CYCLI – A new show at a new project space in The Hague

Detail of an assemblage of ticking clocks by Jan de Weerd

CYCLI curated by Annemieke Louwerens at the West End projectspace (WestEndProjekt) at 58 Westeinde in The Hague, features the circular (Cycli means cycle in Dutch) with works by artists from differing generations, genre, and media. Klaus Baumgärtner, Jan de Weerd, Johan van Oord, Pietertje van Splunter and Vera van de Seyp, range from the retired to recent graduates. Johan van Oord’s work, a cartoon-like drawing of Yves Klein seated on the floor of a real or imagined living room surrounded by paintings of flattened tree forms and a drawing of van Oord’s own characteristic circular abstracts, has been hung by the curator inside sea of vibrant deep ultramarine blue, otherwise known as International Klein Blue. Johan van Oord, known in the Netherlands for his mathmatical abstract paintings of circular forms such as the 2013 Boijmans museum expresso bar mural commission, retired after 13 years as Head of the Fine Arts Department at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2015.

Van Oord’s figurative still life drawing, adjacent to three rows of hole-pierced glossy ceramics by Jan de Weerd and a video by Vera van de Seyp, works much like a relief in space. The context draws van Oord’s static forms out of the frame. As you run your eyes from left to right or right to left, the circular resonates metaphorically and literally across all three works.

Van de Seyp’s 2018 animation, “Polarization,” made in the open source programme, Processing, is actually an interactive work with mutations so subtle that the ‘polarized’ balls appear to be caught in a repeating cycle of arrival from above, division by colour, some mixing, and then a fall. Each ball has a specific characteristic to move towards or away from other balls, so that the overall affect is of a screen divided into two colours – most of the time. The red and blue balls only venture to the other side of the screen in clusters and so the impression of a continual flow of orderly division by colour remains. Jan de Weerd’s ceramics on the other hand seem to celebrate the infinite variation of organic order.

A grid of 25 ticking clocks on the wall next to the animation is another work by Jan de Weerd, one of the 30 or so artists of De Spanjedhof studios, above this two room project space. Each clock has been modified for aesthetic effect and they tell the time in a huge range of time zones bringing in the theme of time as a cycle.

Works by Pietertje van Splunter and Klaus Baumgärtner are equally well paced in the second room which is also visible through windows on the street. Cycles feature as metaphor and movement in Pietertje van Splunter’s works. The circular paintings splay out optically while the 3 minute stop motion animation, “Plastic Play,” cycles through seemingly never ending stacks of plastic bowls – a meditation on the mundane.  Sonja van Kerkhoff   26th October 2019

The exhibition continues until 10th November and is open by appointment with the curator, Annemieke Louwerens, on 06-38182158.