The group exhibition ‘Body Building’ plays with the boundaries between physical, psychological and architectural space. Organic and anthropomorphic forms choose to either contrast or mix with more modular constructions. The exhibition space shows similarities with a construction site or a mental map, a place of transition and transformation.
Alex Farrar (1986, UK)
Alexandre Lavet (1988, FR)
Joseph Montgomery (1979, US)
Maarten Overdijk (1977, NL)
Jonas Wijtenburg (1989, NL)
We would like to thank Galerie Lily Robert and Galerie Paris-Beijing for their kind cooperation.
Essay on Body Building
Reviews and features on Body Building
For ARCO Madrid 2018 Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a new body of work by Alex Farrar.
Through subtle exaggeration and performative interventions Farrar likes to expose stereotypical human mechanisms. Whether a painting, sculpture or a modified plastic chair moving across the floor, they are outward looking, self-conscious additions that playfully interrupt their context and the viewer with a proposition. He manipulates ordinary objects for their performative potential. Acknowledging a lack of absolute control he creates the conditions for something to happen, the outcome of this happening isn’t fixed but depends completely on the engagement with viewers, location and duration.
Alex Farrar (UK, 1986) received BFA’s from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Leeds Metropolitan University, after which he completed a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. He lives and works in Amsterdam and London. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Secondary Emotions (i)’ at de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, ‘Secondary Emotions (ii)’ at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, ‘Code Duello’, Loods 6, Amsterdam, and ‘Self-Titled’ at Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Prospects and Concepts’, Art Rotterdam, ‘Summer Fete’, Ceri Hand Gallery, London, ‘Mostyn Open 18’, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, ‘Young British Art II’, DIENSTGEBÄUDE, Zurich. Both in 2014 and 2015 he won The Best Dutch Book Designs for two of his publications.
Reviews and features on Alex Farrar’s work at Arco Madrid
Art Rotterdam 2018
Commonities section | curated by Lorenzo Benedetti
Lennart Lahuis & Sybren Renema
Lennart Lahuis’ main artistic concern is the suspension of visual information. His deployment of very diverse materials and techniques results in works that seem to be in a constant state of transformation and try to slow down the immediate access to imagery and texts. For his latest works Lahuis appropriates a paper restoration technique, developed by the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar to repair centuries old, burnt books. The images Lahuis reproduces in this technique are a visual exploration into different forms of erosion. They constantly evoke a tension between integration versus disintegration and reflect on the preservation of cultural history. The works on view during Art Rotterdam show a series of nameless streets in Glasgow; the street name signs have been eroded by time and weather. At times the streets have been renamed and the signs visibly replaced before disappearing again, which seems to allude to the notion that erasing names from history is not merely reserved to humans, but is a natural state of affairs.
Lennart Lahuis (1986) received his BFA from Artez in Zwolle, after which he was a resident at de Ateliers in Amsterdam. He recently concluded residencies at the EKWC in Oisterwijk, the Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Banff Centre in Canada. Recent duo and solo exhibitions include Dead Seconds with Willem Oorebeek at Shanaynay in Paris and Navigation at Dürst Britt & Mayhew. Recent group exhibitions include A Minor State of Flux at Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, Slow Works at Sydney Project Space in Australia and The Fortune Teller at Garage Rotterdam. In 2015 Lahuis won the Royal Award for Contemporary Painting as well as the Piket Art Prize. His work is held in private and public collections, including the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, the ING Collection, the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, the AMC collection and the In4Art collection. Lahuis will have his first museum solo show in the fall of 2018 at The Fries Museum in Leeuwarden.
Sybren Renema’s interest lies in all forms of human knowledge-production, with a particular liking for art, history, geographical exploration and the natural sciences. His work is often concerned with narratives of exploration and the sublime landscape, in which he focuses on the validity of Romantic clichés in the 21st century. He is active as an artist, writer and musician and his practice manifests itself in the form of videos, collages, neon-installations, digital prints and sculptures. The neon sculpture shown at Art Rotterdam quotes the famous British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912). ‘Great God! This is an awful place’ are the words Scott wrote in his diary as he reached the South Pole and found it to have already been visited by a Norwegian expedition under Roald Amundsen. In 2017 this work was shown at the Antarctic Pavilion as part of the Venice Biennial. Accompanying the neon is a series of collages showing images of snowy mountains. Taken from old editions of National Geographic magazine, inhospitable areas turn into hallucinatory beauty.
After receiving his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague Sybren Renema (1988) became the youngest MFA student to ever enroll at the Glasgow School of Art. He recently concluded residencies at Land Art Mongolia and the EKWC in Oisterwijk. Recent solo exhibitions include The Harvest of Leisure at Cydonia, Dallas, The Milk of Paradise at Dürst Britt & Mayhew and Pleasures of a Grave Desire at CCA Glasgow. Recent group exhibitions include Nightfall at Musée Rath in Geneva, Switzerland and Palinsestri at Palazzo Andrea Dori in Genoa, Italy. Renema’s work has been discussed in Artforum and various other international publications. His work is held in private and public collections, including the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, the AMC Collection and the In4Art collection. In 2018 he will have a solo exhibition at Leto Gallery in Warsaw, Poland.
Reviews and features on our booth at Art Rotterdam 2018:
Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present Puck Verkade ’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. A sculptural video installation is piercing the entire space, drawing from Verkade’s research into how social control informs the framing of our lives and the stories that instruct our bodies and construct our identities. The installation comprises a selection of recent work that resonates with thoughts and struggles concerning social, feminist and political issues.
