Recent Gallery Exhibitions in Amsterdam
This past weekend, several galleries in Amsterdam opened their doors on Saturday evening to celebrate the opening or closing of new and recent exhibitions. My first stop was to visit Ornis A. Gallery’s presentation of paintings by Bart Kok. His solo exhibition The Ideology of Pipe Smoking features works in intense, saturated tones that are often figural, but with a touch of humor and surrealism.
Walking along the same street, the photographs in the window of Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen immediately caught my attention so I went in to inquire about the artist. Inside, not only did I find a beautiful show of Steve Fitch’s images capturing nostalgic and quintessentially ‘American’ landscapes, but also an impeccably curated collection of photographs from artists the gallery represents - including pieces from Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression series.
Also nearby is Stigter van Doesburg, which is currently featuring a solo show by Amie Dicke. According to the gallery press release: “The Liver Must Go To The Images brings together new works, which deploy printed matter as a sculptural material. Pictures pulled from various sources – including newspaper clippings, fashion magazines and art monographs – are broken down and built up into new image-objects wherein the partial obliteration of pictorial content becomes another mode of inscription.” Of particular interest were two smaller works tucked away in the back corner entitled My split self and My split self II, 2016.
Prelude: Forever Someone Else at GRIMM gallery’s Keizersgracht location (they also have a second outpost in Amsterdam and another space in New York) features a selection of works by Desiree Dolron. Their press release explains:
“The exhibition is a prelude to a larger body of work that will be the subject of a new monograph, scheduled for publication in 2020.
The title ‘Forever Someone Else’ refers to a book of selected poems by Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), a writer, philosopher, mystic and astrologer. Pessoa employed as many as 75 alter egos, referred to as heteronyms, which he deployed at will to disseminate various philosophical and theoretical views.
This exhibition reveals a body of work from Dolron never previously exhibited. Included are various self-portraits in such distinct environments that each becomes an alter ego of the artist, functioning much like Pessoa’s heteronyms. The viewer witnesses the artist adapting, changing and evolving with each situation.”
Highlights in the exhibition included a striking self-portrait of the artist as well as a triptych of photographs.
“Starting with works from 1991, the exhibition presents photographs taken in Pakistan and India, depicting Romani, the world’s oldest roaming nomad tribe. The earliest self-portrait in the exhibition features Dolron when she returned to the site in 1997, standing with an AK-47 amidst Taliban child soldiers.”
“Three individual images are shown on another wall; a speeding car, symbolizing the American dream, taken in Cuba (2002), a portrait of a beautiful girl from the Dominican Republic gazing melancholically into the camera (2001) [image], and a desert landscape shot at night in California (1990); the blacks intense, the light subdued. Together, these three images promote ideas of power and status.”
All images courtesy of the artists and their respective galleries.