Acquisitions and highlights from the Serial, systematic, fundamental and radical painting exhibition. Ronald de Bloeme, Bob Bonies, Ad Dekkers, Maria vanElk, Daan van Golden, Ab van Hanegem, Henri Jacobs, Jurriaan Molenaar, JCJ Vanderheyden, Jan Maarten Voskuil.
Since the 1950s, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has been collecting and exhibiting modern and contemporary Dutch art. As far back as 1954, the Museum decided to devote time, effort and resources to collecting work by ‘still living artists’. The Museum was thus one of the first institutes in the Netherlands to collect the work of artists in the Nederlandse Experimentele Groep (later CoBrA). This formed the basis for one of the Museum’s collections: Experimental and informal art 1945 – 1960.
From 1964 onward, the Museum’s collection policy was primarily oriented to Dutch artists ‘who had not yet gained a reputation’, completely in line with the policy aim that had been determined ten years previously. The following year, a small collection of work was purchased from the artists Peter Struycken, Ad Dekkers, Bob Bonies, Hans Koetsier, Daan van Golden and Pieter Engels. In retrospect, this acquisition in 1965 formed the starting point for another core collection, under the name of Serial, systematic, fundamental and radical painting. It is a collection that draws attention to current developments in abstract art in the Netherlands. The collection is still being enriched and, in addition to the Experimental and informal art collection and the Contemporary (social and socially engaged) art collection, now forms an important mainstay of the entire Museum collection.
In the past year, the collection has been supplemented by donations from artists Maria van Elk and Jan Maarten Voskuil, among others. The Museum is most grateful to the artists for their exceptional gifts. Both works have been included in the Cool! exhibition, which also displays work by younger artists such as Jan Maarten Voskuil and Ronald de Bloeme, besides that of more established artists such as Bob Bonies, Ad Dekkers and Daan van Golden. Five paintings by Ronald de Bloeme have been added to the collection in the past year, two of which were donated by the artist.
Lose’s One’s Balance by Maria van Elk was produced in 1986. It is a double-sided mural relief that has been painted blue on the front, while the back is yellow. The colours represent night and day. The relief is polygonal and hangs on a nail that protrudes through one of the holes. The correct balance for hanging was found by drilling large holes in the panel and the traces of this process lie on the floor under the object. Van Elk explains: It is all about the material disappearance or dissolution that is set in motion in the creation of an object. The consistent quest for a new point of equilibrium causes a relocation of material that ultimately falls to the ground, so that the surface dissolves further and ultimately vanishes.’ It is a splendid contradiction: in the pursuit of perfection (hanging up the relief in equilibrium), the object is further depleted.
Jan Maarten Voskuil’s There is No Point in Light Blue (2008) can be regarded as a spatial painting. The curved planks of the frame on which the painted linen is stretched make the work a spatial construction. The canvas lies on the ground and can be experienced – by walking around it – as a sculpture. The canvas fits in with the tradition of twentieth-century modernism in which it is no longer an imitation of nature that is captured on canvas: the visual elements form an autonomous reality in themselves. Moreover, the painted blue circle is distorted by the parts of the canvas than ‘fan out’, so that it no longer manifests itself as a point: There is No Point in Light Blue.
To Ronald de Bloeme, visible reality forms the starting point of his paintings on paper and canvas. Nevertheless, they are so fragmented that they become abstract. In fact, they are painted collages of isolated and blown-up symbols from advertising and other media. In his processing in glossy paint and matt enamel paint, De Bloeme researches the codes and manipulative effect of well-known symbols on the viewer. Outside their original context, they still have an impact, whether this be a conscious or unconscious one. The painted compositions stimulate us to think about the way in which we perceive and interpret various visual codes in everyday life.
Cool! displays how new acquisitions relate to the ever-widening Serial, systematic, fundamental and radical painting collection of the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.
Aanwinsten en hoogtepunten uit de collectie Seriële, systematische, fundamentele en radicale schilderkunst.