‘Frame or be framed’ is a deep-rooted motif in Verkade’s current practice as an inquiry into the complexities of (mis)representation. How do these complexities inform gendered and racialised biases in everyday interpersonal encounters? How are they mediated and visualised in order to perpetuate social inequalities? Digging through generational layers of visual culture tropes has led Verkade to use humor and irony as an entry into the stickiness of subjectivity. By creating speculative constructions composed of re-appropriated found footage, sampled pop music, low res animations and personal recordings, she aims to interrogate the manipulative power structures inherent in using the lens as a medium.
Formerly predominantly screen based, Verkade’s recent body of work is unfolding into a diverse materiality of sorts and has made way for sculptural elements to support and situate her video works as part of space-intrusive installations. Privacy screen-like latex sculptures and blown-up word necklaces are dotted throughout the space, adding another layer to Verkade’s exploration of identity politics.
Puck Verkade (1987) received her BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and recently completed an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London. Her work has been shown at various venues, such as Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Museum Hilversum, Showroom MAMA in Rotterdam, Gasworks and SUNDAY in London, and LOOP in Barcelona. Work by Verkade is held in private and public collections, including the AKZO Nobel Art Foundation in Amsterdam. She lives and works in London, where she has been selected as a resident artist at Sarabande The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation for 2017-2018.
This exhibition has been made possible with the kind support of Stroom Den Haag, Stichting Stokroos and Fonds Kwadraat.
Reviews and features
For Artissima’s Back to the Future section, Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present works by Jacqueline de Jong from her ‘Série Noire’ (1981). Inspiration for this body of work came from the French series of crime novels by the same name that have been published since 1945 by Gallimard. During her Paris years in the 1960s, Jacqueline De Jong enjoyed reading these novels. Because the covers of these books offered nothing but imageless black, De Jong decided to take the titles themselves and set about finding pictures to fit the stories. Initially the works served as a personal visual interpretation that emanated the atmosphere of the stories. Later on, Jacqueline de Jong searched for subjects outside of these novels, while still adhering to the inextricable themes of sex and violence.
‘As in a movie poster, using quick, hectic brushstrokes, Jacqueline de Jong sought to create a dramatic sketch of a situation, to capture the literally sensational of the criminal moment, with image and typography in shreds, concentrated into the classic mythical constellation of man and woman or trench coat and hat, coloured with the signs of fear – wide open eyes, the hand clutching the forbidden, blood on the knife blade, flame spewing from the barrel of the revolver, a last kiss between monster and victim.’ – Roberto Ohrt, Undercover in Art, 2003.
Jacqueline de Jong (1939) is revered for founding, editing and publishing The Situationist Times in Paris in the 1960s. By now her publishing, painting and sculpture endeavours have spanned over five decades, in which motifs of eroticism, desire, violence and humour continue to recur. Her longterm involvement and collaboration with Asger Jorn and the legacy of the Cobra movement shine through, but have never stifled the experimental nature of her artistic practice, which is as vital, provocative and contradictory as ever.
Recent solo exhibitions by Jacqueline de Jong include ‘Imagination à Rebours’ at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, ‘Imaginary Disobedience’ at Château Shatto in Los Angeles and ‘Potato Blues’ at onestar press in Paris. Recent group exhibitions include ‘On Plane Air’ at Air de Paris in Paris, ‘Section Littéraire’ at Kunsthalle Bern, ‘Medusa: Jewellery and Taboos’ at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, ‘The Leftovers’ at Simon Lee Gallery in New York, ‘The Avant Garde won’t give up: Cobra and its legacy’ at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles and ‘Traces – 100 years Asger Jorn’ at Cobra Museum for Modern Art in Amstelveen. Her work is held in various museums and public collections including: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Cobra Museum for Modern Art, Amstelveen; Museum Jorn, Silkeborg; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Kunstmuseum Göteborg; Lenbachhaus, Munich; MCCA Toronto; Centre Pompidou, Paris. In 2019 Jacqueline de Jong will have a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Reviews and features
Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present Paul Beumer ’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Since his first show in 2015 Beumer has spent an extended time in Asia, attending residencies in Xiamen, Beijing and Tokyo as well as living and working in Taipei.
His painterly practice has always oscillated freely between figuration and abstraction, but in the past few years gained a specific focus on the relationship and dichotomies between Western and Asian approaches to landscape painting and nature. For Beumer the understanding of nature through lived and poetic experiences has taken precedence over any overtly scientific or logic approach or explanation.
Steering away from the conventions of the brush and canvas his works are made on a variation of loose cloths. He engages ink or chlorine and manual resist-dyeing techniques to produce abstract patterns that feel like faint memories of Western High Modernism in that they allow for doubt, failure and chance.
For this exhibition Beumer will for the first time combine several of his painted loose cloths into four large site-specific wall installations. The juxtaposition and overlapping of textures, colours and forms in these assemblages create dynamic and extensive views. As such they perform as an immersive and poetic take on both abstractionism and landscape painting.
The title of the exhibition, ‘The message of the flower is the flower’, refers to the age-old use of flowers to convey subtle or secretive messages. During the Victorian era flower dictionaries came in vogue that explained the meaning of plants, flowers and herbs. Though often thought to relay positive messages of interest, affection and love, flowers could also send a negative message and at times, the same flower could have opposite meanings depending on how it was arranged or combined with other flowers.
