GRIMM and Borzo Gallery present a solo booth dedicated to Dutch artist Ger van Elk (1941-2014) at EXPO Chicago, 2018.
The presentation at EXPO Chicago is a recreation of Ger van Elk’s last exhibition in the Netherlands before he passed away. Conceived as a mirror image of itself, the exhibition As Is, As Was at GRIMM consisted of four plexiglass wall-based objects and a single mobile hanging in the middle of the gallery space. Simultaneously, a variation of these works was exhibited at Borzo Gallery in the exhibition titled As Was, As Is.
Continuing Van Elk’s investigation into ongoing dualities like illusion and reality, presence and absence, each of these plexiglass works depict a different woman slowly turning away from the viewer as the perspex sheets approach to the wall. The hanging mobile, consisting of two crossed plexiglass sheets with images of multiple figures printed on them, reveals itself only as the viewer circles around the work.
In addition Van Elk presented at each gallery a series of his “Conclusions”, that will also be exhibited at EXPO Chicago. This series consists of painted-over photographs of different urban and rural landscapes, a historical Dutch painting genre, that are pulled into abstraction by the multiple layers of paint that are added to the photograph printed on canvas. The color of the acrylic paint is based on the main colors of the landscape or cityscape predominant in the photograph, for instance a white snow landscape in Sankt Moritz or the black volcanic rock façade of the Clermont-Ferrand cathedral. The results are apparent monochromes that still show a glimpse of the underlying landscapes, on the thick edges of the canvas. The layers of paint are not smooth and blank like most monochrome paintings, but the texture of the paint is patterned. While the image becomes invisible, the brush strokes in the paint form a cloudy pattern that establishes a new landscape or image. The title of the series, Conclusions, implies an end. Possibly the end of painting, but the blank canvases can simultaneously be seen as a new beginning.