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Andrea Alessi

20121026184735-granat3 Light, reincarnate   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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  
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8/12/12

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
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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  
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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
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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
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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
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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  
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4/15/12

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
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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  
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2/6/12

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
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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
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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
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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)  
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11/6/11

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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]

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