Paul Beumer (1982) received his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague after which he completed a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Paint Wide Mouth White’ at Qingyun Art Centre in Beijing, ’In the shade of the elms and willows, my friends drink until they are inspired’ at Goethe Pavillon, Palais Schardt in Weimar; ‘Dry Landscape’ at the Chinese European Art Centre (CEAC) in Xiamen; and ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ at Bosse & Baum in London. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Liquid Mountain’ at Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, ‘Black: from charcoal to high-res’ at Museum Kranenburgh in Bergen; and ‘Stretch Release’ at Dürst Britt & Mayhew. Work by Beumer is held in private and public collections, including the AKZO Nobel Art Foundation; the collection of the District Court of Law in Amsterdam; and the KRC Collection in Voorschoten.
Reviews and features
At SUNDAY Art Fair in London, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented Puck Verkade’s ‘Frame or be framed’, which is a deep-rooted motif that runs through Verkade’s (1987, The Netherlands) video based practice as an inquiry into the complexities of representation. How do these complexities inform gendered and racialised biases in everyday interpersonal encounters? How are they mediated and visualised in order to perpetuate social inequalities?
Verkade’s installation ‘Breeder’, consisting of three video episodes and various privacy screen-like sculptures, speculates on how processes of reproduction become a sticky mess through lense based power structures. It explores how sexual, social and visual reproduction are entangled in a web of (mis)representation.
Puck Verkade received her BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and recently completed an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London. Her work has been shown at various venues, such as the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag, Showroom MAMA in Rotterdam, Gasworks in London and LOOP in Barcelona. Puck Verkade lives and works in London.
At CODE Art Fair 2017 in Copenhagen, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented work by Paul Beumer, Jacqueline de Jong and Wieske Wester.
Dürst Britt & Mayhew is honoured to present Jacqueline de Jong ‘s (1939, Hengelo, Netherlands) first solo exhibition at the gallery. De Jong is revered for founding, editing and publishing The Situationist Times in the 1960s. By now her publishing, painting and sculpture endeavours have spanned over five decades. The exhibition shows various paintings and pastels from the 1960s up to now, in which eroticism, desire, violence and humour are recurring motifs. Her longterm involvement and collaboration with Asger Jorn and the legacy of the Cobra movement shine through, but have never stifled the experimental nature of her artistic practice, which is as vital, provocative and contradictory as ever. Her most recent mixed media works for example start with black and white photographic images of potatoes which De Jong transforms into landscapes, animals or monsters, which have become so characteristic to her practice.
Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Imaginary Disobedience’ at Château Shatto in Los Angeles and ‘Potato Blues’ at onestar press in Paris. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Medusa: Jewellery and Taboos’ at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, ‘The Leftovers’ at Simon Lee Gallery in New York, ‘The Avant Garde won’t give up: Cobra and its legacy’ at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles and ‘Traces – 100 years Asger Jorn’ at Cobra Museum for Modern Art in Amstelveen. Her work is held in various museums and public collections including: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Cobra Museum for Modern Art, Amstelveen; Museum Jorn, Silkeborg; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Kunstmuseum Göteborg; Lenbachhaus, Munich; MCCA Toronto; Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Upcoming exhibitions include ‘Sie sagen wo Rauch ist, ist auch Feuer’ at Kunsthalle Bern and a solo presentation with Dürst Britt & Mayhew in the Back to the Future section of Artissima Turin.
Reviews and features
The artists presented in ‘Stretch Release’ can all be qualified as painters. However they do not limit their painterly practice to the well trodden path of oil on a stretched rectangular canvas. They regularly prefer to take the canvas off of the stretcher and let painted fabrics behave of their own accord. Some produce their own fabrics and dye or paint on them, others expose their painted textiles to the natural elements. These are works that do not necessarily ask to be hung from a wall, but can just as well be placed as markers within the architecture of a given space. They subtly influence the viewers’ gaze and movements, without immediately turning into obvious sculptural interventions.
With: Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke, Paul Beumer, Koen Doodeman, Marije Gertenbach, Kristan Kennedy, David Roth, Alexis Teplin.
We would like to thank the following galleries for their kind cooperation: CAR DRDE, Elizabeth Dee, Fourteen30 Contemporary, Rento Brattinga galerie – Dudok De Groot.
Reviews and features
Art ARCO Lisboa 2017, Dürst Britt & Mayhew exhibited works by Alex Farrar, Lennart Lahuis and Alexandre Lavet focus on and play with various notions of emptiness, suspension and dislocation.
Alex Farrar’s (1986, UK) artistic practice concerns itself with biological remnants and dislocation. The biological remnants in question can be as commonplace as pieces of nails and eyelashes found in his studio. These human traces dislocated themselves from their original source and found an apparent end point in a certain space. This specific space however did not allow for natural perishment, as Farrar takes notice of the smallest particles surrounding him.
Lennart Lahuis’ (1986, NL) main artistic concern is the suspension of visual information. His deployment of very diverse materials and techniques results in works that seem to be in a constant state of transformation and try to slow down the immediate access to imagery and texts. At ARCO Lisboa he will show a work composed of words on stone tiles. These words appear when water is applied to the stones and slowly disappear as the water evaporates.
Alexandre Lavet’s (1988, FR) work plays with the idea of emptiness, disappearance and erasure. Under the apparent homogeneity of exhibition spaces lie the details that mark the uniqueness and specificity of each place. It is these elements that Lavet wants to bring to light, thereby making the viewer more aware of the environment surrounding him. His subtle interventions unobtrusively steer the viewer’s gaze away from obvious directions.
For Independent Brussels 2017 Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo exhibition with new works by American artist Joseph Montgomery.
The mainstay of Montgomery’s oeuvre consists of two different types of work. There are the minimalist, monochromatic shims on the one hand and the collages on the other. Both kind of works have the structure and syntax of sculpture, but they simultaneously have all the trappings of painting. This blurring and confounding of classification lends them a strange sense of hybridity.
