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Andrea Alessi

20120730191135-untitled_4_c_anonymous Composing Memory   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Erik Kessels at Foam - Fotografie Museum June 29th, 2012 - October 14th, 2012
Posted 7/30/12

When was the last time you looked through a photo album? And I don’t mean Roderick’s “Las Vegas 2012” or Bethan’s “Mainly Eating in March” facebook albums. I’m talking about a real album. One you can hold in your hands that smells of old paper and glue. One where you can hear the crinkle of cellophane as you turn its sticky pages. I’m gonna guess that unless you’re recently married, you’ve probably flipped through an online album a lot more recently than you have a physical one. Our relationship to photographs... [more]

20120514152144-botanical The Physics of Looking at Sculpture   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Johan Gelper at Ricou Gallery April 7th, 2012 - May 26th, 2012
Posted 5/14/12

If line is the fundamental element in Johan Gelper’s sculptures – be it the smooth, arcing contours of his Spatial Drawings or the sharp, clustered spikes of his Botanicals – then movement is their creative rationale. If there were a physics equation for looking at sculpture it would put the artwork on one side of the equal sign, the viewer on the other: a line in space has potential energy; as we move around to see it in three dimensions, its potential energy is converted into our own kinetic energy.... [more]

20120507084201-two_girls Avery, Anthropologist of Onomatopoeia   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Charles Avery at GRIMM (KEIZERSGRACHT) April 5th, 2012 - June 1st, 2012
Posted 5/7/12

As a grad student I once wrote a paper arguing for the usefulness of drawing in anthropology. Contingent (and seemingly “true”) media like film and photography have long been considered useful for both research and presentation. I posited drawing as a valuable diagrammatic and illustrative tool, as well as a methodological one ideal for creating interactions and functioning as a mnemonic device. After seeing the latest work from Scottish artist, Charles Avery, I’m ready to add sculpture to the a... [more]

Interview with Davis Rhodes  

Brussels, Apr. 2012: There is a tendency to anthropomorphize the larger-than-life entities that are New York-based artist Davis Rhodes’ paintings. His four-by-eight-foot foamcore panels lean against the wall or stand precariously on an arced edge, given unsolid footing by their warped, paint-saturated bodies. They (literally) drip with agency, their fragile materiality asserting its presence in the gallery and demanding an encounter. They can be obstinate, confrontational. While Rhodes’ earlier w... [more]

20120208202317-20120201172316-hanswilschut The MK Award   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Art Rotterdam February 9th, 2012 - February 12th, 2012
Posted 2/8/12

Not typically known for its art so much as its industry, Rotterdam can seem, to the uninitiated, an unlikely art city. But to anyone paying attention, this haven holds its own against historically art-centered neighbors like Amsterdam and Haarlem. One of the best things about Art Rotterdam is that it presents the annual opportunity for the city to bring its exceptional contemporary art scene into focus for visitors both local and global alike. Until last year, no art tour of Rotterdam would hav... [more]

Interview with Aukje Koks  

Amsterdam, Feb. 2012 - Dutch painter Aukje Koks’ work is full of puzzles. In her unique visual lexicon, mundane objects become potent symbols that pull us back and forth between reality and illusion, between what we can see and what is merely idea. When considering her artwork we first need to know what exactly it is we’re looking at. Some of Koks’ puzzles appear as trompe l’oeil, little jokes that tease us into meditation on what’s real, the signifier versus the signified. Other mysteries manife... [more]

20120108153314-charlotte January 2012 Picks and Openings in Amsterdam   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 1/8/12

What began as a slow trickle of openings kicking off the 2012 art season last weekend turns into a full flash flood of art openings this week. Galleries in every corner of the city open their doors this weekend to welcome in the new year. Here is a list of new exhibitions we’ll be visiting this month. Hope to see you there! Charlotte Schleiffert paints and draws fierce women. Her latest work can be seen in Mr Routledge and the Lions at Akinci. January 14 – February 18. Opening January 4, 17.00 – 20.00 Diana Stigter... [more]

20120102114727-elmgreen_dragset Amsterdam Class of 2011 Superlatives   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 1/2/12

Despite the not-so-fresh quantities of heavy metal oxides still lingering in the air from Oud en Nieuw’s anarchic firework displays, 2012 is minty fresh. Forward-looking Amsterdammers might already be over 2011, but we’re not ready to let go quite yet. Let’s take this transitional time – when last year’s exhibitions have closed and this year’s are yet to open – to further reflect, shall we? Hereby, we arbiters of lowland judgment present to you the anxiously awaited superlatives from the Am... [more]

