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Andrea Alessi

20130418075614-two_younger_women_come_in__02 Paint is Paint   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Katharina Grosse at De Pont February 16th, 2013 - June 9th, 2013
Posted 4/18/13

The sky is falling. Bubbles, heavy with pigment, descend from the rafters and settle into an expansive yet cluttered composition, a field of polychrome pathways and possibilities. These sixty-eight technicolor spheres, some more than four meters in diameter, disrupt your sense of scale. Are you a giant witness to some rare celestial phenomenon, some interplanetary cluster? Or are you miniature, a Lilliputian lost in an explosion of fluorescent birthday party balloons? Your wanderings uncover a rack o... [more]

20130416060409-thomasfischer_imagepress3 Choose Your Own Adventure: Art Brussels 2013   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Art Brussels April 18th, 2013 - April 21st, 2013
Posted 4/16/13

Planning a trip to art fairs – plural because, let’s face it, where one art fair goes, others are sure to follow – is an exercise in strategic thinking. Tactical decisions balance hopes, dreams, and opportunity costs, and every choice you make could lead you to find, or miss, the best deal, most worthwhile elbow-greasing, sickest party, most enlightening roundtable, or tastiest canapé. The simultaneity of fairs and events within a short time generates a perfect choose-your-own-adventure situation. And Brussels, wit... [more]

20130205163604-erasmus_bridge On Escape Routes and Solo Exhibitions   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Art Rotterdam February 7th, 2013 - February 10th, 2013
Posted 2/5/13

I’ve had a soft spot for Art Rotterdam ever since the first time I attended. Pausing to drink a coffee (Illy no doubt) and consolidate notes on what I’d so far seen, I looked out one of the former Holland America Line Cruise Terminal’s giant windows to have my tired gaze met by the spectacular Erasmus Bridge. Visitors, this is my advice to you: no matter how disoriented, claustrophobic, or weary you get collecting business cards and taking mnemonic photographs of artwork you are soon to forget, the... [more]

Interview with Carlos Irijalba  

Amsterdam, Feb. 2013: Spanish artist Carlos Irijalba deals in reality and experience. His work sheds light, often literally, on the ways that Western culture consumes the world and itself. While viewers often encounter his work to date through film or photography, the substance of his practice is the experience of the event itself. Complex constructions, sculptures, and apparatuses inhabit his oeuvre. Light is a key element, whether shining from the headlights of an unfeasible two-faced vehicle... [more]

20121231213844-kentridge Amsterdam Superlatives of 2012   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 12/31/12

There was a lot to see in Amsterdam in 2012, but for this recap let’s forget about your Kings and Queens and Ultimate Grand Supremes. We’re not like our attention-seeking neighbors with their fancypants dOCUMENTAs and Manifestas. It’s the Most Photogenic and Miss Congeniality portion of the evening, folks, and while the following might not have been the best or worst of Amsterdam overall, they were the best or worst at something. So cheers for that. Drumroll please! Herewith, our annual select... [more]

20121222170330-more_love_hours Something We've Lost: Mike Kelley in Retrospective   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Mike Kelley at Stedelijk Museum December 15th, 2012 - April 1st, 2013
Posted 12/22/12

Ever listen to an old soul or funk album and have one of those revelatory “so this is where Coolio got that sample” moments? The long awaited Mike Kelley retrospective at the Stedelijk guarantees a few of these embarrassing, how-did-I-not-know-this realizations. Embrace it, as embarrassment finds a companionable home in Kelley’s work, where youthful traumas, anxieties, and repressed memories come out to play – one of his later projects literally pairs Color Field painting with YouTube videos of humil... [more]

20121119082236-x The Art in the Machine   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Conrad Shawcross at Galerie Gabriel Rolt October 27th, 2012 - December 2nd, 2012
Posted 11/19/12

British artist Conrad Shawcross is perhaps best known for his huge rope-making machines. Part Jean Tinguely contraption, part Erector Set, these enormous, slow-spinning sculptural devices are loaded with multicolored bobbins and are large enough to fill subway tunnels and museum atria. The rainbow ropes they create as a function of their operation are both a measure of time and sculptures in their own right. Galerie Gabriel Rolt, which is currently hosting Shawcross’s first Amsterdam solo show, Fr... [more]

20121026184735-granat3 Light, reincarnate   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Amy Granat at Galerie VidalCuglietta September 7th, 2012 - November 17th, 2012
Posted 10/30/12