For his collages Montgomery is basically attracted to the classical portrait format with which he creates layered abstract images, which are reminiscent of faces or muzzles. Since last year they mostly begin as self-portrait pencil sketches on paper, emphasizing a large nose and long hair and perhaps a gender fluidity. These are vectorized and assigned colours in the computer. Then they are printed on plastic with an emulsion that interacts with alcohol in order to be transferred onto canvas. Subsequently Montgomery chooses either to keep this ‘pigment transfer’ as is or add various other layers of paint, pastel or found materials.
Montgomery’s shim works are composed of a generative, readymade material, the 16 inches long, tapered wedges you can find in the lumber section of any DIY store. Rearranging them, assembling them, is another way of representing painting. Recently he started adding vegetation that the finds in the vicinity of his studio. The wedges also pop up in other series and media in the form of life-size sculptures and video-animations, hence becoming a returning motif.
Joseph Montgomery (1979, Northampton, MA, US) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Rules for Coyote’ at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, ‘DOLLS’ (with Sherrie Levine) at Paula Cooper Gallery, ‘Heads, Calves’ at Laurel Gitlen, ‘Doll Index’ at Peter Blum Gallery and ‘Five Sets Five Reps’ at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). His work was also shown in the seminal group exhibition ‘Painter Painter’ at The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis. Work by Montgomery is held in private and public collections, including the Centraal Museum Utrecht, Netherlands.
Dürst Britt & Mayhew is delighted to present Mexican artist Raúl Ortega Ayala ‘s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Ortega Ayala will premiere his new videowork ‘The Zone’, which deals with the 30-kilometre radius uninhabited area in the Ukraine directly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986. For four years Ortega Ayala has been visiting this derelict territory to obtain footage for a film that seeks to resurface (through first hand accounts of witnesses) an unprecedented event in our history where man-made technology went wrong and rendered uninhabitable a vast area that includes entire cities and monumental structures. The footage was shot purposefully during different seasons (with and without the main characters) in order to constantly play with the visual narrative, with our perception of time and to illustrate the erratic behavior of memories.
‘The Zone’ forms part of Ortega Ayala’s current research project ‘From the Pit of Etc.’, which deploys methodologies used in History and Archaeology for an ongoing series devoted to the concept of absence, trace, and iconoclasm. The exhibition also contains various photographic images the artist shot while visiting the ghost town of Pripyat, which was founded on 4 February 1970 to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and had grown to a population of 49,360 by the time it was evacuated in 1986.
A different vein in Ortega Ayala’s current research project is constituted by a series of ‘paintings’, revealing images that are hidden under paintings from various museum collections. By obtaining permission to use x-rays the museums deploy for conservation or authentication purposes, Ortega Ayala manages to conjure up intriguing dichotomies, which otherwise would be lost to eternity.
Raúl Ortega Ayala (1973) is currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He studied Painting at ‘La Esmeralda’ in Mexico City and then traveled to the Glasgow School of Art for a Master in Fine Arts. Solo exhibitions include ‘Living Remains’ at Stroom Den Haag and ‘Melting Pots’ at Rokeby Gallery in London. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Stirring the Pot of Story’ at the Delfina Foundation in London, ‘Silent Light’ at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, ‘True Story’ at Proyectos Monclova in Mexico City and ‘Yes Naturally’ at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in The Hague. His next solo exhibition in 2017 will be at Proyectos Monclova in Mexico City. Work by Ortega Ayala is held in private and public collections, including the David Roberts Art Foundation, the AkzoNobel Art Foundation and the VandenBroek Foundation.
Reviews and features
At Art Rotterdam 2017, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented several pieces by Wieske Wester, Raúl Ortega Ayala and Alexandre Lavet.
Main section: Wieske Wester
Projections: Raúl Ortega Ayala
We Like Art: Alexandre Lavet
Reviews and features
For our first participation in Artissima in 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo exhibition by Sybren Renema.
Reviews and features
Dürst Britt & Mayhew is delighted to present French artist Alexandre Lavet ‘s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Alexandre Lavet’s work plays with the idea of emptiness, disappearance and erasure. Under the apparent homogeneity of exhibition spaces lie the details that mark the uniqueness and specificity of each place. It is these elements that Lavet wants to bring to light, thereby making the viewer more aware of the environment surrounding him. For his exhibition at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Lavet will show a variety of subtle site-specific interventions within the gallery space.
Lavet (1988) received both his BFA and MFA from the École Supérieure d’Art in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and is living and working in Brussels. Current group exhibitions include’Run Run Run’ at Villa Arson in Nice and ‘Déformation Professionelle’ at Galerie Paris-Beijing in Paris. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Vision’ at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, ‘(In)territories/rituals’ at TARS Gallery in Bangkok and ‘The Context’ at Museum Flehite in Amersfoort.
Reviews and features
Dürst Britt & Mayhew is delighted to present Dutch artist Wieske Wester ‘s first exhibition at the gallery.
A cabbage, a bunch of bananas or a whiskey glass. The strength that lies in simple and everyday objects is often the starting point for the work of Wieske Wester. These are images without masks that appeal by their lack of visual violence and spectacle, but are nevertheless characterized by a certain degree of ambiguity. Wester’s paintings and drawings depict the human desire for identity, yet are peppered with references to aggression and sexuality. Wrestlers, genitals and figures that hover between beast and man regularly pass in review. For Wieske Wester, the physical act of painting and drawing is the most direct way to capture the fluidity and forcefulness of the human spirit.