20111128052038-studio_floor Rijksakademie OPEN 2011   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 11/28/11

The week of the Rijksakademie has come to an end. Last weekend the institution opened its metal gates to the public for the Rijksakademie OPEN, the annual event in which studios, meeting rooms, and fabrication labs suddenly tidy themselves up, becoming not-quite-white-cubes fit for showcasing the recent productions of the institution’s more than fifty resident artists. The popular event was drawn even more into focus this year following the cultural spending cuts announced this summer. The futu... [more]

Matthew Day Jackson Spreading the Good Word (About Art)  

Amsterdam, Nov. 2011 - When I turned up at Grimm Gallery in Amsterdam to meet with Brooklyn-based artist, Matthew Day Jackson, I had the unfortunate timing of arriving only moments after a large and important crate of artwork was delivered – a day late and mere hours before Jackson’s multi-sited show, Heel Gezellig, was scheduled to open. For non-Dutch readers, gezellig translates somewhere within the vast yet inviting ballpark of “comfortable,” “intimate,” and “convivial,” and despite the last... [more]

20111022125804-nc_maybe_you_heard_of_us_ Nik Christensen: The Lower Depths   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Nik Christensen at Galerie Gabriel Rolt October 22nd, 2011 - November 19th, 2011
Posted 10/24/11

The last two books I’ve read, both left in my possession by houseguests, take place in multiple or alternative universes. I don’t typically read books set in magical and science-fictional worlds, so I wasn’t really accustomed to the elaborate world building of, say, China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station. After reading endless pages oozing with analogies and descriptive modifiers, I wished I could just see a picture, or better yet, a five-minute filmic rendition of the fantastic world – somethi... [more]

20110901164853-2_anya_gallaccio_atomic_2 Anya Gallaccio: highway   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Anya Gallaccio at Annet Gelink Gallery September 10th, 2011 - November 12th, 2011
Posted 10/17/11

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve met more Europeans who’ve navigated the lonesome roads and vast tracts of land west of the Mississippi than I have Americans. I guess I’ve always assumed that road tripping and the symbolic freedom of the Wild West are part of my cultural heritage, even though the most I’ve done is fly over the Great Plains, snow-peaked mountains, and once pristine deserts of my home country. Scottish artist Anya Gallaccio is one such European who’s driven through the expansive... [more]

20111016035945-untitled Mid-October Picks   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 10/16/11

Remember two weeks ago when it felt like the 2011 summer we didn’t have had finally arrived (if only a few months late)? I visited galleries wearing shorts. Shorts! That was nice. Helaas, mid-October brings us back to reality, and you might want to bring a few more layers to attend these anticipated openings. Happy art watching! “The Lower Depths” is Nik Christensen’s third solo show at Gabriel Rolt. His signature black and white works in ink, which are often inspired by cinema and literature, are now... [more]

20111003051621-web_kg Early October Picks   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 10/3/11

After September’s long-awaited gallery openings inaugurated the Fall art season, it’s hard to believe that round two begins already! The first half of October kicks off the latest cycle of Amsterdam exhibitions, and there’s a lot to look forward to. Get excited about some of the shows highlighted below and be sure to check back in later this month to see what the second half of October has in store.   At P/////AKT Derk Thijs & Chris Brans present Dah osla Dothem (Where time has lost its relevance I)... [more]

20110813092742-index Matthew Monahan   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Matthew Monahan at Galerie Fons Welters September 3rd, 2011 - October 15th, 2011
Posted 9/12/11

Seeing Matthew Monahan’s latest work, which takes pretty clear direction from his existing corpus while lacking some of its broader archaeological and religious references, it becomes apparent why he is perhaps an unexpected darling of the contemporary art world. Monahan lacks the irreverence of so many of his contemporaries, eschewing irony for solemnity, defiance for spirituality. His graphic and sculptural excavations are sincere, if a bit secretive. This sort of unaffectedness coupled with a p... [more]

20110904110819-index Amsterdam: September Openings   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 9/4/11

