Hans Aarsman (20)
James Linders (12)
A big group show like this one is uneven by design, bringing together disparate and even conflicting perspectives to provide a more complex picture of the subject; as such, nearly every visitor will find some images that catch his/her eye and others that seem to miss the mark. One of the highlights of the exhibit is the big, pulsating installation of images by Theo Baart and Cary Markerink. (Installation shot at right, second from the top.) An entire long wall is filled with cars, trucks, gas stations and traffic, in a chaotic, jumbled mix of formats, processes, and sizes; the whole thing works together well as a stream of consciousness view of life on the roadways.
We've written before about Gerco de Ruijter's geometric aerial landscapes (here), but this was the first time we had seen them in person. (Installation shot at right, second from the bottom.) A grid of four glossy images hangs on the back wall, the cool lines and patterns coming in at different angles, highlighting the organic abstraction taking place; the larger size and shiny surface give the works an object quality that is much different than I had experienced in book form. I also enjoyed James Linders' black and white images of wastelands and roadside non-spaces from the late 1980s. (Installation shot at right, bottom) These images have a New Topographics feel to them, with pavement, bike racks, light poles, and curved roads coming together in careful compositions, surprisingly beautiful and subtly critical at the same time. And while video art is not really in our charter, Hans Werlemann's view of life moving by through a car window, interspersed with still frames every few seconds was an unexpectedly thought provoking commentary on vision and everyday life; spend a few minutes letting it wash over you - it certainly got me thinking about what I am actually absorbing as I blast around on fast forward.
Collector's POV: While the name on the door calls this venue a gallery, it really is more like a museum; typically there are no prices posted anywhere and the works are not for sale, and this show is no different. For our specific collection with its overwhelming preponderance of black and white, the pared down images by Linders would be the best fit for the other city/industrial work already hanging on the walls.