September 4 - 29
Saturday September 7, 5-7pm
The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Dutch Colorists, a group show including the work of Barbara Rink, Daniel Mullen, Pieter de Bruyn Kops, Rob Bouwman, Willem van der Weide, and Neil Fortune. These artists, all living and working in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, represent an exciting new artistic movement: though they are not consciously a group nor work in the same mediums, their work revolves almost entirely around color. Color is the defining principal, the starting point, and abstraction blossoms from there. In the words of the co-curator, Dutch-American artist Pieter de Bruyn Kops, “Abstract colorism is a celebration of light, of creativity, of painting. Color defines spatiality.” This show captures a bright phenomenon rippling through the studios of Amsterdam.
In a country known throughout the world as the home to the early giants of Landscape and Figure painting (Vermeer, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Bruegel), and some leaders of Abstract Painting (Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Jan Schoonhoven), this show highlights another stage of Dutch painting: the spacious, playful, and abundant use of color.
Barbara Rink, Born 1978, lives and works in Amsterdam (NL). Her artistic practice consists of installations around painting and color. After graduating in 2000 from the Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK) she has participated in various artist residencies and shows. She has participated in recent group and solo shows at Bergarde Galleries, Haus34a, Kers Gallery, BRADWOLFF Projects and Soledad Senlle Art Foundation. Residencies include Haus34a (DE), URRA (AR), Santa Fe Art Institute (NM), Vermont Studio Center (VT).
Alongside her artistic practice Barbara Rink teaches film at Eye film museum and produces creative workshop events for companies. She is a recurring art tutor at the Minerva Academy of Art in Groningen en Artez School of Interior Design in Zwolle.
Barbara Rink focusses on the visible spectrum of colors and how they can construct meaning in space. Escapism, surrender and temporality are recurring themes in her work that bring abstraction together with historical painterly aspects. Illusion, two-and three dimensionality and the merging of painting and architecture inform Rink’s sculptural pop-up installations of painted paper, projections and photography. She explores the limits and possibilities of painting itself.
“I like to look at the tradition of painting in other forms then just the canvas, like fresco’s, altar pieces or as part of the architecture and dark corners of deep caves. Painting has the potential to tell a story as well as transforming the space around it.”
For the show Dutch Colorist Barbara has created Deep Dive; a 40-yard-long watercolor installed in the gallery space. Deep Dive, loosely based on a color scheme of a Botticelli painting, is not only coming from above to below like a waterfall of colors, it’s a deep dive into the entities of colors themselves, casting a spell around the room.
Amsterdam based abstract architectural painter, Daniel Mullen, was born in Glasgow, Scotland 1985. He graduated in 2011 with a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Mullen has exhibited internationally; London, Vancouver, New York, Sao Paulo and recently had his first museum show in Berlin. His work has also been acquired by notable private and corporate collections. He was recently shortlisted for the Aesthetica art Prize.
By applying glazed layers in combination with hard-edge painted lines, Mullen creates layered images that figuratively communicate abstract concepts. When creating illusionistic forms he can, to some degree, illustrate an abstract idea or phenomenon, turning abstraction on its head. Driven by a sense that abstract art does not simply reproduce perceived outward reality but can be instead a transference of that which lies beyond our visual comprehension. It’s an artistic form -- if one follows Kandinsky's take -- that is the result of “an inner necessity”. Mullen creates a complex affect that manages to suggest the incarnation of something grand and vast yet also perhaps just that; a suggestion and not a reality. An illusion, and not the truth. As a devoted craftsman who meticulously creates all of his work without digital or mechanical aids, he still manages to create the impression of reproducibility, which is precisely what he seeks to highlight in an era of mass consumption.
Pieter de Bruyn Kops
Pieter de Bruyn Kops is a Dutch-American architect, designer and painter. He was born in Washington D.C. (1979) and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and Jakarta, Indonesia. Pieter currently lives and works in Amsterdam and is now primarily focused on painting and furniture design.
From a very early age Pieter showed both a great passion and real talent for art, primarily through drawing and painting.
At Walt Whitman high school Pieter was fortunate enough to study under the brilliant and inspiring tutelage of Walter Bartman, perhaps the most prolific American high school art teacher of his era. During this time Pieter became an even more inspired artist-in-the-making, spending almost half his school time in the art studio, and much of his free time drawing and painting. At the age of 17, and as a culmination of this period, Pieter held his first solo art exhibition, Formation of an Identity at the Yellow Barn Gallery in 1997.
After High School, Pieter decided to pursue an education in architecture at the University of Maryland. During this time he continued to paint and to take elective courses in art. His most notable art teacher during this time was the painter W.C. Richardson. In 2001, Pieter returned to the Yellow Barn Gallery with second solo exhibition entitled Between Primaries which featured square canvases painted in an Abstract Colorist manner and meticulous drawings based on the techniques he had learned in Architecture school.
After receiving his Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland's School of Architecture in 2002, Pieter went to London, to the Architectural Association, to study and receive a Master's degree from the more theoretical and philosophical Housing & Urbanism program. During this period, and in the decade to come, Pieter focused primarily on architecture, both working in offices and continuing his studies.
After his time at the Architectural Association, Pieter immigrated to the Netherlands where is family originally came from, finally settling in Amsterdam. Here Pieter attended the Master of Architecture program at the Academy of Architecture, while working at a number of notable architectural firms, the most influential being the Architecture firm of Koen van Velsen.
During Pieter’s Diploma project, Pieter used the medium of portrait painting to gain access to the lives and stories of 3 widows that helped inform and inspire him, and who in turn received these portraits as thanks for their time and open-heartedness.
