Heejsteck# is a gallery/projectspace founded by Jaap Sleper (former Gallery 10/Re:Rotterdam/Blue Episode Foundation) and artist duo V&B (Alex Jacobs and Ellemieke Schoenmaker). Heejsteck# is situated in a restored and reformed haystack located at the farm De Grote Kuil in Utrecht that dates back to the 18th century. With the restoration of this monumental haystack, a serene space has been created where you can experience the work in a green environment. Here the conversation about art can be frivolous, profound, committed or open....
The program is dedicated to exhibiting work by contemporary artists, sometimes in conjunction with the collection of Jaap Sleper. Connections are made on the basis of intuïtive and conceptual ideas. The aim is to show, sell and facilitate contemporary art. Support the makers, homage to the makers.
At Art Rotterdam 2023 the Heejsteck# will show a selection of works from the exhibition 'I Want to Breathe Modern Air' with added works by artists working with the gallery.
Artists on view: Omar Koubâa, Claus Hugo Nielsen, V&B (Alex Jacobs en Ellemieke Schoenmaker), Peter Vos, Heddy-John Appeldoorn, Tom Putman and Peter Hoijmakers.
I Want to Breathe Modern Air
In many ways, our present time is eerily similar to a repeat of the last century. There are also parallels and similarities in cultural-historical and artistic terms. Although progress optimism still dominates - then industrialization would bring salvation, now information technology - there is also a countermovement. It manifests itself in a revaluation of the traditional and the physical. Not in a nostalgic way but as a pass on the rat race that drags us along and can make us forget who we are. The work of Omar Koubâa, Claus Hugo Nielsen and V&B exudes the atmosphere and spirit of the modern era even before decay set in and the idea of linear development landed in the landfill of history. There is a robust confidence in one's own ability, a conscious slowing down of action and a deepening of concentration. At the same time, the world anno now - like the interwar period - feels like a vestibule, an interim with an uncertain future. But rather than lose themselves in potentially disastrous vistas, these artists choose to rethink being in the present time by focusing on the creation process that is an expression of that same being.
Omar Koubâa With Omar Koubâa, the interaction with the material is a digging into his own soul. In his paintings, which balance on the border between figurative and abstract, the pigment swirls in a visual language that seems fragmented yet coherent. They sometimes seem like landscapes, but of the fantastic kind, through which the spirit blows. Koubâa works intuitively and in a state of light trance. This tension is also palpable in his painting, which, with its rhythmic, short touches, establishes a direct and physical relationship with the viewer.
Claus Hugo Nielsen Claus Hugo Nielsen's sculptures align themselves with the formal language of Omar Koubâa - but also of Max Ernst, for example - in the sense that they are not rectilinear and unambiguous but rather round and ambiguous. A certain humanity emanates from his figures, however surreal they may look. This is due to their enormous tactility, which invites you to make a connection. At the same time, they open a door to the world of the subconscious, and the fears, desires and lust that simmer on a level that even the most advanced supercomputer cannot add up.
V&B (Alex Jacobs en Ellemieke Schoenmaker) The concentrated attention to material and its processing is evident in the latest work by artist duo V&B. They meekly accept the fact that in postmodern times "everything has already been done once," as French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty put it. So they recast themselves, as it were, by compressing plaster scraps from their studio and endlessly working the resulting lumps of material into multicolored sculptures. Their repetitive actions produce tranquility that is tangible in the perfectly smooth surfaces. At the same time, each sanded layer brings out new colors and echoes of earlier work, like a kind of archaeological exercise.