The Fall Art Season in Amsterdam began last weekend with a handful of openings at galleries and art spaces like W139, Fons Welters, and Upstream. Hopefully these openings have whet your arty appetites, for September’s main course draws near. Get your gallery hop on this weekend, when more than twenty galleries reopen their doors after a snoozy summer. With diverse shows citywide, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Fuel yourself with cheese cubes, olives, and (of course!) wine, and check out some of... [more]

20110822140544-new_image1 Summer Group Show & Best of Graduates   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Marijn Akkermans, Anna Bjerger, Jodie Carey, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Nik Christensen, Shezad Dawood, Bas Geerts, Noa Giniger, Aisling Hedgecock, Thomas Lerooy, Abner Preis, Eva Räder, Peter Schuyff, Davina Semo, Conrad Shawcross, Anoek Steketee, Coen Vunderink, Douglas White, Masao Yamamoto at Galerie Gabriel Rolt August 12th, 2011 - September 3rd, 2011
Posted 8/22/11

Current group shows at Jordaan-area galleries Gabriel Rolt and Ron Mandos don’t pretend to be anything other than compilations of artworks that the gallerists enjoy. In the case of the former, this categorization can be extended to “by artists the gallery represents or works with,” in the latter, “by recent art school graduates from around the Netherlands.” While I normally have little patience for post hoc themed group shows, neither of these galleries puts forth a theme for their exhibitions,... [more]

20110822132302-vanmechelen Don’t think too hard. Enjoy art. Outdoors.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/22/11

At last it feels like summer in the Netherlands, and there’s no better time to get outside and visit ArtZuid, Amsterdam’s large-scale public sculpture route now in its final week of installation. As I remarked about ArtZuid’s 2009 incarnation, the sculpture route puts on display the wide, tree-lined boulevards of this lovely south Amsterdam neighborhood as much as it does some fifty-eight curated sculptures. And this is not a bad thing – the exhibition is better if you try to enjoy the whole expe... [more]

20110808100150-new_image 5 Artsy Day Trips You Should Make This Summer   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/8/11

I warned you last month of the gallery closings to come (not the results of cultural funding cuts, but of the more benign “we’re all going on holiday – see you in September” variety). And now here they are. What’s an art lover to do in August in the Netherlands? Get out of Amsterdam for the day, that’s what. Here are suggestions for five leuke uitstapjes you should make this summer. 1) Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen Fort Vijfhuizen comprises part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam (now a UNESCO World Heritage... [more]

20110711155322-20110711124652-4 On the Dutch Culture Cuts   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 7/11/11

I feel slightly foolish commenting on the cuts to Dutch cultural spending when so many words have already been written about the topic by people far more qualified or intimately affected than I. But I’d feel even more foolish not mentioning it at all, carrying on as though the people and institutions on which I rely for inspiration, entertainment, knowledge, beauty, and fodder for this editorial position, were not suffering. So for those of you not living in the Netherlands who missed the ad in the New York Times, the e-flux mailing,... [more]

20110711155401-20110711122019-1 July 2011 Picks   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 7/11/11

“It’s happening,” my friend remarked the other day, looking out the window onto the empty street outside my house. “What is?” “Exodus.” This is indeed that time of year when Netherlanders depart for warmer climes (as if the 90+ degree temperatures we had last week weren’t quite warm enough), namely Spain and Southern France, though I’ve met travelers headed to Portugal, Italy, even Indonesia and China. An acquaintance of mine lamented, without any hint of irony, that he was going on holiday fo... [more]

20110620054838-20110620043102-ed_limo Rotterdam Summer 2011   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 6/20/11

What local readers doubtless know, but visitors from our ArtSlant sister cities might not, is that the Netherlands is a small and rather efficient place. One could easily spend more time getting from Chelsea to the Upper East Side or from Shoreditch to Kensington than traveling from Amsterdam to Utrecht, Rotterdam, or the Hague. Granted, it’s very flat here and, despite the locals’ complaints, the trains by and large manage to run on time. (Dutch readers, I challenge you to ride public transpor... [more]

20110505022511-noname Lucy Wood: Vicini Lontani/Distant Neighbors   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Lucy Wood at Upstream Gallery May 14th, 2011 - July 2nd, 2011
Posted 6/6/11

Let me be honest. I visited Lucy Wood’s “Vicini Lontani/Distant Neighbors” at Upstream Gallery with a lot of academic baggage. I’m a visual anthropologist by training and I spent much of my time in grad school arguing for the anthropological usefulness of art. In an apologetic academic landscape where models demanding reflexivity and transparency try to address the “burden of representation”, I argued that artistic methods could add something to the conversation that writing could not. Given my... [more]

