In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
Boers-Li Gallery New York is delighted to announce, Across the Himalayas, the gallery's first collaboration with the estate of JCJ Vanderheyden (Netherlands, 1928-2012). One of the most consequential and unconventional artists of his time, Vanderheyden dedicated his life to investigating the dimensions of visual perspectives by using a broad range of media, and procedures to observe the nature of the aesthetics of perception. Spending most of his life working from his studio in 's-Hertogenbosch, his interest in chance and emptiness led to his extensive travel in Asia from the late 1970s through the 1980s. In this way, Vanderheyden has brought together a comprehensive series of fascinating artworks which are, from today's point of view, as aesthetically appealing in a global sense as they are curiously distinctive in terms of their subjects, such as Horizon, Gate, and Checkerboard.
Educated as a painter, JCJ Vanderheyden furthers the tradition of Mondrian in the sense that his visual vocabulary is minimal and yet immanently powerful—a wide yellow strip doubling the contour of a painting, three black bars embracing a white picture plane (or three equal white planes embracing a black plane), partitions of blue and white or white against natural linen—black, white, red, yellow and blue are the dominant colours; squares, rectangles and idiosyncratically curved canvases are the elements of his composition.
After his first substantial solo exhibition in the late 1960s with an overview of his paintings, Vanderheyden decided to devote several years of his career to research and experimentations with what was then 'New Media' (television, film, and video), which had a decisive influence on his artistic practice. Treating painting as an instrumental procedure, Vanderheyden often realized his later works by exploring photography, printing, sound and video together with surveillance technology like cameras and mirrors. With his unique sense of reduction and lucidity he knew how to integrate these strategies of observation, distribution and presentation into an artwork, of which a painting was the ultimate result, essentially examining the phenomena of light, time and space.
Vanderheyden's curiosity for the visual qualities of spatial perception brought him in the late 1970s to undertake several trips to unlimited aerial spaces around the Himalayas and later the countries around them. The exhibition will include the artist's travel log documenting these trips, especially the one he made in 1989, which gave him the opportunity to visit the legendary China Avant-Garde exhibition at the National Museum and meet with artists who were involved in the protests that ended tragically at the Tiananmen Square that spring. As he made several expeditions to Asia, the experience of majestic horizons as seen from an airplane affected him in such a way that spatial and temporal relations appear fluid in his later art making.
Considered an artist's artist, JCJ Vanderheyden has made profound influences on the later generations of artists in the Netherlands and beyond. Resonating with the artistic discourse on relations, Vanderheyden's works produce a cosmological sense of self through the implication of the relationship between the viewer and the universe. The works imply the vastness and motion of sky and space, and humanity's distinct place within it. Promoting an understanding of time as cyclical rather than linear, Vanderheyden sees repetition and blankness as visual analogies between space and time.
Born in 1928 in 's-Hertogenbosch, JCJ Vanderheyden is considered one of the most significant post-war painters in the Netherlands. After participating in dOCUMENTA in Kassel in 1982, he held retrospective exhibitions at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and other prominent venues in Europe. His works are in numerous public and private collections worldwide.
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