Living in Den Haag and winner of the prestigious Ouborg price in 2001, i always have admired Vojta Dukat, original in his approach to his subject and for me one of the very best black and white photographers of his generation. Intimate portraits of people, perfect use of the light.
He makes photographs as if they were paintings. Classical, recognizable situations are transformed into brilliant photographs. Because of his connection with Den Haag, the Gemeentemuseum was fortunate to have the show on the occasion of the Ouborgprijs and this is where i first encountered his photographs. Since i have been following his career. The book published on the occasion of the Ouborgprijs is a true classic and www.ftn-books.com is fortunate to have this for sale. I found a small youtube item on the book which gives a great impression of it.
Last Sunday me and Linda visited the Tomas Rajlich exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. I had to see it , because i am a long time admirer of the works by Rajlich. Fundamental paintings almost like Minimal art , Rajlich stayed loyal to his monochrome paintings, with or without a grid with or without a very precise space of 5 cm. in between the lines just paint. I admire his gold paintings with the pencil grids, but his grids can appear in very different ways. white lines, black lines, pencil or painted with the fingers or the entire hand. The ones in the Boijmans have a vertical grid which is applied with some sort of comb and like the smaller sketches/drawings in the adjacent room, glitter is applied on the surface which gives an extra dimension. Still the execution of the paintings is almost the same like some 30 years ago.
Look at the details of one of his gold paintings and the much more recent red painting. At the bottom of the painting it looks like paint is dripping from the canvas. as if all sites matter except the bottom. Rajlich is for my personally one of the most fascinating artist whom i have met and his art is timelesss. I am glad this show is organized with a great and impressive overview of some of his best recent paintings ( 2003) which he has lent on an extended loan to the Boijmans van Beuningen.
Painting was declared dead in the early 1970s. Tomas Rajlich (1940) opposed this notion and revived painting by making the act of painting itself the subject of his canvases. In 1975 he was one of the most important exponents of Fundamental painting: a collective term for works in which idea and materials are inseparable. Rajlich still considers himself a Fundamental painter and has continued to develop as such to the present day.
The grids that were so characteristic of Rajlich’s early works seem to have disappeared from his recent monochrome canvases. The grid has become simply one of the elements, like the paint, glitter and linen that Rajlich uses to build up his extravagant paintings.
Outside the Netherlands Pieter Ouborg is hardly know, but compare this artists to his contemporaries he stand out with a “language” which is original and imaginative. Strange, sometimes surreal and even cildlike ( Yes, he befriended Appel and other Cobra artist). STill he did not become the great name people who admired him hoped for. Still he was admired by his fellow artists and during his life he received some very nice retrospectives in the Stedelijk Museum and the Haags Gemeentemuseum. It si hard to describe his art, but if i must make a comparison it must be Wols ( i wrote a short blog on Wols some weeks ago). For those visiting in the near future , here is the list of collections that has Ouborg works in them: ( and of course the books on www.ftn-books.com)
One of the dutch pioneers in dutch video and film art is certainly Frans Zwartjes. He is known for his experimental form of movie making. Somewhat psychedelic and always with a different camera point of view. Let his art speak for himself and look at SPECTATOR from 1970
There is a nice book available at www.ftn-books.com which was published on the occasion of Zwartjes receiving the Ouborg price.