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Broken Landscapes
25 January 2015 – 8 March 2015


Ger van Elk
Kinselmeer, Stompe Toren, 1988
Cibachrome photograph with over-painting
between two layers of Plexiglass
76 x 145 x 6.5 cm,
private collection, Germany
© Ger van Elk

A fractured view of the world. Fragments, Structures, Horizons:
Landscapes by Ger Dekkers, Jan Dibbets, Ger van Elk, and Jaap van den Ende

The pictorial representation of nature and landscapes has a longstanding tradition in Dutch art. From the 17th to the 19th century, many landscape paintings offered peaceful, expansive views of the characteristically flat countryside and conveyed a deep connection between man and his natural environment. Since the 1960s, an array of artists from the Netherlands have shown renewed interest in these landscapes and their cultivation and segmentation into productive pieces of land as a means of increasing economic efficiency. The specific Dutch situation, which oscillates between artificial land reclamation and the latent threat from the precariously close sea, was the communal starting point for the artists Ger Dekkers (born in 1929), Jan Dibbets (born 1941), Ger van Elk (born in 1941), and Jaap van den Ende (born in 1944), whose works are on display in the exhibition at the Ludwig Museum. They use photography, film, and painting to explore new forms of expression in their direct and powerful reactions to the specific regional conditions.

Extremely fragmented views, details and panoramas defined by geometric structures, dissected perspectives, and shattered horizons characterise a large number of their works. Many of these systematically organised pieces are based on photographs, however, without representing landscape photography in the classic sense. There is some evidence of allusions to Land Art, but also to Concrete Art, which has had a special status in art of Netherlands ever since Piet Mondrian. Collages, montages, and serial image sequences convey an analytical perception of landscapes which hinders or even thwarts orientation. The common link between these very diverse complexes of works is an approach to the experienced environment which is defined by both intense observation and critical distance.

Approximately 80 works from museums, private owners, and the artists' galleries are on display. The exhibition was developed in collaboration with Situation Kunst, Bochum and will be shown at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam subsequently.

Jaap van den Ende
Viaduct (kruisende parallel), 2006
Oil on wood fibreboard, 60 x 118 c
private collection
© Jaap van den Ende

© Jan Dibbets, Comet 6° 72°, 12 Farbfotografien
einzeln gerahmt, Installationsmaß 310x288cm,
Privatsammlung
© Jaap van den Ende, Gesetzmäßige Ordnung,
Widerspiegelung, 2000,
Stedelijk Museum Schiedam
© Ger van Elk, Kinselmeer, Stompe Toren,
1998 übermalte Cibachrome-Fotografie
zwischen Plexiglas, 76 x 145 x 6,5 cm,
Privatsammlung Deutschland
   

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