Micky Piller

  • “Pier + Ocean”; “Art in Europe After '68”

    “What is contemporary art?” remains a viable question, though two museums in Holland and one in Belgium proposed answers—typically, with retrospectives. In Venice there was talk about the future (in the “Aperto ’80” exhibition), but in Otterlo and Ghent the near past as it elucidates the present was the main concern. The late ’60s and early ’70s, and particularly 1968, marked the advent of new attitudes towards art, museums and galleries; curators Gerhard Von Graevenitz and Jan Hoet reflected upon these periods. In Europe, both shows provoked many discussions before their openings.

    The Otterlo

  • Gerhard Richter

    An exhibition of two paintings is an exception in a European museum, but Gerhard Richter’s work is the subject of such a show. These were no normal paintings. Commissioned for the interior of a school in Soest, West Germany, each painting consists of several canvases combined to form a length of 20 meters. Unfortunately, the walls in the museum were not big enough, and the works were forced to form a corner. But even compromised, one could see the vigor which characterizes Richter’s work.

    Born in 1932, Richter went to the Academy of Dresden in the German Democratic Republic and to the Academy of

  • Sigurdur Gudmundsson

    The photographs of Sigurdur Gudmundsson always leave me with a mixture of gaiety and sadness. In all of his "Situations as he calls his work. there is a lone man performing an action. The atmosphere is one of poetic tristesse, the sadness of a man struggling in isolation for purity and beauty.

    Gudmundsson was born in Iceland. In the 60s. he made contact with artists from the Sum Gallery in Reykjavik. These artists were in touch with West Germany’s Fluxus Movement: their influence determined his early work. In 1970, he went to live in Amsterdam and fixed his work on a religious basis—not the normal

  • Arnulf Rainer

    Austrian by birth, Arnulf Rainer is an artist who creates from the negative. His first success came from his “Übermahlungen” (over-paintings) in which he literally painted a layer of color over an existing painting (often a self-portrait), leaving one small part of the original painting untouched. This same technique was repeated with drawings and etchings. These were followed by his “Selbstdarstellungen” (Self-exposures) where he aggressively violated photographs of himself and others: reminding one of street posters in which faces are demolished."

    Mental illness, particularly that of artists,

  • Jan Dibbets

    Jan Dibbets’ work is Dutch as Dutch can be. Last February the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven held an exhibition of his work from 1972–80.

    Born in 1941, Dibbets was originally a painter. He went to the Academy in Tilburg and studied for some time at London’s St. Martin ’s School of Art. Around 1967, he decided that painting had led him to a dead end, and that the next logical step was total three-dimensionality.

    After this sidestep into sculpture Dibbets found his way: he made a number of projects about light like “The Shadows In My Studio”, 1969, a sequence of photographs taken every ten