20110514095540-mhendriks-pr Martijn Hendriks   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Martijn Hendriks at Martin Van Zomeren May 21st, 2011 - June 25th, 2011
Posted 5/29/11

Sometimes artwork forces us to evaluate our critical surroundings, to seek out a comfortable place for observation. Can we accept that we are being given almost nothing in terms of solid footing, no firm landing but a narrow ledge? And if we shift our balance, accept the arrangement and submit to the unresolved tensions of an artwork, can we end up in a less precarious place - perhaps not on level ground, but somewhere we can pause and take in the view? In Martin Hendriks’ Almost Nothing and Almost Ev... [more]

20110524121647-16 Mid-May Picks, Amsterdam   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 5/24/11

April might doet wat zij wil, but if last week was any indicator, May seems to be the cruelest month in the Netherlands this year. Cheer yourselves up in this grey, windy weather with some art! There’s plenty to see in the wake of the art fairs, including plenty of interesting solo shows at galleries and art spaces. Plus, group shows seem to have started early this year, so maybe we can even convince ourselves that summer is here! Opened last weekend (May 21): Martijn Hendriks’ Almost Nothing... [more]

20110425024722-logo2 Non-comprehensive Notes on Art Amsterdam   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Art Amsterdam Art Fair May 11th, 2011 - May 15th, 2011
Posted 5/16/11

My colleague, Nicola, had the chance to visit Art Amsterdam before I did and sent me an encouraging text message: “Let me know what you think, I unexpectedly enjoyed it! Ciao ciao.” Given this assessment, I approached the fair with an attitude of cautious optimism, and it turns out there was a lot to like about Art Amsterdam 2011. I, too, unexpectedly enjoyed it! For a more in depth (and perhaps more lucid as well) report on the trends and mood of the fair, visit Nicola’s GeoSlant blog post (here). I... [more]

Interview wiyh Alfredo Jaar  

Amsterdam, Apr. 2011 - At the opening of Alfredo Jaar’s Marx Lounge at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, members of the art community walked gingerly around a large table filled corner-to-corner with books. For the first ten minutes or so no one touched anything. The books seemed so shiny, new, pristine – and they were, after all, art. When a number of young Amsterdam artists waltzed in and unquestioningly began flipping through the titles as they schmoozed, it became clear that lounge visito... [more]

20110425073355-queen Orange Art   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 4/25/11

Hello, Amsterdammers!   It’s that time of year when extra days off are tacked onto the weekends and working hours are cut a bit short in exchange for a little extra time op terrasje. Don’t try to deny it. I know you’ve all foregone work for a beer in the sun at least once in the past two weeks. No one wants to think too hard, so instead of pondering the latest gallery exhibitions or searching for clever insights into, well, anything, let us relax and feast our eyes on some orange. Here for yo... [more]

20110309092725-branchmailing Larry Bamburg: Bamberg (sic.)   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Larry Bamburg at GRIMM (KEIZERSGRACHT) March 26th, 2011 - May 8th, 2011
Posted 4/4/11

Larry Bamburg might find the idea of discovery and play, coupled with do-it-yourself-determinism, the object of his work, but his exploratory processes leave fascinating evidence of this artistic problem-solving.  Visitors to GRIMM Gallery this month are treated to a display that might find itself variously at home in a natural history museum, laboratory, or children’s playroom. The artifacts, specimens, and toys at GRIMM consist of truncated tree branches, unfeasible assemblages of temperatur... [more]

20110403103550-a564c64020a9806bd9e06d129689b51e April Highlights   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 3/29/11

Gabriel Lester and Antonia Carrara (Playstation) at Fons Welters. Until May 14. "Somewhere Place" from Ryan McGinley at Gabriel Rolt. Until May 14. "It's No Crime To Tickle Me" by David Nuur at Martin van Zomeren. Until May 14. Andrew Gilbert's "Austerlitz - The Fate of Empires" at Ten Haaf Projects. Until May 21. Marjolijn van den Assem and Hieke Luik at Gist Galerie. Until May 14.   Last Weekend in Amsterdam: Jaap van den Ende’s recent paintings at Akinci, plus Theo Jansen University. Both until May 7 (opening April 1). ... [more]

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