My Highlights from Amsterdam Art Weekend 2014
My top shows:
1. “Place: Anna Ostoya and Barbara Leoniak” at tegenboschvanvreden
No, Amsterdam is not the place where you buy $50,000+ works and stack them in your SUV (the canals won't even allow you to), but for emerging art it gets better and better. Take Anna Ostoya: her colorful collages, which give a subtle twist to modernism, have already been included in MoMA’s “New Photography” exhibition, and if you want to keep up with her development tegenboschvanvreden is the place to be. This time Ostoya shows new work on canvas, together with sculptures of her former teacher Barbara Leoniak.
2. Bob Eikelboom at Boetzelaer|Nispen
Bob Eikelboom, Juliaan Andeweg, and Daniel van Straalen are the Green Day of Dutch contemporary art. Their work is young and provocative but at the same time it feels more comfortable than you would expect. Especially Eikelboom (b. 1991) knows very well how to make a daring, colorful picture. At the moment time is on Eikelboom’s side and he is the trio’s Billie Armstrong—and hey, we all know where he ended.
3. Thomas Raat at Galerie Juliètte Jongma
Modernism is still in the air, but Thomas Raat manages to take it a step further. For his show at Juliètte Jongma, he not only made pictures after abstract book covers from the fifties and sixties and installed a park bench in the gallery, he also copied the famous Dutch Vermeer-copyist Han van Meegeren. Originality doesn’t exist, but sometimes you don’t need that to make great pictures.
4. “In a Landscape: Ina van Zyl” at Galerie Onrunst
Ina van Zyl’s rich, dense, multi-layered paintings always touch on a feeling of shame and discomfort. At this show at Onrust she has a take on landscapes that looks discomfortingly physical—making not only great pictures but also providing a field day for Freudians.
5. David Jablonowski at Galerie Fons Welters
For David Jablonowski the medium is definitely the message. His work explores the sculptural qualities of information technology, from clay tablets and sphinxes to LCD projectors and LED panels. Though this may sound cold and technological, Jablonowski’s rich and complex installations always have a surprisingly intimate quality.
6. Amalia Pica at Stigter Van Doesburg
With Amalia Pica you always have to expect the unexpected. Her complex works, which often touch the borders of the viewers gaze and mind have made her one of the most promising artists of the last years—so go and see for yourself.
7. “The Artist is Present” (performance) at EYE
“The Artist is Present” offers a promising, one-night only program of films of three artists: Paulien Oltheten, Rumiko Hagiwara and Erik van Lieshout. The highlight will surely be van Lieshout’s Basement which he shot in the cellars of The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Here he tried to improve the living circumstances of the in-house cats but it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be—the result is one great big pussy riot.
Who said Amsterdam has no established art? “The Image as Burden” is probably Dumas’s biggest show to date. Though it will travel to Tate Modern and the Fondation Beyeler it is best to see the more than 200 works in her hometown, especially because it has an interesting focus on her work from the ’70s.