Paul Groot

  • Markus Lüpertz

    If many people viewed Markus Lüpertz’s show here five years ago with a sense of opposition, resisting a kind of pictorial splendor which had almost been forgotten at that time (as R.H. Fuchs remarks in the catalogue here), his new retrospective was a big public success. This is hardly surprising, even if there is no doubt that a regressive idea lies behind this strange pictorialism. Lüpertz is not, as the presence in the catalogue of fragments of the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin suggests, a Romantic artist: Hölderlin was a Romantic, while Lüpertz plays a Romantic, in a total surrender to an

  • Robert Mangold

    Since René Descartes published his Table des Manières de la Geometrie in 1637, science has possessed a special tool in the methodology of geometry. Yet it took almost three hundred years before artists began to use analytical geometry as a starting point for autonomous compositions. Science and art have been at such a distance from each other that even this superficial interconnection took centuries to form. This is surprising. A glance through Descartes’ Geometrie reveals astonishingly beautiful geometrical drawings interspersed inthe analytical discussion. They not only form part of the argument

  • Enzo Cucchi

    Some of Enzo Cucchi’s texts can best be styled poetic mysteries. “Yes, I am the Marches. See, I am a district,” he says in one of his poems; “Here it was, in Aritrezza, that the Cyclops hurled the rocks into the sea, and it is true, I can see the place where they fell.”

    I recalled these lines when seeing a series of huge drawings made by Cucchi over the past few years. Everywhere there are boulders, hanging in the air, lying on the ground; they are apparently inspired by Cucchi’s experience at Aritrezza. These images seem a reference to the wanderings of Odysseus and his troubles with the Cyclops

  • René Daniëls

    In René Daniëls’ enigmatic canvas Pass in Review, two figures are engaged in an obscure conversation. The male, who carries a sort of funnel on his head, is attached by the back to an umbilical-type cord which is being sliced through by a giant pair of scissors. This can be interpreted as an apt summary of Daniëls’ mentality: let the past pass in review, but prepare for a new start.

    Daniëls has been relinquishing the luxurious use of paint that involved his earlier work in a whirl of exuberant action. While he has been applying his brilliant colors more sparingly for some time, they are now even

  • “’60–’80: attitudes/concepts/images”

    If Amsterdam thought itself at the center of the world in the ’60s, those stirring times of flower power and the provos, then the ’70s were an anticlimax. That decade saw the city fold into a slumber; perhaps half an eye was cocked at New York, but nobody cared for what was going on in, say, Düsseldorf, Berlin, or Rome. Reawakening came with the German and Italian painting renaissance only to find the city out of focus in the visual arts. The sudden activity at the Stedelijk over the last two years, culminating in the present exhibition, is a kind of paying off of arrears.

    “’60 –’80:

  • Jan Dibbets

    The “Saenredam-Sénanque” exhibition takes half its name from the 12th-century monastery of Sénanque in Provence. The monastery is almost ascetic in its architectonic structure, and its walls are unpainted and bare except for a minimum of sculptural decoration. The other part of the name comes from the 17th-century Dutch painter Pieter Jansz Saenredam, and this is the last in a series of “Saenredam” works expressing Dibbets’ thoughts on that artist. The complex but articulate structure of Saenredam’s paintings is refracted in Dibbets’ explorations of photographic space, his reconstructions of

  • Luciano Fabro

    Luciano Fabro is a highly original artist who makes no compromises and whose work stands apart from anything else happening in art. If he is a sculptor, he is like no other contemporary sculptor; pieces like “Italy”, “Feet”, “Hatstands”, and “Gems” constitute isolated worlds that are like no other work, and even dissimilar to each other. Fabro is no avant-garde artist; even if his work involves a reorientation of modern sculpture, his whole being is grounded in the history of art. His thought reflects the classical tradition continually, and the spatial concepts of Giotto and Correggio—the

  • Summer Exhibition

    If Julian Schnabel represents real America, then it is Anselm Kiefer who represents real Europe—this was the impression given in this show, where the two were exhibited opposite each other.

    Schnabel’s work confuses. One is reminded of the shock when, 20 years ago, Robert Rauschenberg slashed into the self-assured esthetics of the time. Junk and kitsch, all kinds of objects, umbrellas, car reflectors, lace, strip cartoons, van Gogh reproductions—all went to make the controlled explosion Rauschenberg created in his antiart. The floods of paint, the broadening circles of dripping color, were

  • Jörg Immendorff

    Jörg Immendorff is a highly eclectic artist. In his latest works, the extended “Café Deutschland” series, he takes Guttoso’s Café Greco, a painting of the well-known café and former artists’ meeting place in Rome, as his starting point. Earlier he drew on the political agitation art of socialist countries and steered a dadaistic course through the Lebenskunst of Joseph Beuys, resulting in the Lidl work.

    Two self-portaits clearly illustrate the development toward a freer abstraction, influenced by the Danish painter Per Kirkeby: the earlier one presents the artist passionately working on a

  • “Four Italians”

    The frenetic, sometimes almost hysterical pursuit of subject matter of Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, and Enzo Cucchi is only one aspect of Italian painting in the ’80s; the four somewhat younger Italian artists Domenico Bianchi, Bruno Ceccobelli, Gianni Dessi, and Giuseppe Gallo are more restrained and lack this exhibitionist temperament. The background of these four must be sought elsewhere than in the 18th-century Neapolitan baroque imagery with which Clemente grew up, the landscape atmosphere of Cucchi, or the heterogeneous associations of Chia.

    It seems to me possible that the American

  • Peter Struycken

    The simultaneous exhibitions of Stanley Brouwn and Peter Struycken have renewed a controversy that originated in the 17th century: whether line or color is primary in painting. The early protagonists in the dispute—Poussin and Rubens—seem to have found present-day representatives.

    Peter Struycken is probably the most extreme example of Dutch artists who demonstrate the tendency towards dry rationality. He describes himself as an unemotional person: “I have no high flying feelings, no frustrations, no poetry, not even aggression or a sense of humor.” So it is no surprise that Struycken has been

  • Stanley Brouwn

    Stanley Brouwn has been obsessed with line—and, in particular, line derived from human movement—as a form of expression. Brouwn’s work originally developed out of the Fluxus movement, and it is still well within a conceptual format. In one such work, he painstakingly registered and counted his footsteps, which he then logged on index cards and sheets of paper. Brouwn is not the first person to make art from simply walking. Hamish Fulton and Richard Long both present their walking expeditions in photographs, postcards and other material collected en route. Brouwn does not use any anecdotal