Huib Haye van der Werf

  • View of “Adriano Amaral: Alloy Alloy,” 2017.
    picks May 08, 2017

    Adriano Amaral

    Adriano Amaral’s first solo show in the Netherlands (and, due to austerity measures, the last show this space will host) is an all-encompassing installation. It features a minimal yet theatrical setting in which organic-looking objects have merged with industrial materials and processes. As the exhibition’s title, “Alloy Alloy,” suggests, here is a compound of substances finding their stability through a uniquely devised blend. The artist creates partially recognizable appendages and fashions disembodied internal organs from silicone, artificial resins, glass, plastics, and ultrasound gels, all

  • Gabriel Lester, Robertas Narkus, Lisa Rosenblatt, and Freek Wambacq, Bermuda, 2016, mixed media. Installation view.

    Gabriel Lester

    To classify Gabriel Lester’s “Unresolved Extravaganza” (also known as “Unhappen,” “Apple Z,” “Præmonitions,” “The Nine Day Week,” and “Seven Hills Secrets”) as a solo show would not be correct, but it is exactly this fallacy that reveals his distinctive métier. For this overview of Lester’s collaborative works of the past twenty years, the artist steadfastly continues to do what he’s always done—namely, work with others. The exhibition was curated and produced by the artist himself—Lester had been invited to do the show by de Appel’s director, Lorenzo Benedetti, but when Benedetti was

  • Dominika Ksel, Nana Adusei-Poku, Christa Bell, and Jasmine Murrell, Shores of the Abyss, 2015, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Cassander Eeftinck-Schattenkerk. From “HowDoYouSayYaminAfrican?”

    HowDoYouSayYaminAfrican?

    HowDoYouSayYaminAfrican?—or the Yams for short—is an international collective consisting of more than forty musicians, visual artists, poets, actors, and writers. Their constellation is the coming together of race-conscious, queer, feminist, and critically discursive producers in order to reveal a nonnormative creative and intellectual alternative that might actually influence what they see as the limited and prejudiced construct of contemporary art. Although they have been working together in various forms for twenty years, their formal collaboration was instigated a year ago when

  • View of “Jonas Lund,” 2014.
    picks September 29, 2014

    Jonas Lund

    Initially, the premise of Jonas Lund’s latest show in Amsterdam would seem to address a simple yet tangled question: Can a painting become art by following instructions from a book? Painted by four hired assistants following Lund’s specific book of guidelines during the gallery’s open hours, the finished works are then photographed and uploaded to the website studio-practice.biz. A designated panel of artists, curators, dealers, and collectors reviews each piece and posts their judgments to the site as advice on which paintings should be signed and which to destroy. In this context, the gallery

  • Thomas Rentmeister, untitled, 2013, cast iron, duvet, duvet cover, approx. 6 3/4 x 139 3/4 x 82 3/4”.
    picks April 04, 2014

    Thomas Rentmeister

    Thomas Rentmeister’s work has often been referred to as “dirty Minimalism” due to his unambiguous choice of materials and the way in which their forms become abstract when presented out of context as products rather than works of art. Nutella hazelnut paste, refrigerators, and Penaten cream are arranged and mixed together as if a child had determined their placement and form in the white cubic spaces. In fact, many of the ingredients Rentmeister uses are chosen based on his childhood memories of their smell, color, and consistency. For the artist, the translation of these memories is explicitly

  • Rob Voerman, The Fifth Season (detail), 2014. Installation view.
    picks February 26, 2014

    Rob Voerman

    Rob Voerman has taken to task a direct social and political engagement in the presentation of his latest exhibition, “The Fifth Season.” This is also the title of the large installation, which seems arranged like a workshop, that one reaches first when entering the gallery: It functions as a place for discussion and other programming open to artists, political lobbyists, art institutions, and neighborhood community groups. The hanging lamp above the work’s invitingly large table is made up of slides of images culled from news coverage of war, slain animals, and crashed financial charts, among

  • Navid Nuur, ‘Untitled’ Let us meet inside you, 2005–13, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks November 12, 2013

    Navid Nuur

    Navid Nuur’s “Lube Love” presents an artist who unperturbedly incorporates the basic foundations of Conceptual art in his work, while at the same time modifying these into a completely new language. Nuur’s exhibition showcases a very personal etymology that allows room for humor, failure, beauty, sensuality, and even a hint of anthroposophism.

    The first room viewers encounter is dedicated to Nuur’s personal regard for the color black. On the wall is an large-scale text piece that details a candid fictitious interview between him and black, in which he professes his faith in its formal as well as

  • Scale model of Fairfield International, Suffolk. Photo: Fizzy Dawson Mayer.
    interviews July 02, 2013

    Ryan Gander

    Ryan Gander is an artist based in London and Suffolk, UK. Over the past decade, he has gained international acclaim for his works that question the limits of language and knowledge. He speaks here about an artist residency he has founded with Simon Turnbull named Fairfield International, which is set to open in 2014.

    AFTER I GRADUATED ART SCHOOL IN 1999, I worked at a carpet shop in Chester for some time. It was only by going to the Jan Van Eyck Academy later that year that I was prevented from the possibility of working at that shop the rest of my life. It really saved me. But there aren’t many

  • View of “Abstract Labor, or: The Happy Butcher,” 2013.
    picks May 01, 2013

    Joe Scanlan

    In the press release for Joe Scanlan’s third exhibition at this gallery, he asks why an artist should “choose the materials of painting” during a time in which artists may work without any “obligation to a medium.” This leaves the viewer to wonder: What is the role of the painter today? The answer to this inquiry, for Scanlan, has much to do with abstracted labor. Throughout the show, he presents works that examine the labor of painting before painting actually begins.

    Installed on the walls are clusters and pairs of variously sized semipainted wooden stretchers without canvases. All have cryptic

  • View of “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” 2013.
    picks February 24, 2013

    Jan De Cock

    Jan De Cock’s sixth solo show at this gallery reveals that he now stands at exciting point in his career, and that his work is taking on a new direction. The exhibition is an adaptation of “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A Romantic Exhibition,” which was on view at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden last year. In this iteration, eleven works, all from De Cock’s “JKO” series, 2012, are divided between the gallery’s two rooms.

    The show comprises two complementary kinds of works. The aesthetic of De Cock’s signature quasi-Constructivist architectural assemblages—built up of an amalgam of wood,

  • Marcell Jankovics, Sisyphus, 1974, video, black-and-white, 2 minutes 5 seconds.
    picks December 15, 2012

    “The Future That Was”

    Participating artist Heman Chong contributed the title of this ambitious group show, curated by the artist Gabriel Lester, at the recently renamed New Art Space Amsterdam (NASA), formerly Smart Project Space. The exhibition “seeks out the role that faith, fortune, and fate play in our experience of time and space,” a project that is helped greatly by Lester’s impressive installation of white curved walls that grant visitors a curious scenographic experience of the works on display. Surasi Kusolwong’s 1 Euro Amsterdam Suitcase Market (As Long as It Lasts), 2012, for instance, recalls a market

  • View of “Recent British Painting,” 2012.
    picks November 10, 2012

    “Recent British Painting”

    While the title “Recent British Painting” sounds rather customary, this group exhibition organized by writer and curator Tom Morton in Grimm Gallery’s two separate spaces is quite vivid. What makes these works British is difficult to pinpoint; not all of the eleven contributing artists are even British, although most are based in the UK. What all the works do have in common—and makes them “recent”—is an explicit relationship with painterly traditions as well as a certain risk in their materiality and realization.

    Milena Dragicevic presents canvases from her 2011 series “Erections for Transatlantica,”