Immediately after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Wieske Wester was selected for a two-year working period at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. In 2008 she was nominated for the Buning Brongers Prizes in Amsterdam and for the Focus Abengoa Painting Prize in Seville, Spain. In 2014 she enrolled at the HISK in Ghent to place herself into a new critical context and to further develop her chosen themes and imagery. Wieske Wester lives and works in Ghent and The Hague.
Reviews and features
For our first participation in SUNDAY Art Fair, Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a group exhibition by Paul Beumer, Lennart Lahuis and Raúl Ortega Ayala.
Reviews and features
Broadly speaking one can argue that Alex Farrar ‘s practice concerns itself with biological remnants and dislocation. The biological remnants in question can be as commonplace as pieces of nails and eyelashes found in his studio. These human traces dislocated themselves from their original source and found an apparent end point in a certain space. This specific space however did not allow for natural perishment, as Farrar takes notice of the smallest particles surrounding him.
These smallest particles are not harmless though; an eyelash can irritate the hell out of you when stuck in your eye, nails can inflict even more pain. We nevertheless do not pay much attention to these crescent forms once they are dislocated from the body. A crescent moon is much more romantic to look at.
And what about the crescent forms of our buttocks that leave their imprint on all the couches we sit on throughout our lives. Various forms sit next to each other, enjoying the comfort this furniture provides us with. Sharing thoughts, emotions, touch. Bodies are barrels of memories, but so are the couches on which we allow our buttocks to lower themselves.
Alex Farrar presents us with a clear cut by slicing various couches through the middle, divorcing the conversations and relationships that once went on. The parts are not lost though, only dislocated. One part is in the gallery space, the other part may reside in the artist’s studio, a different exhibition space or a collector’s home. The works may be deemed a celebration of long distance relationships, communication and keeping in touch across all the boundaries that life throws at us.
The same may be said about the more abstract sculptures by Alex Farrar, which are based on abandoned bicycles encountered in city streets all over the world. Their skeletal forms speak of traveling distances, of the eternal effort of bridging boundaries and of beautiful human failure.
Reviews and features
For the first edition of CODE Art Fair in 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo exhibition by American artist Joseph Montgomery.
The mainstay of Joseph Montgomery’s oeuvre consists of two different types of work. There are the minimalist, monochromatic shims on the one hand and the collages on the other. Both kind of works have the structure and syntax of sculpture, but they simultaneously have all the trappings of painting. This blurring and confounding of classification lends them a strange sense of hybridity.
For Montgomery the works represent different kinds of labour. The shims are composed of a generative, readymade material, the 16 inches long, tapered wedges you can find in the lumber section of any American DIY store. Rearranging them, assembling them, is another way of representing painting. Painting for Montgomery is not the pursuit of one ultimate masterpiece but rather a collection of choices, starting from the ground up, to reach an image-like quality. For his collages he is basically attracted to the classical portrait format with which he creates layered abstract images, which are often reminiscent of faces or muzzles.
Montgomery takes this kind of caricaturization a step further in his most recent, slightly larger and flatter works. They begin as self-portrait pencil sketches on paper, emphasizing a large nose and long hair and perhaps a gender fluidity. The sketches are then vectorized and assigned colours in the computer. Then they are printed on plastic with an emulsion that interacts with alcohol in order to be transferred onto canvas. The goal is to have a single action image production through the transfer process on to the canvas. Chance, liquidity and manipulability take over from then but the artist decides if satisfaction is achieved in that single action.
Besides shims and collages Montgomery also works in other media. He for example makes dolls out of the same wedges he uses for the shims. These figures can manifest themselves physically, but also in the form of animations. They are like avatars that represent an anthropomorphized image of labour. In the animations the doll repeats elementary human actions over and over. Painting for Montgomery is ultimately not about expression: painting is a verb, a repetitive tool, a possibility to keep working.
Joseph Montgomery (1979, Northampton, MA, US) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Rules for Coyote at Dürst Britt & Mayhew, DOLLS (with Sherrie Levine) at Paula Cooper Gallery, Heads, Calves at Laurel Gitlen, Doll Index at Peter Blum Gallery and Five Sets Five Reps at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). His work was also shown in the seminal group exhibition Painter Painter at The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis. Work by Montgomery is held in private and public collections, including the Centraal Museum Utrecht.
Reviews and features
At LOOP Barcelona 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented a solo exhibition by Raúl Ortega Ayala. His video work ‘Field-note 25-01-16 (unintended anthropometric and behavioural study material)’ consists of footage from VHS tapes that were abandoned in a dusty corner in the storage of a film set in Mexico City. The tapes contained many different things but Ortega Ayala selected only casting shots for commercials from the 1990s, because they depict subjects that did not make it into the realm of history. In this case the footage shows all those people that were not selected for one reason or another, while also portraying rather unintentionally an anthropometric exercise, a portrait of contemporary behaviour and a depiction of people’s aspirations. The quick succession of various human types tragicomically characterises an age, which was still unaware of the impact that mobile communications, social networks, and reality shows would soon have.
At Amsterdam Art Fair 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented the work of Dutch artist Paul Beumer.
Traditional Chinese approaches to painting have always been an inspiration to Paul Beumer, especially in the depictions of natural scenery. A classical Chinese landscape painting is not meant to reproduce an actual view, as would a Western figurative painting. Whereas the European painter wants you to borrow his eyes and look at a particular landscape from a specific angle, the Chinese painter does not choose a single viewpoint. His landscape is not a real one, and you can enter it from any point: there are various paths for the eyes to travel or divert from.
