Apopcalypse Now

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Jimi D from the Facebook Friends series, 2010 Ink An Pencil On Paper © Collection of Hugo and Carla Brown
Apopcalypse Now
Curated by: Ken Pratt

Ms. van Riemsdijkweg 41 b
1033 RC Amsterdam
March 27th, 2011 - May 1st, 2011
Opening: March 27th, 2011 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Other (outside main areas)
020 3318311
Wed-Fri 11-6; Sat-Sun 12-6
photography, pop



From the collection of Hugo & Carla Brown

Opening  March 27 4-6 pm

Nieuw Dakota presents Apopcalypse Now, a thematic curated show of works from the international collection of Hugo and Carla Brown. Taking its cue from a 1981 work by Andy Warhol in this collection, the exhibition explores how contemporary artists share certain ideas –sometimes dark and anxious- and approaches that first emerged with Pop Art that are intentionally or intuitively prevalent in this particular collection.

The exhibition is curated by Ken Pratt.

“The starting point for ‘Apopcalypse Now’ is one particular work by Andy Warhol in the collection of Hugo and Carla Brown. In this particular work, ‘The Shadow’ (1981) from his Myths series we are offered a self-portrait of the father of Pop. In it, Warhol’s distinctive face stares out at us from the right hand side of the image. But, what dominates is his shadow that fills much of the left-hand side of the work. The angle of the light renders that shadow dark and foreboding. Rather than a flattering silhouette, instead Warhol gives us a rather Gothic skeletal phantom of his familiar face, its deep black shadow all the more heightened by the pinky mauve colour strewn with diamond dust that fills the rest of the image, outlining the stark lines of his own shadow.

In it we also readily see the echoes of Warhol’s earlier foray into directly referencing the tradition of the Vanitas. Here he directly links his own image with that of the spectral shadow that seems to fulfill many of the sobering functions of the skull in the Vanitas tradition. It is as if Warhol insists on personalizing the observation, placing himself and his world at the centre of a subtle warning that some, with the benefit of hindsight, might even choose to interpret as prophetic.

Furthermore, taken in the greater context of the overall collection, it is clear to see how some of the essential elements of this work and its complex meanings resonate in many other works in the collection, both by Warhol’s contemporaries and by much younger artists.

‘Apopcalypse Now’ examines how these two strands, the popular of Pop’s mode and the underlying notions of foreboding, anxiety and collapse, snake through the collection, sometimes present as a singular quality and sometimes combined within individual works.

This is not to say that all the works selected deal with the same ideas or have the same approach. On the contrary, both the collection as a whole and the works shown in ‘Apopcalypse Now’ are varied and eclectic in both practice and imagery or form. For example, some of the works offer a neutral matter-of-fact face to the world or a po-faced satire of the type readily associated with Pop Art whilst the work of other artists selected seems to relish in a kind of nihilistic hyperbole or dramatic apocalyptic and emotive imagery. And, naturally, many of the younger generations of artists included address much more recent topics relating to both the broader global landscape and the microcosm of art practice than those that formed the backdrop to nascent Pop Art.

Yet, considered more closely, it soon becomes clear that what they all share are certain ideas and approaches that first emerged with Pop, something that Hugo and Carla Brown’s collection seems to have intentionally or intuitively embraced. “


Nieuw Dakota

Ms. Van Riemsdijkweg 41b - 1033 RC Amsterdam - NDSM-werf
+31 20 3318311 www. -
Openingshours Th – Fr 11-19 en  Sa – Su 11 – 17

Nieuw Dakota is a platform for contemporary art and for collaboration. The art space is situated in a former metal workspace at the NDSM-wharf in the north of Amsterdam directly on “het IJ”. Nieuw Dakota organizes alternate exhibitions and various projects in collaboration with leading players in the international art world, for example collectors, galleries, artists, independent curators and other art institutions. Nieuw Dakota brings these parties together with the intention to support, promote and stabilize the international market of contemporary art in the Netherlands.

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