For our fifth participation in Art Rotterdam Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo booth by British artist Alex Farrar.
With a systemic approach to art making Farrar produces exhibitions that blur the line between artwork and context. He makes groupings of works that explore the bodily as a liminal space between our psychological world and our social lives. Farrar uses a range of sculptural, painting and print making techniques in complex relationships with their forms: often referencing the body and its residues directly, and content: emotional states ranging from longing to optimism, irritation to nervousness. At Art Rotterdam three distinct series of new works– night sweat paintings, semblable forest and ‘umble prints–coalesce in a scene that combines traces of the lived body with paranoiac visions and pataphysical logic.
Suggesting metopes in a classical frieze, the night sweat paintings form a procession of headless writhing bodies captured on downy bed linens. Following the series of sweat paintings made in 2017 and 2018 (that were debuted at ARCO Madrid), Farrar has found in the more intimate subject of night sweat the body in repose, stressed not by any external presence but an imagined one. For these new works the artist applies a silicone based paint on various textiles commonly used as bed linen. The organic forms depicted are drawn from various acquaintances of the artist who volunteered their silhouetted sleeping positions. With a nod towards the Anthropometry paintings of Yves Klein, they share with Farrar’s previous sweat works a disconcerting materiality that is poised between the abject and the divine.
Semblable forest is a disturbing assembly of young trees felled upon reaching maturity. Made using a variation of the lost wax technique, with found tree stumps surrounded by plaster before they are incinerated, their voids replaced with bronze which is then broken out of the mold. Occupying the floorspace of the booth these modest monuments with trunks the span of your wrist and roots that reach out pointlessly, situate the booth in the midst of an unseen act of destruction.
Taken together these examples reflect the shifting perspective that runs throughout the presentation’s exploration of lived experience. Across the grouping our perception is mirrored in an exchange between the interior (psychic) life of a body and its exterior (somatic) experience. This continuum can be found in an embryonic state in the ‘umble prints, where a scattershot collection of heads, contorted faces, fingernails, crab shells, snakeskins amass on a backdrop of open textbooks. Printed in bright, bold colours with a risograph duplicator, their individual titles, ‘Jumble’, ‘Fumble’, ‘Stumble’ etc. belie the fragility of their making and the thread of vulnerability, weakness and precarity that runs throughout the presentation.
Alex Farrar (1986, lives and works in Amsterdam and London), studied at Leeds Metropolitan University (Leeds, UK), Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (Amsterdam, NL). Recent and forthcoming solo/duo exhibitions include Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2019), SE8, London (2019), Onomatopee, Eindhoven (2018), ARCO Madrid with Dürst Britt & Mayhew (2018) and de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam (2016). He has recently participated in group exhibitions at Copperfield Gallery, London (2018) and The Great Medical Disaster, Manchester (2017).
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For our first participation in NADA Miami Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to collaborate with LETO from Warsaw.
In our co-curated booth we present works by four of our artists: Paul Beumer (NL), Jacqueline de Jong (NL), Joseph Montgomery (US) and Sybren Renema (NL). Combined with the works by Angelika Markul (PL), Radek Szlaga (PL), and Aleksandra Waliszewska (PL) from LETO, the presentation will be characterized by references to the transformational potential of vegetation and the global environment.
Paul Beumer (NL), Kristan Kennedy (US) and David Roth (AT), the three artists presented at Parallel Vienna, 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.
Dürst Britt & Mayhew first brought these artists together in last year’s international group show ‘Stretch Release‘, which focused on ‘paintings’ that do not necessarily ask to be hung rectangularly from a wall, but can just as well be placed as markers within the architecture of a given space. Works that subtly influence the viewers’ gaze and movements, without immediately turning into obvious sculptural interventions.
The presentation at Parallel Vienna can be seen as a sequence to ‘Stretch Release’ in a compressed form.
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For our first participation in LISTE – Art Fair Basel Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a duo exhibition by Puck Verkade and Wieske Wester. Their presentation forms a dialogue on power structures, gender issues, and stereotypes concerning the body and sexuality.
Puck Verkade is premiering her new video work ‘BAIT’, dealing with the topic of sexual consent, within the confines of a sculptural bed. The walls of the booth are covered in Wieske Wester’s sensual paintings and drawings of bananas and oysters – motives often associated with fertility and procreation.
