At our Amsterdam gallery we like to provide a haven for the singular. Mavericks, outsiders and nonconformists have the ability to make us look at the world from a different perspective. Our last exhibition was a prime example of this. We presented the full range of Lucassen’s singular oeuvre with great success. This is now followed, along those same lines, by our new exhibition featuring sculptures by Joost van den Toorn (1954) and collages by Morgan Betz (1974). We have brought the mavericks Van den Toorn and Betz together in a joint exhibition in order to optimize the sense of contrariness and unease that they provoke.
The sculptures of Joost van den Toorn are sometimes alluring, often heterodox and sometimes downright unsettling. He is not concerned with the achievements of sculpture. With apparent relish, materials like bronze and ceramics are transformed into startling, funny or offensive constructions in which those same materials have long disappeared from view. He takes pleasure in undermining what is considered as a sculptural norm. Van den Toorn shuns the blandly decorative, although his sculptures and ceramic pieces would not be out of place as a nice coffee table centerpiece. They are conversation pieces that question good taste, provoke, that sometimes smile at you and sometimes mock you, and that have been executed with technical perfection. In the Netherlands his work is without equal. His unique position as a heterodox, challenging, humoristic sculptor is exactly why we hold him in such high regard. For this exhibition he has made a new series of controversial sculptures that are among the high points of his oeuvre..
Morgan Betz’s printed and painted constructions on canvas are representations that look like nothing you have seen before. However, they have a flamboyance and clarity that gives them a deceptively pleasant look and that evoke certain associations. Betz is at his most raw and unsettling when he uses the collage technique. His collages are made up of scraps that are found lying around the studio after a painting has been completed, stencils that are then recycled as raw materials. The deliberate process of trying and measuring makes these constructions more angular, less ornamental, more abrupt. By applying this technique Betz succeeds in avoiding the risk of stylization that is always present in his paintings. The one thing he doesn’t want to do is to develop a style, insofar as this can be avoided. These expressive constellations also have a strong spatial component, making it possible for him to access an area somewhere between painting and sculpture. The six collages that are on show are born out of the same mentality as Van den Toorn’s work.