CASPER VERBORG at Hoorn & Reniers in The Hague

A White Horse is Not a Horse

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw young Dutch artist Casper Verborg’s show was the work of the German Neo-Expressionists of the late twentieth century such as Baselitz, Lüpertz, Immendorff, Tannert et al. It comes as no surprise that some young Dutch artists veer away from the super-modernism that has dominated art in the Netherlands for so long. Verborg’s work seems to be in transition, from his earlier, more figurative work to a new, fantastical and mysterious imagery – paintings of figures with blurred facial features, depicted in landscapes of seemingly parallel, nightmarish worlds, often dark and ambiguous.

A White Horse is Not a Horse, the title of the show, refers to a painting in which a faceless rider sits on a white horse surrounded by a dark forest – man and horse standing still, expecting, in what appears to be a stage set more than a real landscape. Casper Verborg’s paintings tell stories but challenge the viewer to decipher them for themselves and I am glad of it – for me the work must speak for itself; no amount of ‘explaining’ can add anything to it or make it into a better art. Verborg’s paintings, his handling of paint and subjects, show that he is on the move to finding wholly new pictorial narratives.

The next show at this gallery will be the work of Janes Haid-Schallenberg, a German artist, also moving in a similar direction and I am very much looking forward to that.

Astrid Burchardt  3rd September 2018

Painting above is Casper Verborg, Offspring, 220 x 320 cm (diptych), oil on canvas