Critics’ Picks

View of “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” 2013.

Amsterdam

Jan De Cock

Galerie Fons Welters
Bloemstraat 140
February 2 - March 9

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, chipboard, and metal pieces—is still present. What’s new however is that these works are no longer spatially imposing as all-encompassing architectural installations. Rather, the new structures seem to have been pressed and flattened against the wall and are more suggestive of layered reliefs. He has subtitled this group of works the “Romantiks.” Also arranged throughout the show are freestanding pillarlike sculptures subtitled the “Krises” (Crises), which are a bit more cluttered, sometimes made with plaster and pink paint as in JKO Krise IX (Fur Brancusi).

For De Cock, the layering and unkempt surfaces are references to his studio process—to his intuition and imagination, which perhaps is part of the new “romantic” element to his work (and offers a new approach to the modernist elements in his previous output). This show therefore combines two distinct conceptual parts: a reassessment of the formal language of modernism, and an investigation into uninhibited form and transparency.