In 2015, Paul Beumer spent four months in Xiamen in China as a resident at the Chinese European Art Centre (CEAC), where he further researched his sensibility for the country’s ancient visual forms and techniques and how to combine these with his own Western artistic background. For the previous two years Paul Beumer had been experimenting with mixing inks and watercolours with natural materials such as mud, leaves and twigs, to create compositions, which for the greater part depend on gravity and viscosity to reach their final form.
The painted cotton fabrics shown at the Amsterdam Art Fair still hold this suggestion of various natural processes, but on a much larger scale. The works are irregular, unpretentious, earthy, combining imprints of household objects, like mops and buckets, with more organic forms. The patterns of ink make you travel through a landscape which is both physical and mental. Just like the classical Chinese painter Paul Beumer does not want to borrow you his eyes. He wants you to enter an inner landscape, a spiritual and conceptual space, in which you slowly have to carve your own individual path.
Reviews and features
The group exhibition Silent Light at Dürst Britt & Mayhew shows a selection of lens-based works from five of the gallery’s represented artists: Alexandre Lavet (FR), Raúl Ortega Ayala (MX), Pieter Paul Pothoven (NL), Sybren Renema (NL) and Puck Verkade (NL). The four video works and one slide projection are characterized by their tacit, contemplative nature. Ironically, the only work that is accompanied by sound specifically deals with the theme of silence. All the works in the exhibition force the viewer to slow down and forego any immediate expectations. These works were not created to deliver any instant gratification, but they rather play with the idea of delay and how nature has a different way of ordering things. The cosmos seems to have a bigger plan than what man is able to play out on this world’s stage, however hard he tries.
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Imaginary Game Soundtrack is the second event within the framework of GERTRUDE, the gallery’s interdisciplinary side-programme. In between exhibitions, Dürst Britt & Mayhew will invite makers from other cultural fields to activate the gallery space through for example dance, theatre, literature, music or fashion. These makers may be upcoming or established artists, but what they all share is an experimental attitude. By offering them a space where they can develop and present new productions, we aim to create a platform where different cultural disciplines are able to meet. The name of this side programme is inspired by the famous Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), legendary writer and patron of the Arts, who became well known for organizing salons at her Paris apartment that were frequented by artists, composers, writers, musicians and choreographers.
In this edition, artists were asked to give their musical answer to the question: How would an imaginary game soundtrack sound?
With: Catherine Biocca (IT/DE), Sarah&Charles (BE), Marguerite van Sandick (NL), Lieven Segers (BE), Frank Koolen feat. UMGEBUNG (NL), Reinaart Vanhoe (BE), Robbert&Frank Frank&Robbert (BE), Sara van Woerden (NL) and Geo Wyeth (US).
After Brussels, Ghent and Rotterdam, Dürst Britt & Mayhew will host the release of the Imaginary Game Soundtrack Album. An evening of live presentations of the soundtracks in the form of performances, video, an Art-Fitness session, interventions and installations. Grab a pair of socks at the merch stand. The Album is available in a limited edition (100 hand numbered copies).
A project initiated by Dutch artist Sara van Woerden and supported by the Mondriaan Fund. After The Hague the tour will continue in Berlin, Antwerp and Amsterdam. More info about the project at igsatour.weebly.com.
The programme runs from 8 to 10 pm on Saturday 30 April.
For the inaugural edition of Independent Brussels in 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented works by Mexican artist Raúl Ortega Ayala and Dutch artist Pieter Paul Pothoven. Both artists are no stranger to iconoclasm and have a strong predilection for the application of scientific techniques within their artistic practice, be it the use of X-rays on paintings or diamond turning on an antique bronze mirror. These techniques are used to strip away layers of time in order to create new engagements with history. Ortega Ayala’s works reveal images that are hidden under paintings from various museum collections. Pothoven gives back use value to two corroded antique mirrors, in order for us to look at ourselves in an unexpected light.
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The French term “un certain regard” can actually and ironically enough be described as a look or glance that is hard to describe. In its inevitable erotic connotation it can both be a look of longing, love or lust, as well as of disapproval or disgust. It therefore continually hovers between gazing and staring. While gazing can very well objectify a body, only staring is considered rude as it is directed at difference, deviation and otherness. The borders however can be hard to determine and are bound to very personal predilections or fears.
The works in the international group exhibition “Un certain regard” all objectify the body and test the boundaries between gazing and staring, to different degrees. Various sexual personae and erotic references may make audiences feel both titillated as well as voyeuristic. The works on display manifest a sensitive, but emancipatory form of eroticism. Therefore, from the exhibiting artists’ position ‘un certain regard’ is not a vague concept, but translates as a convinced, assertive and genuine view on contemporary sensuality.
With: Sylvie Fleury, Celia Hempton, Dean Hutton, Rachel de Joode, Leigh Ledare, Walter Pfeiffer, Daniel Sinsel, Martin Soto Climent, Julie Verhoeven, Taocheng Wang, Wieske Wester.
We would like to thank the following galleries and publishers for their kind cooperation: Cinnnamon, Sadie Coles, Christophe Gaillard, MOREpublishers, Neumeister Bar-Am, Office Baroque, Proyectos Monclova, Sultana, Fons Welters.
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For our second participation in Art Rotterdam, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presents a solo booth by Lennart Lahuis.
Lennart Lahuis’ main artistic concern is the suspension of visual information. His deployment of very diverse materials results in works that seem to be in a constant state of transformation and try to slow down the process of immediate access to imagery.
