I got a burst of “umph” on Thursday and pulled together a last minute gallery opening tour for Saturday and threw it on the Facebook page for Exposing Arts (sorry, you have to be on FB to check it out and join). I got nine people to jump on board the tour - awesome for such a last minute thing, and the weather totally delivered.
Our first stop was Van Zijll Langhout for Jakup Ferri’s opening of his new show “Cold Water Boils Faster.” We showed up toward the end of the show, unfortunately, so I am not sure the artist was there. Compared to his earlier work, which you can see here, Ferri’s exhibition demonstrated a large shift in medium, subject matter and color pallet. For example, below is a tapestry that Ferri created with the help of textile artists from Albania.
In this show, Ferri transitioned away from his usual people in isolated atmospheres to surreal creatures in relationship to each other. The intense color fields and change in mediums suit Ferri’s style and add a dimension that advances his work to the “next level,” whatever that is. I particularly enjoyed his window films, which are challenging to capture in a photograph. You can see the intensity of color here, with Husband Dave and Umy Boonmarlart outside. Ferri’s show is up until June 22nd and should definitely not be missed.
Though our second stop was not an opening, I didn’t want us to miss the final day of Ciou’s show at KochxBos. As I was researching Ciou’s work online, I had to admit got a bit bored; her work all looked the same after a few images. She has such a solid consistency and style which markets well - she’s definitely on her way to making an empire, which is just good business. But I wondered if the commercial feel I was getting was going to detract from the work somehow. I was super wrong - just look at this:
The collaged background from old medical books and dictionaries is lost on her website, as well as the intensity of her details. Each image was totally captivating - and that’s not even touching on her content. All of her characters are so developed that I couldn’t help but want them in some animated three dimensional form so we could have a chat. I am happy Ciou’s style of work is giving her the building blocks of her empire. This is her third solo show at KochxBos and hopefully won’t be her last, though her wall mural below, will no doubt be a permanent part of gallery.
Galerie Smith Vissers was way across town and our third stop on the tour, where we saw the recent work of Dick Kreuger and Naomi Warmer. We managed to get there in one piece to find the Opening in full swing. I had a very hard time finding a ton of information about either of the two artists, but this is what I could find out. Dick Kreuger is a Dutch architect who had a show at the gallery last year that looked like paintings, though there weren’t many images to see. With no website for his work I had no idea what we’d find, but what we got was this:
A combination of music, literature and amazing sunset - very content rich. The process-table included in the show helped explain his compositional choices and was much appreciated. As I preached from an earlier tour of Jaap Kroneman’s work, I feel that process based art translates so much better with a bit of a guide included. What I am hoping is to see more of Kreuger’s work represented online, but in the meantime this show is up until May 11th.
Naomi Warmer’s work was a nice organic offset to Kreuger’s landscape and she was a bit easier to track online, though I couldn’t find her website. However, her work is a part of the Nog Collective. I didn’t expect to see her layered illustrations in light box style, but her use of layering and lacquer reacted well to the background lighting - which of course was hard to capture, but you can get a sense of the format here:
Warmer’s imagery has a fashion focus - I saw a lot of shoes in this exhibit… very nice, high-heeled shoes (a weakness of mine). I kept wondering what her work would look like with more naked forms and less clothing. Her same layering technique was evident in the wall pieces and the work below added an additional color layer that really added to the piece.
After a coffee break at Two For Joy, we continued onto Gerhard Hofland for Dimitar Genchev’s new show, “Nostalgia.” I believe this might be his first solo show during in his residency at the Rijksakademie. His website is full of his paintings of rooms and environments inspired by his life in Bulgaria. The pallet and mood are dark and mysterious with a slight shift of the natural perspective that sets an edge the imagery. This exhibition sees a movement away from these moody environments to an obvious exploration of the still-life. You can see this seeping into some of the larger works that are on display. The detail shot below from “The Garage’ captures the intensity of the rocks on the floor, similar to the patterned flooring from his earlier works, but far more 3 dimensional:
There was something about this attention in the rocks that smacks of his shift to still-life, which can also seen in the intensity of the peaches from “The Remains”:
Okay - perhaps it’s obvious that I am not into still-life paintings. I think it’s an amazing exercise, one that really helps an artist to refine and hone their skills, but, to me, the stand alone still-life is a stale throwback to another era that fails to stimulate the imagination. To me, Genchev doesn’t need it; his skills are solid, his technique is unique and his content doesn’t need fruit or vases unless they’re a part of a larger room, like here:
Yeah, my opinions are probably being fueled by drinking too much matcha, but I stand by them. I will definitely keep tabs on Genchev - his work is promising to inspire more story-telling as time passes.
Our last stop was also an opening for a new gallery space, Batallion. My whole experience there reminded me so much of San Francisco that I am going to dedicate an entire post to it. The environment and work was absolutely absorbing and it was an excellent final stop for our tour. Stay tuned for more.
I am going to design another tour for the end of May, if you suggestions I am looking for little galleries off the map and alternative, email me at Hi@PetraBenach.com.