At the Amsterdam port, the sailors aren’t the only ones who lift your spirits… the artistic scene is high-spirited too. In the furrow of Van Gogh, Rembrandt or even Rubens… the young guard of contemporary art carries on the artistic ardor of Dutch Venice. Artsper sails on the Dutch wave, and presents 10 particularly innovative artists to you. Design, photo, installation, drawing… these artists share the same taste for the extraordinary, poetry and the out of sync aspects.
#1 BERDNAUT SMILDE
Nimbus D’Aspremont, 2012 © Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Useless to look any further, we have the artist who really has his head in the clouds. His name is Berdnaut Smilde, half-magician half scientist, but also a sensor of dreams. He shapes clouds with the help of a hazer and a fixing agent, he freezes the ephemeral. Clouds float around and merge with high level aesthetics. A surrealistic staging, where the dreamlike aspect flirts around with the celestial vision. His clouds are spread out, all around the world: Taiwan, Australia, England, USA…
#2 WIEKI SOMERS
Bathboat, 2012 © Wieki Somers
It’s time for the designer shower, Wieki Somers’s fertile imagination splashes academic models, winding up contemporary art and design. The young Dutch feels lulled due to the design revolution, initiated by Marcel Wenders in Amsterdam. Wieki Somers stands out due to originality in a surrealistic and dreamlike world, a step forward towards mundane life. Her fables and allegory overruns our daily life, and prestigious places like the MOMA in New York, Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Parisian gallery Kreo…
#3 MARCEL CHRIST
His preference to gush out colors and materials in an evanescent cloud was acknowledged then adopted by advertising. Moving creations, in a way reminiscent of the movement of the Earth, pace of seasons through his partiality for floral compositions. His universe even manages to hatch a fragrance, just like his collaboration with Prada but also Coca and Heinekin would prove….in the same stream.
#4 ARNO NOLLEN
© Arno Nollen
Arno Nollen’s models aren’t standard academic beauties, they thwart the classic stunners and assert their uniqueness, until New York Times Women’s Review Magazine. Acknowledged by the sharp aesthetic-director David Lynch, Arno Nollen shares the same artistic subtlety. A feeling of imminence deep work, so as to take out the meandering soul. He inspires a soothing melancholy and a black and white spleen, with hinted sensuality, in a modest manner. Vermeer’s shadow hovers over his photos. His photos are exhibited abroad, Gabriel Rolt gallery in Amsterdam, Green Flowers in Paris, Bernhard Bischofff…. a true witness of his artistic streak.
#5 DAAN ROOSEGAARDE
Lotus © Studio Roosegaarde
By forging social links through collective installations, Daan Roosegarde artist and designer takes us for a stroll, initiated at the Arts décoratifs in Paris during the last sleepless night and the D’Days festival…Supported by environmental convictions, he follows the path of ecology and invites us to follow the cyclable path, restyled by Van Gogh. The artist rekindles human relationship, by calling upon body and senses of the spectator who becomes the spec’actor. The work comes alive through the footsteps of the public: sounds and play on light, suddenly arise through interaction.
#6 ERIK VAN LIESHOUT
The intermix identity of the working class area in Rotterdam, encouraged this artist to decipher the mundane life of immigrants in particular. He uses painting, video and drawing as his medium. Erik Van Lieshout portrays the torments of these people. The black and wounding features, isn’t necessarily devoid of humor, so as to inspire some hope of humanity. This hope is already given off through Centre Pompidou, the Venice biennial, Frieze Art in London in 2003…
#7 RINEKE DIJKSTRA
Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26, 1992 © Rineke Dijkstra
A deliberate attempt to trigger a troubled look in the gallery of his portraits, Rineke Dijkstrat takes photos of youngsters, at the peak of their fragility, during the 90’s. On beaches or on river banks, the environment is ideal to expose a period of uncertainty. The bleak and frontal aspect of the pictorial aspect, facial expressions and attitudes, echo. Austerity triggers genuine emotion, from one and another. A discord was afflicted during the retrospective at the Modern Art Museum of San Francisco (SFMOMA), Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, in New York, but also Marian Goodman gallery in Paris and New York.
#8 MARK MANDERS
Room with Unfired Clay Figures, 2011–15 © Mark Menders
They float around here and give the impression that Rabelais’s gigantic characters got away from the novels and became part of Mark Manders’s Herculean constructions. Portraits with antique and medieval looks, investigate the implausible. Gigantic and violence share the same space with fragility and finesse. His poetic sculptures are fascinating and disturbing as well. Mark Manders treats death gracefully. Ecstasy goes beyond borders, during solo exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, Dublin, Mexico, Nîmes or its presence during the biennial of Venice in 2013.
#9 SEBASTIAN BRAJKOVIC
Sebastian Brajkovic, Fibonacci, © Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Transform shapes, untie from the aesthetic norm, transfigure materials in order to transpose optical illusion. Sébastien Brajkovic stretches objects, winds up shapes and turns solidity into flexibility. He gives them a logical development, as if it was a response to the object itself, whereas the unusual and fanciful character, decorates each one of them. His philosophical training is at the disposal of a true oscillation between the logical and absurd, harmony and distortion. The social traditions defused by the designer, have managed to seduce right until Victoria and Albert Museum in London or the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
#10 AERNOUT MIK
Aernout Mik, Shifting Sitting II (2011) © carlier | gebauer, Berlin
A documentary of agitated politics? A performance? Fiction? Questions stream forth through audience. Aernout Mik plays around with video, performance, sculpture, architecture to thwart reality. Heshapes staging, beyond the norms of narration. “My plays deal with political or social events, but aren’t direct images of these events”. They erase any reference whatsoever, but rekindle our interference with the current context. Often these characters let out a cry or a violent gesture…against a masked field. Fighting against or for…against any kind of discrimination or for more artistic and political freedom. The societal problems which emerge, resonate at the heart of MOMA, the biennial in Venice (Dutch Pavilion) in 2007 or through a retrospective at Jeu de Paume in 2011.