Huib Haye van der Werf

  • Saodat Ismailova, Zukhra, 2013, HD video installation, 30 min., color, stereo. Installation view. Photo: Studio Hans Wilschut.
    picks May 25, 2023

    Saodat Ismailova

    Saodat Ismailova’s first major solo institutional exhibition, “18,000 Worlds,” surveys more than a decade of films, sculptures, and research work. Carrying across the artist’s mystical and visually dense practice are stylistic elements including the incorporation of grainy archival footage, written and spoken interpretations of dreams, and the filming of traditional rituals and weather-worn landscapes.

    The first film on display, Zukhra, 2013, offers an unambiguous framing of a bed in a barren room. The very gradual rising and falling of light reveals the bed as either empty or with a female figure

  • Thomas Demand, chaffinch, 2020, ink-jet print, 67 3⁄4 × 53 1⁄8". From the series “Model Studies IV,” 2020.

    Thomas Demand

    Even for those already familiar with Thomas Demand and his photographic restagings of preexisting images via elaborate ephemeral paper models, the retrospective “House of Card,” curated by Valerie Verhack, offered fresh insights. As Demand observes in a video interview playing at the beginning of the show, the model is an underexposed and undertheorized aspect of contemporary society. And while the artist is known for building his models on a one-to-one scale, in this show he dabbled in different ratios. By doing so, Demand sought to explore the relationship between model and perspective; the

  • Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Sterile, 2014, goldfish, dimensions variable.

    Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen

    In a conversation discussing their approach to “Palms Palms Palms,” a show surveying the past ten years of their work, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen referred to the concept of apophenia, the tendency to perceive connections between unrelated things. The London-based duo’s work possesses this quality in spades: Taking place in the realms of artistic research, production, and presentation and reaching into our global systems of production, mechanization, and investment, their investigations postulate relationships between raw materials, human and animal labor, capital, extraction, industrial

  • View of “Rodrigo Hernández,” 2020.

    Rodrigo Hernández

    A wide, waist-high white plinth stood in the middle of the narrow front room of the gallery. Behind it, a slim temporary wall, also white, blocked the view to the rest of the larger space beyond. This created the corridor-like setup that Rodrigo Hernández, who divides his time between Lisbon and his native Mexico City, designed for his recent exhibition “Dampcloot.” The show included nine playful, intensely colorful papier-mâché sculptures, all likewise titled Dampcloot and numbered 1 to 9 (all works 2020). Placed close together on that plinth in the center of the room, they seemed to explode

  • Charlotte Dumas, Yorishiro, 2020, 2K video, color, sound, 19 minutes 35 seconds.

    Charlotte Dumas

    On Yonaguni, the westernmost inhabited island of Japan, live approximately 120 horses, animals particular to this place yet whose arrival remains somewhat of a mystery to this day. Their isolation however, has kept their existence unique and their bloodline pure. Charlotte Dumas first visited this island in 2015 with the intention—as with all her recent work—to photographically capture the profound and potentially supernatural relationship between humans and animals. What initially came of this visit was an elaborate series of delicately staged photographs as well as the video work Shio (Tide),

  • Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Faz que vai / Set to Go, 2015, 2K video, color, sound, 11 minutes 50 seconds.

    Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca

    In this exhibition, Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca presented You Are Seeing Things, a video triptych offering unpretentious insight into the multifaceted interconnectedness of Brazilian popular culture. The Brazilian duo showed that culture to be a composite of tradition, queerness, kinship, and proclamation. Dance, music, and belief all play a significant role in each of the videos, which focus on contemporary culture in Northeast Brazil, and particularly the city of Recife, where the artists are based. All of the performers and actors are real dancers, bystanders, MCs, singers, and

  • Meiro Koizumi, We Mourn The Dead of the Future, 2019, five-channel video installation, color, sound, 49 minutes 51 seconds. Installation view.

    Meiro Koizumi

    For his fifth solo exhibition at Annet Gelink Gallery in Amsterdam, Meiro Koizumi continued the trajectory of his previous work, forcing viewers to reckon with their own personal value systems by setting individual ethics against the moral codes of the state and/or our collective culture(s). At the entrance to the show, the charcoal drawing Fog #3, 2019, greeted visitors with its unsettling depiction of a woman beaming serenely outward while holding something smoldering in her bare hands. On an adjacent wall was House, 2019, a trio of small frames, each containing nearly identical typed accounts

  • Patricia Kaersenhout, Objects of Love and Desire: Solange Fitte-Duval, 2019, digitally printed cotton, beads, African fabrics, wooden dowel, 74 3⁄4 × 54 3⁄4".

    Patricia Kaersenhout

    In this exhibition, the Dutch artist and activist Patricia Kaersenhout poked at the power of portraiture to both enshrine and unseat. She paired images of privileged white men—traditionally guardians of the Western historical narrative—alongside new textile works that depict accomplished women of color, whom history has overlooked or possibly wished to let be forgotten. “Objects of Love and Desire,” her title for both the show and the latter series, foregrounded the personal urgency and commitment with which she portrays her subjects, while offering the audience a sense of (overdue) celebration.

  • TR Ericsson, 45’s, 2018, graphite, resin, and funerary ash on muslin, 59 × 82 5⁄8".

    TR Ericsson

    TR Ericsson’s “Industrial Poems—Poémes Industriels” was a very private yet despairing portrait of the relationship between a mother and son. The artist captures this relationship in two phases: the period during which he had to deal with his mother’s mental instability; and his life after her suicide. Ericsson’s art reflects his experiences with a great deal of intimacy, and at first this felt uncomfortable, as if one were intruding on personal affairs. Yet its resonance was more than just personal; rather, it was an eerie reminder of the socioeconomic wasteland of the postindustrial American

  • picks June 20, 2018

    Irene Kopelman

    Irene Kopelman’s latest exhibition is a compilation of works created between 2012 and 2016, all of which poetically underline yet systematically extrapolate the potential of the artist as the registrar of our diminishing natural world. Here, the artist’s role as both the objective witness and the lyrical interpreter on how to comprehend nature as a system unfolds on a metaphysical level.

    “Tree Lines”—four large abstract paintings made in 2015—is the result of a long stay in and around the Swiss town of Davos. During this period of research, Kopelman kept daily field notes on her reading of the

  • Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Winter, 2017, wood, stones, Agnès B. wool coat, wool hat, and dress. Installation view. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.

    Evelyn Taocheng Wang

    The title of Evelyn Taocheng Wang’s second solo show at Galerie Fons Welters, “Four Season of Women Tragedy,” suggests a stability amid change as part of female identity. Pain is an inevitable part of the cycle, but it will pass. Entering the gallery, one immediately felt it was a space of intimacy. The soft pink–painted walls—inspired by the color of a room at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin—were adorned with an array of drawn and painted works on paper alongside various garments and items such as shoes and handbags, all juxtaposed to form constellations soliciting a subtle kind of

  • picks December 04, 2017

    Anna Banana

    Anna Banana’s exhibition in Amsterdam is her first comprehensive retrospective in the Netherlands, a remarkably compact overview of her prolific practice as a performance artist, publisher, collector, costume designer, and integral contributor to the International Mail-Art Network (IMAN). The guiding principle of her work is interactivity, with the fruit of her nom de plume as the central visual element. A window display starts off the show with three illustrious costumes, including a rainbow patterned outfit made for her 1971–72 “Town Fool” project in Victoria, Canada, the piece which initiated