Paul Klemann & Cedric ter Bals, Elective Affinities (Die Wahlverwandtschaften); Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Cedric ter Bals

Surely, it is to be hoped for that this exhibition will end not even half as catastrophic as Goethe’s Elective Affinities.

Paul Klemann

It must be said though that many in this sheer infinite abundance of drawings by Paul Klemann (1960) and Cedric ter Bals (1990) at Galerie Maurits van de Laar are quite inauspicious. Perhaps that is less so for Klemann’s drawings with their surrealist scenes, although you never know in surrealism.

Cedric ter Bals

There is always a double entendre and objects and situations in these drawings may not always be what you would wish for. The sweetest desires may turn out to be as hot as a Madame Jeanette pepper.

Cedric ter Bals

In Ter Bals’s drawings it is more a matter of re-living a catastrophe, in particular World War I. That catastrophe was indeed death ridden to the utmost.

Cedric ter Bals

Millions of soldiers died quite for nothing and military heroism became not much more than a mockery (as it so often is).

Paul Klemann

In Ter Bals’s work it is both mockery and seriousness, well, they are not even two sides of one coin, they are both sides in one.

Cedric ter Bals

Apart from a plethora of drawings – varying from monumental to small and cartoonlike – he also shows pages of the sequel to his 2019 comic book Tagebuch Oskar von Balz (Oskar von Balz’s Diary), about which i wrote quite extensively in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch; click here).

Paul Klemann

The elective affinity between the two artists is that Ter Bals saw work by Klemann and immediately saw a kindred spirit in him.

Paul Klemann

Such that he wanted to be coached by Klemann, who has of course an artistic experience of quite a few decades, in which Ter Bals succeeded with the help of the Mondriaan Fund.

Cedric ter Bals

There are indeed similarities between the works of the two artists in spite of the generation gap.

Paul Klemann

Both artists are uncompromising in what their unbridled imagination forces them to draw. One could describe it as an amoral stance towards imagination.

Paul Klemann, Cedric ter Bals

However, that is one thing, another is that the imagination has to be presented on a piece of paper with pencils etc.

Cedric ter Bals

So, the imagination, unbridled and amoral as it is, has to be moulded such that it has a maximum impact on the viewer. Both are masters in doing so. But indeed a younger artist always needs support in it.

Cedric ter Bals

There are however  great differences as well. For instance Klemann uses space in quite another way than Ter Bals does.

Paul Klemann

Klemann’s space is usually quite well defined although it is also elastic like in a dream, while in Ter Bals space can be quite flat or non-existent if there is no need for it.

Paul Klemann, Cedric ter Bals

Also Ter Bals usually has well defined personalities who tell part of the same story if you see more of his works. His works can stand on their own, but become more meaningful in the context of the rest of his work.

Paul Klemann

That even counts for his more monumental drawings which try to be so comprehensive.  A lot more could be said about the works of both artists, but i leave that to others for the time being.

Cedric ter Bals

If you have no ability to put things into perspective, or if you have no sense of humour, this show may be a challenge which i heartily recommend to you.

Paul Klemann

But even if you are less disabled you should take enough time to see everything in this exceptionally full exhibition. Enjoy, and be moved and astonished!

Cedric ter Bals

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 Paul Klemann, Cedric ter Bals and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Andrea Freckmann & Dodo Albrecht, Randstücke und Zwischenstücke; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann

Andrea Freckmann (1970) and Dodo Albrecht (1972) present their works in a homely atmosphere at Galerie Maurits van de Laar.

Dodo Albrecht
Dodo Albrecht
Dodo Albrecht

Albrecht’s ceramic works all have a character of their own, and if you see more of them they are a sometimes awkward but intriguing company.

Dodo Albrecht
Dodo Albrecht

They are vases that don’t want to identify as vases.

Dodo Albrecht
Dodo Albrecht

They are a bit like human beings who are constantly worried about their identities, while they still remain human beings after all.

Dodo Albrecht
Dodo Albrecht

They are also works that go back to the historic basics of ceramics, in which pottery was not just practical but also spiritual.

Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann
Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann

They fit in very well with Freckmann’s paintings of interiors, in which they now and then appear.

Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann
Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann

You may call them genre paintings, but that sounds much too stuffy and old-fashioned for Freckmann’s interiors which are full of wonder and magic.

Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann
Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann

Birds play an important role in these interiors, but also in smaller paintings which come as a kind of extras to the big ones.

Andrea Freckmann

Especially the blackbird seems to be a favourite of Freckmann’s, as a messenger from the outside world, with its pride, constant attentiveness and its lyrical singing.

Andrea Freckmann
Andrea Freckmann
Andrea Freckmann

Here you see the blackbirds as far as i could spot them in the show; it’s up to you to find the paintings they belong to.

Andrea Freckmann
Andrea Freckmann

Apart from blackbirds there are more birds in the paintings; i spotted song thrush, white wagtail, blue tit, nuthatch, tree creeper, robin, jay, African grey parrot, an indefinable  song bird species, a kind of gull, a decorative bird and the swallow of the famous matchbox.

Andrea Freckmann
Andrea Freckmann

They intermingle with Albrecht’s vases and with other objects, who, in spite of their different characters, become part of the fabric of both the real world and the interior world.

Andrea Freckmann

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

(Right click to enlarge pictures)

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© Villa Next Door 2022

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Dodo Albrecht, Andrea Freckmann and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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