For his presentation at Art Rotterdam, Lahuis created a series of eight silkscreens that he subsequently burnt. The appropriated images on the silkscreens are taken from advertisements for luxury watches. By speeding up the process of deterioration Lahuis puts an emphasis on the themes of duration and consumption. The advertised eternity of these high-end watches seems to be negated by the burnt paper. In a way Lahuis seems to capture the last breath of an image and put it bluntly in front of an image-hungry audience. He considers the image as a material, as an element that has to deal with the process of time and its consequences. The image will become frail, fade away and eventually die.
This correlation between construction and deconstruction is reminiscent of Federico Fellini’s famous film 8 ½, in which an eminent director, played by Marcello Mastroianni, starts the production of his next movie while suffering from “director’s block”. The film was highly influential as it liberated subsequent filmmakers of the conventions of time, place and mode of experience that had prevailed up to the 1960s. Lahuis silkscreened and burnt two film stills as a reference to 8 ½ ’s dealing with the deconstruction of narrative and the never-ending greed for image production.
The walls of the booth at Art Rotterdam have been covered in wallpaper and show two sentences relating to transparency and the transfer of information. The words are made from glass micro beads. To be able to read the sentences the viewer has to slowly navigate around the booth in order for the reflection to hit the eye and the information to reach the brain.
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Sybren Renema is drawn to the obscure corners of all forms of human discourse, with a particular liking for art, history, geographical exploration and the natural sciences. These different fascinations are often combined in the same work, highlighting a predilection for unconventional forms of knowledge-production as well as a sense of the absurd and the grotesque. His interests are addressed through various media, such as photography, collage and neon.
The exhibition of Sybren Renema derives its title from the last sentence of ‘Kubla Khan’, a poem by the 19th century British Lake Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was infamous for his use of opium and his sprawling public lectures. Coleridge can be considered as one of the first cultural critics, but was nevertheless notoriously inconsistent in his output. The exhibition borrows freely from Romantic tropes and clichés such as nature, substance use and the sublime and mixes these into a heady concoction.
Central to the exhibition is a sculpture titled ‘Study for the death mask of an average Romantic’. It has been generated from the measurements of the death masks of 32 artists from the Romantic age and has subsequently been 3D-printed. Devoid of any individuality, yet made up of those people whose individuality was their greatest revolutionary potential, it is equal parts worship and mockery. The work touches on the question of what it is to be a creative genius, but also displays the perverse power of technology in the face of something as sacred as death and eternity.
The Milk of Paradise by Sybren Renema is kindly supported by Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life.
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For its first participation in The Others, in a former prison in Turin, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented Sigh, an installation of works on paper by Dutch artist Paul Beumer.
Paul Beumer’s painting practice oscillates freely between figuration and abstraction. His recent works on paper, made with watercolour and ink, bear a strong relation to the manifold spontaneous processes happening in nature and its ever-changing scenes and colours. Just like one cannot predict the shapes of a cloud or the structures of semi-precious stones, Beumer leaves it partly up to chance how his work will turn out. The works are presented on low pedestals, as a reference to how they were originally produced. Inks and watercolours were mixed with materials from nature, such as mud, leaves and twigs, to create compositions, which for the greater part depend on gravity and viscosity to reach their final form.
The work of Joseph Montgomery has the structure and syntax of sculpture, but it simultaneously has all the trappings of painting: wood, canvas, various types of coating and paint. The blurring and confounding of classification lends it a strange sense of hybridity. Montgomery’s expansion of abstract painting results in two distinctive types of painting: collages and shims.
For Rules for Coyote, Montgomery makes use of the colour scheme of the famous Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons (created in 1948 for Warner Bros.), which are situated in the southwest American desert. Red-brown (the colour of rock formations), yellow (the colour of sand), green (the colour of cacti), dark brown (the colour of Wile E. Coyote) and blue (the colour of Road Runner) are just a few of these constantly recurring colours. Montgomery humorously compares his practice with the fate of the coyote, who constantly fails to catch the bird but never tires of coming up with another ’solution’.
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In 2015, Dürst Britt & Mayhew took part in the Unseen Amsterdam Photo Fair, where the gallery exhibited work by Lennart Lahuis, Alexandre Lavet, Pieter Paul Pothoven and Sybren Renema.
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Paul Beumer’s painting practice oscillates freely between figuration and abstraction. His recent works, made with ink and watercolour, bear a strong relation to the manifold spontaneous processes happening in nature and its ever-changing scenes and colours. Just like one cannot predict the shapes of a cloud or the structures of semi-precious stones, Paul Beumer leaves it partly up to chance how his work will turn out. There is no set goal, but ample room for coincidences. In a way the works in this exhibition seem to have grown all by themselves and the artist just happened upon them by accident and combined them into an immersive and ephemeral installation.
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For its first participation in LOOP Fair Barcelona Dürst Britt & Mayhew is premiering the videowork Solitary Company by Puck Verkade.
Solitary Company is a portrait of a remote island as seen through the eyes of its inhabitants. It was filmed in the micro-community of Hrisey, an island off the north coast of Iceland. Filming took place during the darkest months in winter when all is covered in snow and silence. During a month-long residency on Hrisey, Puck Verkade conducted interviews with three generations of local people, about their personal connection with the island, the effect of living in such a small community off the mainland, and their relationship to silence. Throughout the video we never get to see the faces of the interviewees, only their backs and the views they can see through the windows. The island itself thus becomes an additional character, showing its empty landscape and silent presence. The circular frame stresses visual isolation as well as the physical borders of the island. Essentially the narrative reflects on the borders of solitude, on silence and its inevitable connection to mortality.
