Critics’ Picks

Hermes Candles Painting for the Hermes Fraternity, Rotterdam, 2004.

Hermes Candles Painting for the Hermes Fraternity, Rotterdam, 2004.


Chris Evans

Galerie Juliètte Jongma
Gerard Douplein 23
January 15–March 19, 2005

The works in Chris Evans’s solo exhibition—curated by Maxine Kopsa for this new Amsterdam gallery—investigate masculine aspirations through the consolidation of power. In one, six members of Rotterdam's student club the Hermes Society proudly stand in front of a painting purchased from the artist that illustrates a pair of extinguished candles, the historic symbol of this college “superclass” whose alumni occupy elite positions in Dutch society. The airbrush painting Magnetic Promenade, 2004—a depiction of tall, steely-looking sculptures in an empty landscape—moves further up the career ladder: Since 2002, the Scottish artist has been designing outdoor sculptures that visualize how managing directors’ desires and values are shaped by their businesses, processing their idealistic “impressions” as a court artist like Goya might observe the psychology of his clientele. Evans has also realized a recruitment poster, Cop Talk, 2005, inviting policemen to give presentations at art schools in the Netherlands and encourage students to join up. CEOs are not often thought of as creative beings, and neither are policemen; both inhabit environments in which creation and enforcement aren’t related. The Rock & The Judge, 2005, consists of a drawing of a judge by a detective of the East Yorkshire police and of a rock placed directly below, sitting like a defendant. Evans has been collecting officers' drawings, to whose intense and macabre tones he responds with pseudo-cubist sculptures that express the perpetuation of authority between law enforcers and decision makers.