Wit’ series, Horn reconfigures idiomatic turns of phrase and proverbs to engender nonsensical, jumbled expressions. The themes of pairing and mirroring emerge as she intertwines not only the phrases themselves but also the paper they are inscribed on, so that her process reflects the content of the drawings. Words are her images and she paints them expressionistically, which – combined with her method – causes letters to appear indeterminate, as if they are being viewed underwater.
Notions of identity and mutability are also explored within Horn’s photography, which tends to consist of multiple pieces and installed as a surround which unfolds within the gallery space. Examples include her series ‘The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015),’ photographed with a deceptively affectless approach that belies sentimental value. Here, Horn’s collected treasures float against pristine white backdrops in the artist’s signature serial style, telling a story of the self as mediated through both objects and others – what the artist calls ‘a vicarious self-portrait.’ This series, alongside her other photographic projects, build upon her explorations into the effects of multiplicity on perception and memory, and the implications of repetition and doubling, which remain central to her work.
On the 1st of September 2016 i started the “Piet Dirkx daily” with the publishing of a Piet Dirkx cigarbox on each day since. There were over 850 cigarboxes that were once part of the installation Biotoop at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. This publication of the collection of cigarboxes has come to an end. That does not mean that the Piet Dirkx daily will not continue. Yes…. it continues ….however the frequency will be different. Every week on Saturday or Sunday a new “classic” Piet Dirkx item will be published, but this time it will be mostly very colorful larger and extreme large items. Drawings, paintings and special publications all other parts of my/our collection will eventually be published.
So it is certainly still not the time to stop, but the name will change and be different of course. the “Piet Dirkx daily” will become the “Piet Dirkx weekly”. Starting this weekend when a new chapter in the Piet Dirkx publications will start. I did not plan it, but there was some real symbolism in this last Piet Dirkx cigarbox no. 855 published .
For all those who are not familiar with the dutch language…on the last box Piet stated …De trein staat stil and positief leven, which means the “train has stopped” and “live positively”. The last few words are maybe the most important to us all. Translated they mean:
and on a personal note….Merry Xmas to you all.
The BIOTOOP / Biotope catalogue of the Piet Dirkx exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is available at www.ftn-books.com
Honestly… i must say that i had not heard from both, but because we were traveling a few weeks ago Wageningen ( Hotel de Wereld) and visited the local museum HET DEPOT, in which sculptures related to the human body are exhibited, we came across Joost Barbiers’s his work. Immediately , me and Linda liked it very much. The use of material which is left unworked and partly rough and in most cases in the same sculpture is polished in other parts ,is beautiful.
The museum HET DEPOT itself can be highly recommended too, but i will discuss this in another blog.
After a few days we came home and i contacted through the site of Joost Barbiers (http://www.joostbarbiers.nl) the artist and was replied by his wife who told me that Joost had passed away in November 2015 and that all of his remaining works were exhibited in LAD/ Land Art Delft ( http://www.landartdelft.nl ). This announcement came as a shock, because we did not expect that, but we also learned that the remaining works from his studio were transported to LAD .
Another great project of which i had never heard before. Included in the mail was an invitation to attend the opening of the exhibition of Joost Barbiers, but because of a tight time schedule on that Sunday i could not attend, so i decided to go early and visit LAD. What a nice surprise!….. a landscape with wild flowers, birds and Land Art makes this a beautiful place to visit, experience great art and….walk the dog. The statues of Barbiers are presented in the best possible way in these surroundings and show why this artist is one to have a bigger audience. Rough and cultivated go hand in hand and these sculptures blend into the landscape as if these sculptures have always been there.
Besides the sculptures by Barbiers ( ca. 20 sculptures ) many other can be found there because LAD has a program with artists in residence who work there and leave there sculptures behind.
Conclusion….do not visit Delft solely to see the original scenery of Vermeer, but visit Land Art Delft too and be amazed by the Barbiers sculptures.
The year is 1991. The occasion is the opening of the exhibition on Hamish Fulton. Curated by Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser. The Haags Gemeentemuseum organized this excellent exhibition which was accompanied by a publication ONE HUNDRED WALKS ,which still is one of my personal favorites and certainly is one of the most beautiful books in my collection. The book was designed by Hamish Fulton himself and Gracia Lebbink was asked to do the graphic layout and production. The result….. an artist book which is one of the best ever published.
The book was delivered ( as almost always) just a few hours before the opening of the exhibition and sold during this opening. The next day i encountered Fulton in the corridor of the museum and complimented him on the book and asked if he could sign my personal copy. No problem….. the book was signed and i had another souvenir for my collection, but then it occurred to me that the idea of signing some of these could be profitable for the museum and i asked him if he could sign and number a series of 20 copies to be sold in our museum bookstore.
The friendly and sympathetic person he is , he did not even think about it and asked for the 20 copies to sign them. Later that afternoon he came to the library , set himself at a desk and signed the 20 copies , which were numbered 1 to 20. The signature he placed in the books is still one of my most admired signatures in Modern Art. The way it is placed on the page and dated, plus the story behind it makes this still very special to me. The books ( signed and unsigned version) are still available at :
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20