Neighbour North Sea; Quartair, The Hague

Tanja Engelberts

If Egypt is the Gift of the Nile, the Netherlands are the Gift of the North Sea.

Astrid Nobel

The North Sea gives this country international trade, fish and other seafood, oil, wind energy, sand, recreation, communication, fertile land, an enormous sewer, enviable wealth and economic power.

Astrid Nobel

The Dutch derive their self-importance from its supposedly heroic battle with the sea water.

Astrid Nobel

With the rising of the sea levels due to climate change, this battle may well become less heroic.

Astrid Nobel

Moreover, the Dutch seem to take the North Sea for granted; its economic and military exploitation continues intensively.

Astrid Nobel

In doing so, the idea of necessity is usually directly linked to an efficient business model.

Sheng-Wen Lo

To the Dutch necessity means business: if there is no business in it, it is not necessary.

Sheng-Wen Lo

In that they don’t differ from their North Sea neighbours Germany, Denmark, Norway, Britain, France and Belgium.

Sheng-Wen Lo

It’s just that the Dutch derive their national pride from it.

Laura Schippers

The North Sea also gave Dutch art the idea of seascapes.

Laura Schippers

Especially the ones from the seventeenth century became immensely popular nationally and internationally, and laid the foundation for an artistic tradition.

Laura Schippers

A more postmodern or post-postmodern tradition can be experienced in Quartair’s present show Neighbour North Sea, featuring works by Tanja Engelberts (1987), Sheng-Wen Lo (1987), Astrid Nobel (1983) and Laura Schippers (1985).

Tanja Engelberts

Indeed some of the exploitation of our maritime neighbour can be seen and interpreted in the show.

Tanja Engelberts

However, it also shows very diverse aesthetics and ways of seeing and feeling.

Tanja Engelberts

Whether it is the monumentality of an obsolete oil platform, or the sheer magic of the sea itself.

Tanja Engelberts

By the way, i wrote an article about one of the works on show by Astrid Nobel in Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the article in VLR (in Dutch).

Tanja Engelberts

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and to Quartair, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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