At Art Rotterdam, Jonas Dehnen presents a series of paintings that derive their imagery from romanticism in a broad sense. E.T.A. Hoffmann’s ‘Der Sandmann’ serves as a source for motifs, such as a mechanised eye, hands and wheels. These enigmatic structures and circuitries hint at designs for a primitive automaton. They also offer veiled visual references to past works in the artist’s oeuvre, and to paintings that hung in his childhood home, thereby establishing feedback loops of painterly gestures and ideas.
There is an entanglement between the physical material of the work, and the image that took shape within it. Thinking and doing collapse into one another to become a singular mode of being in the world. The works are maps of themselves, map and territory both, thought-maps looping back into themselves in an infinite regression. At times the paint is applied as though to a location on a flat surface, and at other times at a certain depth within an image. The flatness of the object and the artifice of a painted picture are continually toyed with. (Flor Linckens)
"Voor dragend en niet dragend metselwerk" by Leendert van Accoleyen consists of what appears to be two tall stacks of typical red construction bricks. A banal sight to the inattentive eye. On closer inspection it becomes apparent that there are tiny planes of glass visible between some of the tightly packed bricks. These serve as windows to look out into the streets from within the construction. Peering through the cloudy windows, the outsider quickly realises that the pallet of bricks is hollow, and that they are looking into a (small) living space. The sculpture stands on two wooden palettes, which are mounted on hidden wheels. After being wheeled to the desired ‘camping’ location the structure is lowered onto the ground.
The dimensions are determined by the standardized size of a pallet on which bricks are shipped. By placing two pallets together the internal space becomes sufficiently large for a person to stand upright and lie down. LVA points out the relation with the title, “For me, the divergence of standing upright, standing in your power and the vulnerable act of lying down is of great importance. That is also partly what the ‘dragend en niet dragend’ (‘bearing and not bearing’) refers to.” The bricks were poured into a mould, to reappear as a polyester shell of themselves. When the mould of industrial bricks opens up in two compartments, one per pallet, the intention of the artwork unfolds before our eyes. The space includes a small self-welded stove, a storage compartment, a nook for sitting, and enough space for a person to sleep. (Text by Febe Lamiroy)