Themes of dominance and aggression recur in both artists’ practices. While Wester is looking for inner forces and energies, Verkade is more interested in social constructions and externalised behaviours that have come to define our culture. Nevertheless, according to Wester even a painted image of an orange can portray a war and for Verkade humour is an entry into the sticky political subjects that her work touches upon.
Puck Verkade (1987, NL) received her BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and recently completed her MFA Fine Art with distinction at Goldsmiths University, London. Her work has been shown internationally at various venues, such as Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Berlin Feminist Film Festival, If So What?/Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Gasworks in London, and LOOP in Barcelona. Forthcoming projects in 2018 include a solo show at Art Night London and an artist commission for Daata Editions. Verkade’s work 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.
Wieske Wester (1985, NL) obtained her BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, after which she was selected for a two-year residency at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. In 2015 she graduated from the HISK in Ghent. In 2017 she was nominated for the Royal Prize for Contemporary Painting in Amsterdam. Her work has been shown internationally at various venues such as White Crypt in London and the 6th Moscow Biennale for Art. Forthcoming projects in 2018 include a group exhibition at CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, Netherlands and a duo show with Jacqueline de Jong at Dürst Britt & Mayhew. Wester’s work is held in private and public collections, including the Lisser Art Museum in Lisse, Netherlands and the Ahold collection in Amsterdam. She lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands.
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In the Discovery section of Art Brussels 2018 Dürst Britt & Mayhew will present a solo booth by Dutch artist Lennart Lahuis (*1986). In Europe’s capital Lahuis will show a body of new works, which can be seen as a visual exploration into the concept and understanding of ‘Europe’.
For a series of works on paper, Lahuis’ deployed a paper restoration technique that was developed by the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, Germany after a devastating fire in 2004. Large parts of their collection, with many unique books and handwritten sheet music from the Age of Enlightenment, were destroyed. A substantial part however, was found in good enough condition to be restored. This was achieved by integrating the burnt and brittle ancient paper into a new, handmade sheet of paper. Lahuis appropriated this technique, which physically embodies the integration of the old into the new, to reproduce burnt contemporary images and texts that deal with the tension between integration and disintegration.
The series on view consists of seven so-called ‘pressure maps’. These maps show the changing pressure levels over the EU. The lines that run through these images are constantly shifting as if the continent is not divided by borders, but by ever changing weather patterns. The maps seem to be slammed into the paper and the image of the continent disintegrates differently with every forecast, each work corresponding to one day of the week.
An accompanying sculptural installation consists of a cascade, with water silently running over a slab of wet clay. On this piece of clay one can read the introduction page of a recent scientific article from renowned magazine Nature. During Brexit, a team of scientists inadvertently concluded extensive research into a ‘geological Brexit’ that happened 450.000 years ago. The article describes the erosion of a chalk ridge that once connected the United Kingdom to continental Europe. Lahuis reproduced the first page of this article in Weald Clay, which is the exact clay the article mentions as having played an important role in the erosion of the land that was once the Dover Strait.
In his presentation Lahuis uses different forms of erosion to emphasise a multi-layered tension between integration and disintegration. The story of the formation and geological history of Europe, as well as the ephemeral pressure patterns constantly allude to and resonate with the political and climatic upheavals of our time.
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Friend of a Friend 2018 Warsaw
Leto Gallery hosts Dürst Britt & Mayhew
Lift Off Land Ahoy! – Sybren Renema
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.
His latest videowork ‘Discovery’ follows a piece of wood from the deck of British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s (1868-1912) first polar vessel, the Discovery, as it floats through the stratosphere. For this video Renema collaborated with SendIntoSpace, a company that specialises in commercial flights with stratospheric weather balloons. Point of launch was Dundee, where the restored Discovery can be visited. After having reached a height of 32 kilometers, the wooden relic and camera landed back in the North of England and were recovered using GPS. The continuity between polar travel and space flight, which Renema highlights with this work, is a phenomenon that has often been commented upon. Besides this, the work reflects on the general human tendency to escapism.
The neon sculpture accompanying the video quotes Robert Falcon Scott. ‘Great God! This is an awful place’ are the words he 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 both video and neon were shown at the Antarctic Pavilion as part of the Venice Biennial. At LETO a series of collages showing images of snowy mountains now form an extra layer in this Antarctic storyline. 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.
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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:
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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
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For our first participation in Artissima in 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo exhibition by Sybren Renema.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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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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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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.
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.
Reviews and features
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.
Reviews and features
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.
Reviews and features
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.
Reviews and features
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.
Reviews and features