Works by seven artists
Anna Barham (GB), Harold de Bree (NL), gerlach en koop (NL), Ian Hamilton Finlay (GB), Isabel Nolan (IR), Machiel van Soest (NL), Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (KOR/USA).
Stroom Premium is a subsidy for artists in a period of self enforced intensification, condensation and/or acceleration. It allows them to exploit this phase to the full and to attain further deepening and development of their work. In 2006 the first Stroom Premiums were awarded to the Hague artists Harold de Bree, Machiel van Soest and the duo gerlach en koop. In order to focus special attention on this extraordinary award and the work of the honoured artists Stroom invited British curator Francis McKee to put together an exhibition. Under the title 'Lost Tongues Rediscovered' he brought their work together with that of some foreign artists.
'All artists find their own language, often retrieving links between words, objects and ideas that have been forgotten or obscured. That process is highlighted in this exhibition where each of the selected artists develops their own unique form of representation. In several cases, their work makes explicit reference to the visual impact of words themselves. At other times, they point to the potential for form, sculpture and colour to create symbolic languages. Equally each of the artists rediscovers the power of older visual languages whether it is Roman architecture, neoclassical sculpture, '60s minimalism or cold war weapons design.'
In 'Lost Tongues Rediscovered' consider the relationship between word and thing or between the object and its' representation. Harold de Bree -winner of the Den Haag Sculptuur Rabobank Award 2007- uses simple industrial materials to construct quasi replicas of objects that defy nature. gerlach en koop demand an attentiveness to minimal detail that refocuses our perception of our surroundings. At times, by showing almost nothing, they change everything. Machiel van Soest reworks the language of abstract painting to imply a more symbolic reading of the simple facts in paint he seems to present. Ian Hamilton Finlay constantly produced a series of prints, postcards and books throughout his life that persistently interrogated the relationship between word and thing. Like Harold de Bree, he often confronts nature with the most aggressive fruits of technology and like Machiel van Soest, he is unafraid to consider the polemic nature of art. Anna Barham traces the reconstruction of a section of a Libyan/Roman ruin, Leptis Magna, in 18th century Britain. Through a dizzying series of anagrams the language of classical architecture morphs into other, unexpected, dimensions. Isabel Nolan creates an animation that slowly evolves from a sequence of painted forms into a sequence of e-mails - a one-sided conversation on the nature of emptiness where even the language describing the phenomenon is stolen. Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries recover the language of 60s jazz and evoke the explosive typographies of Jean Luc Godard in their vertiginous narratives and poetic meditations. Often working across linguistic boundaries, the word momentarily becomes the thing as it simultaneously builds another link in the evolving meaning of the flashing sentences.
Francis McKee is interim director at the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art) in Glasgow and next to it responsible for the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art. Many years he maintains a very interesting website with essays about contemporary art and culture.
The exhibition is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Foundation. Publications Ian Hamiilton Finlay courtesy the Glasgow School of Art.
Stroom Den Haag focuses on the urban environment from the viewpoint of visual arts, architecture, urban development and design.
Stroom Den Haag
2514 HA The Hague The Netherlands
Wednesday thru Sunday 12-5 pm