On Saturday the 10th of March opens Unreal, the second solo exhibition of Thijs Zweers at
TORCH gallery in Amsterdam. Once again Zweers presents black powerful drawings made with
Siberian chalk and charcoal, in which he examines the boundaries between our world and the
virtual one. In a time when people spend more and more time in front of screens, looking towards
realistic representations of what is actually around us, the certainty of what is real and what is not,
Colour is left out in the work of Zweers. Pitch black is alternated with soft grey tones and pristine white. The black chalk scratches, it clouds, it disappears suddenly from the canvas and then appears again as if no interruption has occurred. Not only does the artist’s artisan drawing process emphasise how every work is made by hand, it also highlights every work’s uniqueness. At the same time, the subject of the image is quite the opposite: digitally created plants and trees. Preceding every drawing, Zweers creates a wayward digital setting from behind his computer; he designs a dark world where frightening trees and bushes come towards, surround and envelop you as you are trying to make your way through the virtually constructed, lush jungle. A video work in the gallery shows this world on the screen.
For Zweers, this digital world is the starting point of his art. Once the designing process is finished, he transfers these images through graphic means, by hand, on to the canvas. To disturb the view and make clear that it is not reality you are looking at, white random markings interrupt the drawing. Intuitively, Zweers adjusts some tape on the surface before he starts drawing, which he removes after the drawing is complete. This causes the blank canvas comes to light. The disruption of the picture helps to remind the viewer that it is still a reconstructed digital image they’re looking at; it is not real. The realistic representation is, in fact, unreal.
Especially for this occasion, there has been created a special ale called ‘Unreal’ in collaboration
with Oedipus Brewing. This Golden Sour Ale will be presented the day before the opening, on the
9th of March, with a beer tasting in the brewery itself. The next day it will be served at the opening
in the gallery. For the dark black glass bottles, Zweers made three different drawings that are
used for the limited edition labels. During the launch, there will be a small exhibition with drawings
and projections, including a site-specific work.
(Address Oedipus Taproom: Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85, 1021 KP Amsterdam)
Thijs Zweers (1986, Hoorn) works and lives in Amsterdam. He graduated in 2010 from the art academy ArtEZ in Arnhem. Since then, his work was shown at Art Rotterdam, This Art Fair, Amsterdam Art Fair and various exhibitions in the Netherlands, Belgium and Mexico. He is represented by TORCH Gallery in Amsterdam.