Anyone may read and uncover the figuration every day anew: ‘I am still alive’. As well as celebrating life, the work of art offers a tribute to art. The artwork itself declares: ‘I am still alive’. Long live art!
A painting by Maarten Ploeg at ‘Cut Painting!’ | 18 March 2023
In 1985, I viewed this painting through the eyes of a teenager at a Maarten Ploeg exhibition in the Amsterdam Gallery Jurka. I saw the same painting again in the BPD Art Collection depot, as I was selecting art works from storage for the exhibition 'Cut Painting!'. The Maarten Ploeg painting now forms part of the artworks I have assembled on the walls of the Burgerweeshuis.
Three paintings by Lucassen in ‘Cut Painting!’ | 24 February 2023
I have compiled three paintings by Reinier Lucassen in the 'Cut Painting!' exhibition, dating from various years. Next to each other all in a row, I have shaped Lucassen's work into a triptych on the wall opposite the interior playground belonging to the former Burgerweeshuis.
It has taken a while, but the art work ensemble in the underground metro station at Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam, is now complete again and fully restored at last. In 1980, Louis van Gasteren together with Jan Sierhuis, Bert Griepink, Roel van den Ende and Tine Hofman created the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ for the Nieuwmarkt underground station, as part of a chain of station artworks along the Amsterdam East Line.
'Eat Your Mind: The Radical Life and Work of Kathy Acker' is a book by Jason McBride published in 2022, that sheds light on the life of Kathy Acker (1947-1997). It is the first full-scale authorized biography of the pioneering, experimental writer Kathy Acker. In addition to paying detailed attention to her other work, this biography also dedicates several pages to the theatrical performance: 'The Birth of the Poet'. What a pleasure to finally read something about the background and creation of this 'Gesamtkunstwerk' by Kathy Acker, Richard Foreman, Peter Gordon and David Salle!
A recent acquisition - the announcement card by Dutch artist Maarten Ploeg for the 1985 exhibition 'XYZ' at Zeno X Gallery, Gent, Belgium. A nice addition to my collection of interesting invitation cards by artists I like, or still like.
After all: A painting is never finished | 19 October 2021
This is one of my favourites in the early invitation collection, dating from my youth. On the front is a painting by Maarten Ploeg, from 1981.
I was fourteen then, when the re-emergence of expressive painting ('Neue Wilden') in Germany and Europe also flourished in the Netherlands, with a.o. Maarten Ploeg and Peter Klashorst at the forefront.
During the exhibition 'Ik schilder, dus ik ben', Maarten Ploeg together with Peter Klashorst painted over their paintings on show. After all: 'A painting is never finished'.
Let me show you three nice invitations cards from my ‘Dokoupiliana’ collection. The first is the invite to Georg Dokoupil’s impressive exhibition ‘Corporations & Products’, in Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne in 1985, consisting of paintings and sculptures of brand names in clay and paint. On the outer side, a portrait of the artist in a beret, pipe in mouth, in front of the ‘Rolex’ painting.
Early Drawings (1984) out of the Dustbin | 18 March 2019
Drawings by Martijn Sandberg from 1984, fished out of the dustbin. A mixture of visual puns and rhymes, twisted titles and names. The series is about art, artworks and trends in the art world of the time that have now become art history. The three early drawings may also be seen as a portrait of the artist at the age of seventeen.
Another gem from the personal archive, and a good read: the handwritten pamphlet by 'Gruppe Normal' - Peter Angermann, Jan Knap and Milan Kunc -, published in conjunction with a show held at Neue Galerie, Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen (D), in 1981.
Exvitations for Beautiful Exhibitions | 31 August 2018
Here are some cards, photographed in August 2018, from my personal archive of invitations to several René Daniëls exhibitions I visited in my teens.
Every one of them little works of art - with a drawing on the front the artist made specifically to announce the exhibition. The invitation as an 'Exvitation for Beautiful Exhibitions'; 'Innodiging voor Mooie Tentoonstellingen'.
Inventory Post-War Wall Art Amsterdam | 6 December 2018
In the last two years at the request of the City Council, Amsterdam monumental wall art from the post-war reconstruction period (1945-1975) was listed and evaluated.
On Thursday 6 December 2018, the Amsterdam city council organised a symposium around the inventory and the survey. A number of speakers at this symposium, including Martijn Sandberg, discussed post-war monumental wall art from different perspectives.
Through The Lens of Louis van Gasteren | 1 March 2018
Louis van Gasteren (1922-2016) was a filmmaker, visual artist and 'seismographer of his time'. In 2011, Louis van Gasteren rang to invite me to visit him, in response to my contribution to the call for preservation of original artworks during the Amsterdam metro stations' Oostlijn renovation. Van Gasteren created the Gesamtkunstwerk 'Greetings from the Nieuwmarkt' in the station Nieuwmarkt with Jan Sierhuis, Bert Griepink, Roel van den Ende and Tine Hofman.
Many people consider De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) Head Office at Frederiksplein to rank among the ugliest buildings in Amsterdam.
De Nederlandsche Bank is located where the Paleis voor Volksvlijt (Palace for National Industry) went up in flames in 1929. Some call for the De Nederlandsche Bank to be demolished in favour of rebuilding the Paleis voor Volksvlijt.
Demolishing De Nederlandsche Bank, however, would imply the permanent loss of an intriguing artwork to the Amsterdam street scene.
Artworks metro stations Early Documents | 5 August 2011
As a follow-up to the 'Demolition Ball and Battle of Waterloo' text in English and Dutch in my June blog, here is a collection of early documents related to the artworks created for the Amsterdam metro stations in the Seventies and early Eighties.
This historic material, photographed in July 2011, comes from the archives of Louis van Gasteren.
Demolition Ball and Battle of Waterloo | 29 June 2011
There is a danger that distinctive works of art created in the Seventies and early Eighties will vanish from several stations, as part of the Amsterdam Metro East Line renovation.
It is of real cultural importance to mount a campaign and take direct action to retain the works of art still existing in the metro stations, and to protect them from the strokes of the demolition ball.