A very happy 2023!!

A very happy and healthy 2023 to you, and i hope you’ll find some comfort and safety in this Villa again!

Picture: Lennart Lahuis (1986), When is it that we feel change in the air (detail), on show last year at Dürst Britt & Mayhew Gallery, The Hague.

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Lennart Lahuis and to Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Ibrahim Mahama, Garden of Scars; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

Some time ago i visited the Oude Kerk (“Old Church”) in Amsterdam to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about the installation by Ibrahim Mahama (1987), Garden of Scars. Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

As I’ve written quite extensively about the installation in VLR I leave you here with some extra pictures without comments. To see these pictures in context you’d better visit the Oude Kerk.

Click here to read the review in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Ibrahim Mahama and to Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

Bertus Pieters

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In Transfer; Gallery Nono, The Hague

Jelle Van Den Heede

Gallery Nono presently introduces four artists: Jelle Van Den Heede (1978) and Camille Truyffaut (1993) from Belgium, and Kira Fröse (1992) and Darja Eßer from Germany.

Jelle Van Den Heede
Jelle Van Den Heede

All four construct their works with great care, compelled to do so by the materials they use.

Kira Fröse

That results in precious objects that tell stories or open perspectives not just by how they look like externally, but also by the way they are made.

Kira Fröse
Kira Fröse

Craftsmanship in the sense of a careful dialogue with the physical material and the spiritual aspects it conveys, seems to be becoming the hallmark of works shown by Nono Gallery as it recently got a place of its own in town (alternating with SinArts Gallery).

Camillle Truyffaut
Camillle Truyffaut

Showing this kind of art is an invitation to viewers to take their time not just to reflect about the content of the works, but also about how they were made and thought out and in that way got their content.

Camillle Truyffaut

Visitors may reflect about the actual monumentality of the otherwise small and nuanced collages by Van Den Heede, or about the deceitfulness  of the materials in Fröse’s absurdist objects.

Darja Eßer
Darja Eßer

They may wonder about the use of the extremely lightweight Japanese tissue in Eßer’s works, almost weightless like the thoughts you carry while walking around in this world; or – almost the other way round – about the use of aquatint in Truyffaut’s works in which short and weightless observations of less than an instant seem to materialize as powerful abstract images.

Darja Eßer

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

Bertus Pieters

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Bob Eikelboom, Beyond Freedom; Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Some time ago i visited the present exhibition with works by Bob Eikelboom (1991) at Kunstmuseum The Hague to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

As I’ve written quite extensively about the show in VLR, I leave you here with some pictures of Eikelboom’s works, but not without recommending to go and see the real thing for yourself.

Click here to read the review in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch).

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Bob Eikelboom, Galerie Fons Welters and Kunstmuseum, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #155

Block with apartments, Laan van Meerdervoort.

It was built in 1907 in the very elegant style of the day, for the upper middle class.

The façade has a lot of floral decorations characteristic of the then fashionable Art Nouveau style.

© Villa Next Door 2022

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoor3.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Manhattan Masters, works from the Frick Collection; Mauritshuis, The Hague

Frans Hals

It is said that the very great Titian (1488/90-1576) maintained that a good painter only needed the colours black, white and red.

Frans Hals (detail)

Looking at this brilliant portrait by Frans Hals (1582/83-1666) one might easily agree, although the red is only present mixed with ochres in the face of the sitter.

Frans Hals (detail)

It is one of the ten paintings from the Frick Collection, New York, presently on show at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, and as such it is a good opportunity to see some of its famous works.

Isack van Ostade

Getting back to Titian, one would think Isack van Ostade (1621-1649; brother to the more famous Adriaen van Ostade) wasn’t a good painter, except if you replace black and white with dark and light. The red is centred very much in the action in front of the tavern.

Rembrandt van Rijn

An absolute highlight of the Frick’s Dutch paintings is of course this majestic self-portrait by Rembrandt (1606-1669), one of the must-sees of the exhibition. It is again the dark, light and red which are important.

Rembrandt van Rijn (detail)

The light highlights the face of the painter against the dark background, while the red sash gives a strong accent to the rest of the figure.

Follower of Rembrandt van Rijn

There is also a portrait by a follower or student of Rembrandt’s. In fact it is quite a rembrandtesque painting and quite a good one for that. One might also call it titianesque with black being the main pigment of the painting, with smaller white accents and only some red in the lips of the sitter.

Philips Wouwerman

In this small work by Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668) the red is more spread over the group of soldiers, while there are some strong white accents in the horses. As a whole it is a virtuoso composition with different structures, tones and shapes.

Carel van der Pluym

According to the catalogue Frick purchased this painting by Carel van der Pluym (1625-1672) believing it was a Rembrandt, and so paying far too much money for it. Van der Pluym was a student of Rembrandt’s but clearly not one of his best. The whole composition looks like a hotchpotch of different parts. The face looks as if it is added to a puppet, the difference in tone of the hands is unexplainable and the red of the dress is boring and amateurish.

Johannes Vermeer

This famous painting by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) is quite a different story and it is the other absolute highlight (and even more than that as far as i am concerned) of the exhibition. The difference with Van der Pluym’s gibberish couldn’t be greater.

Johannes Vermeer (detail)

Look at that brilliant red with its different shades of the soldier’s coat, returning in the decorations on his black hat, just in front of the bright, white light of the open window and opposed to the lively character of the smiling lady. What an absolute wonder it is, whether you look at it as a three-dimensional scene or as a flat abstract composition.

Aelbert Cuyp

In this work by Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) the red is in the cow at the left, the black is in the standing cow and the white is in the shepherd’s shirt, the rest is just Cuyp.

Jacob van Ruisdael

The monumental painting by Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/29-1682) has some of the usual ingredients of his invented landscapes: an old oak tree, a winding path, something with water, more trees, a deep horizon and a dramatic sky. Still you may have the idea that the Mauritshuis’ own, much smaller View of Haarlem is a far more brilliant work.

Jacob van Ruisdael, Philips Wouwerman (?) (detail)

The figures in the landscape – the noblemen (or nobleman and his servant), the two horses, the huntsman and his dog and the fisherman – are said to be painted by Wouwerman. Indeed the red in the cloak of the figure on the left and the red in the fisherman’s cap give some life to the whole composition. The same can be said about the red-coated figure in the foreground of the landscape by Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709), as usual more anecdotal, with a weaker perspective and with paler tones than in his teacher Ruisdael’s works.

Concluding: the three most impressive paintings are by the usual suspects Hals, Rembrandt and Vermeer, nice surprises are the small work by Wouwerman and the portrait by the Rembrandt follower/student, the absolute lowest point is the work by Van der Pluym, while the Ruisdael is not the most brilliant one you could dream of by that master.

Meindert Hobbema

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to the Frick Collection, New York and to the Mauritshuis, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!