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Ger van Elk, It’s me twice as flat as I can be, 1973, bamboo, black-and-white photograph, elastic band, 90 1/8 × 65".

Ger van Elk

Kröller-Müller Museum

Ger van Elk, It’s me twice as flat as I can be, 1973, bamboo, black-and-white photograph, elastic band, 90 1/8 × 65".

One of the first pieces visitors encounter when approaching the Kröller-Müller Museum is by Ger van Elk (1941–2014), though it can easily be trampled underfoot without notice. Replacement Piece, 1969/2011, is a permanently installed square meter of pavement that has been removed and cleanly substituted with a digital print of itself to scale. This slight tweak in the fabric of normality, this unnecessary embellishment, is classic Van Elk. The piece was first realized outside the Kunsthalle Bern, in Switzerland, for Harald Szeemann’s 1969 post-Minimal buffet “Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form,” for which this artist was a catalytic figure. Van Elk’s legacy has recently been coming back into view, and this past spring witnessed not only this special exhibition at the Kröller-Müller but a double-venue show at Grimm Gallery in Amsterdam, while a full retrospective is being

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