Loops of film stock hang from a hook on the wall. Loose film, out in the world, seems wrong. It’s not hidden, light-safe inside a camera, or tightly wound on reels or in canisters. It signals accidental exposure, perhaps a broken recording or projecting device. But there are no mistakes here. The filmstrips are scratched, damaged, punk. There’s intention in their seemingly abusive marks. The violence of the scratches is countered by the lightness of the delicate shadows they cast on the wall. Th... [more]

20120915073408-dsc_8743 A Reader of Materials and a Writer of Forms   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Michael Dean, Aleana Egan, Maria Taniguchi, Emily Wardill at MOT INTERNATIONAL, Brussels September 8th, 2012 - November 3rd, 2012
Posted 9/15/12

A Reader of Materials and a Writer of Forms curated by Lucy MacDonald at MOT International in Brussels is a clever little riddle of a show. You arrive on the scene to find yourself a detective, tasked with deciphering clues and unpacking a story told from the viewpoints of four diverse narrators. Subjective thoughts, words, and ideas are entombed in objects and materials and only your keen knowledge of literary and aesthetic forensics can release them. Yokes, molds, and hollow spaces wait to be fill... [more]

20120906174444-stedelijknieuwbouwjohnlewismarshall_original AMS Fall Previews: the Return of the Stedelijk   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 9/6/12

Over the years visitors have left a number of Amsterdam guidebooks on my bookshelf. Out of curiosity, I recently perused the entries for the Stedelijk, Amsterdam’s modern and contemporary art museum, which has been closed for renovations for nearly a decade. One tells me the displaced museum “will reopen in the original building” in December 2009; another offers the even more suspect “closed until mid-2006.” The misinformation ends here. Let the fanfare commence as I tell you now what these mis... [more]

20120818100504-r968 Collector's Catalogue 2012: The Rabo Art Collection   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/18/12

This admission shouldn’t surprise you, but I don’t really like going to the bank. At best, it’s a necessary chore, and an uninspiring one at that. Yet I recently went to a bank of my own volition, stayed for nearly two hours, and enjoyed it. Predictably, I wasn’t there for a sweet deal on my mortgage. Instead, I was visiting the Rabo Kunstzone, the exhibition space of the Rabo Art Collection, one of the top corporate art collections in the Netherlands. Forbes Magazine recently highlighted some... [more]

20120813155616-katarzyna_kozyra__punishment___crime_2002__videostill2 Transgression   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Katarzyna Kozyra at Museum Arnhem June 3rd, 2012 - October 7th, 2012
Posted 8/13/12

For all the talk of how shocking Polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra’s artwork is – her show at the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem is called Transgression after all – it isn’t the ostensibly scandalous elements in her work that cross lines. Blood, violence, disability, slaughter, cross-dressing, and all manner of genitalia abound, but the sophisticated art viewer is likely unperturbed by the presence of these offenses. Kozyra’s true crime is her undermining of human autonomy, the way she complicates... [more]

Interview with Maarten Vanden Eynde  

Brussels, Aug, 2012 - I met up with Belgian artist Maarten Vanden Eynde as he installed the finishing touches on his latest show, The Museum of Forgotten History XXX, at MuHKA in Antwerp. The cacophonous sounds of Jimmie Durham’s lively and exhaustive retrospective echoed from the floor below, linking the two exhibitions, which could not complement each other better. While Durham questions naturalized ideas of geography, nationality, ethnicity, and materiality, Vanden Eynde deals in epistemology, th... [more]

20120806134741-daniel_buren Best of Beaufort04: picks from art on the Belgian coast   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Beaufort04 March 31st, 2012 - September 30th, 2012
Posted 8/6/12

“Do you want to look at art in an old mineshaft or on the beach?” This was the question I posed to my boyfriend regarding a long weekend we planned to take in Belgium. Manifesta, whose 2012 incarnation is housed in an abandoned coal mine in Genk, never had a chance. Thus we ended up on the Belgian coast, host to Beaufort04, a sculpture triennial whose strange promotional copy claims it “puts Europe on the map in the Flemish coastal landscape.” Cartographical mystification aside, the show is approachable an... [more]

20120522102337-1 Composing Memory  
Chino Otsuka at Huis Marseille Museum voor Fotografie June 9th, 2012 - September 9th, 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]

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]

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