After finishing his architecture studies, and becoming an Architect in 2010, Pieter entered into an economy that was in the midst of the Great Recession. Eventually all of the work in architecture dried up and Pieter was faced with an uncertain future. It was at this point that he returned to painting, and began to design industrial objects, most notably furniture.
Since his return to painting, Pieter has focused on a number of series of paintings. The first being the Bouncy Balls, followed by the series of Slugs. These series were both studies of projectiles, one playful and one dreadful, and the identity that they gain from the fleeting moments that these objects are set into motion. Both of these series, along with a few pieces of furniture, formed the core of his first solo exhibition in 15 years, Returned.
From these series Pieter’s focus evolved into a fascination of celestial objects in a dark space. The series that resulted from this fascination is Dark Space Dark Matter, which also resulted in the solo exhibition of the same name, and marked the end of both this series, and the dark, limited palette that he had been using in both the Slugs and in Dark Space Dark Matter.
Draped Spaces is the series that Pieter presents here at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery. These paintings are a product of Pieter’s fascination with drapery as a divider of space, as a creator of atmosphere, and with its ephemeral formal quality. In this series Pieter returns to oil paint and to the full spectrum of color; perhaps the most elemental inspiration for his current way of seeing, and of painting today.
Since his first show in 1997, Pieter's work has been collected, and hangs in spaces all over the world.
This most recent series of paintings expands on Pieter’s previous ideas of figure-ground painting with the addition of specific textures, and a border condition that is not only generated by the figure touching and interacting with the ground, but takes on its own dimension and calligraphic character. By doing so the border begins to mediate and dictate the interaction between figure and ground.
The Draped Spaces series draws a very literal, initial inspiration from drapery and begins to examine the curtain as an element that separates spaces of different qualities, and the quality that the curtain lends to the space. All of these paintings were initially generated by drawing the bottoms of the curtains that Pieter found in and around past studio spaces that today no longer exist. Indeed, part of what is communicated in these works is the painterly quality of capturing something so fleeting and preserving it indefinitely. By drawing this phenomenon in a more circular manner a figure is formed that is framed and isolated within a ground space.
Further inspiration for this series was primarily found in the fantastic history of Persian carpet-making, in the art of calligraphy, and in the ambiguous meanings that can be created by colors and textures framed in this new way.
In this series Pieter returns to using oil paint and has chosen to work on panel. Draped Spaces also marks an end to the use of the limited, dark palatte of the former series Dark Space Dark Matter, and the Slugs.
Draped Spaces is very much an examination and celebration of color.
Willem van der Weide
Willem van der Weide (1980) grew up in a small town near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as the middle son of 3 kids in a butcher family.
His mother shared her strong love for art and music, and Willem started to play the violin at the age of 9. Later he continued his violin study at Rotterdam conservatory, where he graduated in 2005. In this year he also started with painting, as an autodidact. In 2016 he started to work on the ‘Dot series' which are loosely based on the starry night sky.
In my new series of abstract paintings, i am entering into a dialogue with paint. I create surfaces reminiscent of stains, through the application of pure undiluted oil paint the raw linen acts like a sponge.
The stains are built up through multiple layers, creating void like centers that gradually recede into the linen.
Each stain is unique and is part of a larger space. The linen functions as space between the stains but also connects them. The dark void like stains draw you in, while the remaining spaces of open linen acts like a counter to the void. It is only when one is standing in front of the work that the subtle nuances in colour and form are clearly visible. From a distance the colours blend and the stains interact, resulting in a sense of space that contracts and expands before your eyes.
As a child i often dreamt about exploring an endless universe. In this universe I would be pulled through a black hole disappearing into a huge nothingness. I think what i longed for but also feared was to be somewhere that was alienated from the world we live in. Diving into an unknown place and being there alone. That for me is the power of working in abstraction; the rules are unknown and everything we accept as familiar does not exist. I am an explorer of the void and I use paint and Linen as my conduits.
Neil Fortune (1983) is a Georgetown Guyana-born, Dutch artist based in Amsterdam. Fortune started his former studies at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy in Paramaribo Suriname where he was trained in drawing and painting before moving to the Netherlands with a scholarship offered by the Dutch government to study Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
In recent years, Fortune’s works have been the subject of solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as MUHKA Antwerp (Belgium), TENT Rotterdam (The Netherland), Summer Show Gemeente Museum Den Haag (The Netherlands), C & H-Gallery Amsterdam. In 2017 his works were nominated winners of the Summer Show hosted at Nieuw Dakota and Francis Boeske Project (The Netherlands). Galerie23 (The Netherlands), was the host of his first and second solo exhibitions in 2013 and 2016. Fortune's latest solo exhibition, Distorted Reality, was exhibited in the Polar Room at W139 in Amsterdam. Fortune is currently working on new projects for his upcoming 2019 solo exhibition in Houston Texas (USA).
Through the sculptural objects and environments that I create, I engage and question normative conventions in relation to our contemporary behaviors. Within my creative process, using formulated abstracted and non-abstracted objects created with diverse materials, I allow my materials to re-think certain conventions. This way I produce a set of new, strange and sometimes familiar situations.
With these ambiguous objects, I try to generate moments that will allow the viewer to slow down, to think, to look and try to make relations for themselves—to rethink one’s roles and positions towards these objects, and in relation to the spaces they inhabit. I wish for these objects to create propositions, not to clearly define anything, but rather to create a space for the viewer to be a critical observer, to engage and question. For within the formulation of these moments new possibilities are created. In my recent solo exhibition, Distorted Reality at W139, I created a stage built-up of a number of objects that invite the visitor into an ambivalent relationship with their surroundings. At times they felt uncertain as to the works material quality, origin, and purpose. Distorted Reality was meant to emphasize the added value of evocative and physical experiences, engaging us in a dialogue with the work in a constructed environment based purely on form, size, and color.