For our second gallery visit to Delft this weekend we made our way to Voorstraat, to the recently reinstated Galerie Ruimte Remmelink in the shadow of the Oude Kerk. The current exhibition of work by Danne van Schoonhoven and Paul Nassenstein is the first show we have reviewed at the gallery. The two artists studied together at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, but are showing together now for the first time.
Danne van Schoonhoven’s works seems right at home in Delft, the blue shapes in much of the work echoing the exquisite porcelain for which the city is famous. The paintings, executed on large sheets of paper in water colour highlighted with white gouache, depict table tops bearing lace cloths and the rounded glowing shapes of fine china. But these are not static over-burdened old master still lives. These are ephemeral shapes that seem to hover somewhere between imagination and reality inviting the viewer to conjure up images of lavish feasts in opulent settings.
Paul Nassenstein is showing two distinctly different types of picture. The large monochrome mixed media works on paper involving a lot of straight lines and architectural elements, but always have minute figures wandering around leaving the viewer free to interpret the milieu and enigmatic titles. But for me it was the artist’s small figurative works that were the most successful.
The dozen or so small gouaches measure only about ten centimeters square and are quite crudely painted but they have a power that defies their modest physical status. Size really does matter and these miniature paintings force the viewer to get up close and personal and create an intimate relationship with the work – when your nose is almost touching a painting, all other things are excluded. Each picture is basically the same – a coloured ground in the middle of which is a small figure. There is a predominance of red putting one in mind of kings and cardinals and the work of Bacon or Velasquez. Really liked them. The exhibition continues at Galerie Ruimte Remmelink in Delft until 10th December and is highly recommended. Michael Hasted 6th November 2022