After the Goldrush

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Upstream Gallery
Thistle-silkscreen, 2011 Watercolor And Pencil On Paper 220x198, Ed7+1ap © Courtesy of the Artist and Upstream Gallery
After the Goldrush

Kloveniersburgwal 95
1011 KB Amsterdam
January 8th, 2011 - February 18th, 2011
Opening: January 8th, 2011 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Other (outside main areas)
+31(0)20 428 4284
Wed-Sat 1-6; by appointment


Rob Voerman's third exhibition at Upstream Gallery is called “After the Goldrush”.

A couple of works in the exhibition refer to “Unité d’Habition”, a residential complex dating from 1952 designed by Le Corbusier. It is a utopian and groundbreaking design of a townhouse, existing of 18 levels, which stands as an icon for modernism. Rob Voerman combines ideas and ideals from that period with 2011 reality. Our presence is strongly characterized by globalisation and related subjects like migration and strongly hanging social connections. In Le Corbusiers time, the future seemed makeable, in which architecture  played an important role. Nowadays our time seems to be in a state  of big chaos,in which  large ideals and utopias are mostly gone. Some works of Rob  Voerman refer directly to Le  Corbusiers designs, but show a grimly overtone. The use of  cardboard with Chinese and other  foreign inscriptions refer almost directly to this extensive globalisation and the change  our society has gone through.Another new  element in Voermans work is the idea about a big  garden, consisting of wild thistles,  inked to a temporary pavilion. Hereby a short description  about Voermans plans, which  ill be realized on a bigger scale in the near future:

The plants will be planted in straight  lines and patterns in Voermans plan, somewhat comparable  to the French gardens of  or example Paleis het Loo. The almost anarchistic plants that are  welcome  nowhere,but  become beautiful plants in Voermans design are being forced in the  straightjacket of a  et grid.
 Indirectly Voermans work is a comment on the strict rules on design in Holland, where he lives and works. The strictly arranged and over controlled   environment he  lives in is also a good breeding ground for his work, it challenges him  to set his own thoughts  and concepts oppose this. The thistle is not a very loved plant,  it is difficult to exterminate and therefore hated by farmers and gardeners. It is a plant that settles mainly in temporarily disturbed soil. Its seeds are being transported through the air and don’t clinch to physical boundaries. It is a beautiful metaphor for immigration and migration. In short it is an almost anarchistic plant, but with a beautiful inflorescence and a tough nature. It is a plant that stands opposites overview and order, which our country is aiming for. By forcing them in an absurd way in  patterns, Voerman questions the Dutch mentality and relation to public space and regulatory. Next to  the above-mentioned content, Voerman also wants it to be a visual beautiful and alienated garden. Like already said Voerman wants to base the garden on French gardens, often seen at palaces.  In this case thistles will form a stylized representation of an explosion placed centrally in the pavilion. The pavilion will be made out of scrap wood, coloured cathedral glass and large dark  coloured plexi glass windows. French gardens were previously known as a display of power and  wealth, this garden will be a display of improvisation, controlled chaos and temporality.


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