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For the first edition of Amsterdam Art Fair Dürst Britt & Mayhew presents a solo presentation by Dutch artist Pieter Paul Pothoven, whose artistic practice concerns itself with the historic and social connotations of various valuable objects, ranging from lapis lazuli to ancient Egyptian mirrors. Pothoven mixes personal experience and first-hand research with historical information, which he ultimately translates into immersive installations.
Pieter Paul Pothoven’s approach predominantly relates to Walter Benjamin’s idea of a past that constitutes present meaning. His aim is to unearth the blind spots in the meaning and significance of his chosen objects within the framework of their given historical narratives. These are not alchemistic acts of turning formerly invaluable objects into precious artefacts, but conceptual exercises and manual gestures that add layers and narratives to pre-existing abstracts. In the work of Pieter Paul Pothoven objects become subjects that transgress information, value or meaning as they are drawn into the artistic realm.
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The artistic practice of Lennart Lahuis concerns itself with the suspension of visual information. For his recent series of works the artist collected reproductions that come standard with picture frames and serve as an example to the buyer. Many of these interchangeable picture frames contain cliché images of models, sunsets and cityscapes, but also reproductions of famous artworks. These images are disposable and destined to be thrown away the minute the buyer puts a photograph of their own choice inside the frame. Lennart Lahuis searches out examples that intrigue by their sheer oddity or sense of disengagement, adding images of exotic figures or plain measurements. He subsequently magnifies the image, covers it with a glass plate, newspaper and beeswax, thereby rendering it practically unrecognizable. For the viewer this means having to slow down to gain access to the visual information on offer: casting a glance is not sufficient. Lennart Lahuis thus confronts us with the apparent interchangeability of images within our society and the active role we have in sustaining or changing this. Next to these particular works Lahuis will activate the space with his ongoing series of wet scene studies. The reflective surfaces of three large foilworks in the exhibition further mirror the viewer’s problematic navigation through visual data.
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For its first participation in Poppositions in Brussels Dürst Britt & Mayhew presents the work of French artist Alexandre Lavet.
Alexandre Lavet’s work plays with the idea of emptiness, disappearance and erasure. Under the apparent homogeneity of an exhibition space lie the details that mark the uniqueness and specificity of the place. It is these elements that Lavet wants to bring to light, thereby making the viewer more aware of the environment surrounding him. Lavet’s photoseries Vides shows a set of different exhibition spaces from the ‘White Cube’ ideology, but they are empty of artworks. He retouched the internet-sourced images by removing the artworks from them, thereby simultaneously constituting a new work and bringing attention to the specifics of the exhibition spaces themselves. Next to the Vides series Alexandre Lavet will show a variety of subtle site-specific interventions within the space of the booth.
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Dürst Britt & Mayhew is inaugurating its new gallery in The Hague with the group exhibition Urbi et Orbi, showcasing a selection of alumni from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague from 2009 up to now.
All participating artists share an ambition and courage to venture out into the world and carve a name for themselves; some have already won important art prizes, others have been picked up by influential galleries or admitted to prestigious postgraduate institutions. Urbi et Orbi will show the wide variety of these artists’ practices, who all started out in The Hague.
With: Juliaan Andeweg, Paul Beumer, Bob Eikelboom, Katinka van Gorkum, Gitte Hendrikx, Thomas van Linge, Adrian Mazzarolo, Sybren Renema, Machteld Rullens, Daniel van Straalen, Puck Verkade, Hanae Wilke, Victor Yudaev, Timmy van Zoelen.
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Gertrude #1: Don’t Laugh at the Sunlight Upon Me
A play by Adrian Bridget, with Michael de Roos and Vincent van Ommen
Don’t Laugh at the Sunlight Upon Me is an experimental one-act play for two actors. The play is written and directed by Adrian Bridget. Referencing the myth of Icarus, it narrates the longing struggle of a mad servant, who has made his master a hostage to his private psychological delirium. Through an effervescent use of language, the play deals with the themes of individual truth and brotherly love in an attempt to reconcile theatrical tradition and contemporary audiences.
Adrian Bridget (1990), born Adrian Mazzarolo, is an Amsterdam-based artist and writer operating in the fields of poetry, film and theatre. Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, his works have been featured in TENT (Rotterdam), Impakt Festival (Utrecht) and Dürst Britt & Mayhew’s opening exhibition Urbi et Orbi.
Don’t Laugh at the Sunlight Upon Me is the first event within the framework of GERTRUDE, the gallery’s interdisciplinary side-programme. In between exhibitions, Dürst Britt & Mayhew will invite makers from other cultural cultural fields to activate the gallery space through for example dance, theatre, literature, music or fashion. These makers can be upcoming or established, but what they share is an experimental attitude. By offering them a space to develop and present new productions, we aim to create a platform where different cultural disciplines can meet. The name of this side programme is inspired by Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), legendary writer and patron of the Arts who became well known for organizing salons at her Paris apartment that were frequented by artists, composers, writers, musicians and choreographers.
For its first participation in Art Rotterdam Dürst Britt & Mayhew presents the work of American artist Joseph Montgomery (1979). His work has the structure and syntax of sculpture, but it simultaneously has all the trappings of painting: wood, canvas, various types of coating and paint. The blurring and confounding of classification lends it a strange sense of hybridity. Montgomery’s expansion of abstract painting results in two distinctive types of painting: collages and shims. Lately he also added animation and wallpaper to his practice. Montgomery recently had a solo show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and his work was shown in the much-discussed exhibition ‘Painter Painter’ at The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis.
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