Art Now' shows a new work from the EUR art collection every two weeks. Art Now, digitally on the screen, for inspiration, as consolation, imagination, reflection or as a distraction and extender of reality.
Art Now 65: Eelco Brand
The sixty-fifth artwork in the Art Now series is a still from the 2020 animation 'ZBZ.movi' by artist Eelco Brand* (1969). 'ZBZ.movi' is, along with two other animations by Brand, on view at the exhibition Timeless in the Erasmus Gallery on campus Woudestein, until the end of March.
Eelco Brand – still uit ‘ZBZ.movi’, 2020 – by courtesy of the artist – on view Erasmus Gallery
Using computer software as his tool, artist Eelco Brand (1969) searches for methods to depict a believable organic scene based on inanimate digital material. In his search Brand does not use photographic material or scanned images. He creates the animations that represent his own reality. Brand's animations show a synergy in which the language of scale, repetition, infinite detail, and the deeper meaning of a simple gesture come together. The animations are repetitive imaginative triggers that manage to hold the viewers eye without telling a story.
Brand primarily creates "nature" animations. About this he says; 'Working with 'nature' is a challenge because it is almost impossible to even approach its infinite complexity. Yet nature and landscape also have a universal language and experience. Strangely enough, landscape as we see it does not actually exist. In reality it is simply a collection of randomly placed trees, hills, and rocks, which we mentally translate into a landscape. Reality is reconstructed in the human brain, and this reflection has a similar immaterial quality to the bursting electron that create a computer-generated image.’
*Eelco Brand started his career as a painter, studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.
Art Now 64: throw-back Lieven Hendriks
Lieven Hendriks - ‘Yellow Sun’, 2019, acrylic on polyester canvas, diameter 30 cm - EUR Art Collection
The artwork 'Yellow Sun,’ from 2019 is made by artist Lieven Hendriks (1970). Hendriks studied at the HKU in Utrecht and continued his education at the post-academic institute De Ateliers in Amsterdam. There he laid the basis for his oeuvre. Hendriks has a fascination with perception. About its underlying rationale the artist says: 'It's about the bias of looking. About the relationship between what we see and what we think we see; how perception can change completely through context, experience, or knowledge. I am interested in the tipping of the gaze'. Everything in the work is important, including the use of color in all its nuances. Hendriks elaborates, in his own, modern way, on the trompe l'oeil tradition, a painting technique that has been used by painters since the 17th century to suggest the presence of, for example, pillars or statues and thus to 'deceive the eye'.
Art Now 63: Eelco Brand
The sixty-third artwork in the Art Now series is a still from the 2021 animation 'KB.movi' by artist Eelco Brand* (1969). 'KB.movi' is on view in the exhibition Timeless, together with two other animations by Brand, at the Erasmus Gallery on campus Woudestein, until the end of March.
Eelco Brand – still from ‘KB.movi,’ 2021 – by courtesy of the artist – now on view in the Erasmus Gallery
Artist Eelco Brand (1969) uses computers and digital 3D modeling and animation techniques to create images that reflect his conception of reality. In his ‘nature’ animations, he creates a suggestion of life, while simultaneously hinting at an impersonal untouchability. Brand's animations emerge virtually from his imagination and have no narrative unfolding, beginning, or end. The digital creations stand alone, each displaying an almost meditatively repetitive movement that invites the viewer to keep looking.
Before working with digital techniques, Brand painted. As a former painter, he sees great similarities between a 3D digital construction and a painting. On why Brand switched from painting to computer-generated art, he says; ‘I continue to make the same kind of works; the only thing that has changed is that I now use a mouse and a screen instead of brushes and canvas... Painting consists largely of adding and removing elements. You work on an image that develops through its own logic. For me, constructing a 3D image is in that sense the same as painting. But the fascinating thing about working with 3D constructions is that you can enter the virtual space behind the two-dimensional surface and, more importantly, you also have the ability to animate a scene’.
* Brand is a graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam.
Art Now 62: Kathrin Schlegel part 3 of 3: Der Stein des Weisen
In the artwork Der Stein des Weisen the original seventeenth-century hardstone pedestal, which for centuries bore Hendrick de Keysers statue of Erasmus, comes together with a monumental high-gloss polished stainless-steel sculpture, the shape of which is halfway between a speaking and thought bubble. The historic pedestal is placed in a glass housing, which preserves it for the future with all traces of the past. In the sculpture, the surroundings are reflected and so is the still present imprint of the statue on the pedestal. The viewer is invited to follow imaginatively in Erasmus' footsteps and mirror oneself in the sculpture; to reconsider the philosopher's thoughts and his legacy for the future.
Der Stein des Weisen, Kathrin Schlegel, 2018 – Art Collection EUR - location Park Noord, campus Woudestein. Photo: Kathrin Schlegel / Q.R.J. van Dijk
The artwork was commissioned by Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2012 and realized in 2018. The realization of Der Stein des Weisen was made possible by the support and a financial contribution from the Mondriaan Fund. On the process of creation, context and meaning of the artwork, a publication has been released which can be downloaded via: https://www.eur.nl/media/2019-04-kathrinerasmuspublicspread
Art Now 61: Kathrin Schlegel part 2 of 3: The cloud-shaped sculpture
The Cloud-shaped sculpture in park Noord on campus Woudestein is one of two elements of the artwork Der Stein des Weisen by artist Kathrin Schlegel. The monumental sculpture is placed opposite the pedestal of Erasmus and is 6 meters high and 4 meters wide. Made of highly polished stainless steel, "The Cloud" acts as a beacon and refers in its form to Hans Petri's former 1969 environmental artwork on campus Woudestein, affectionately called ‘Petri's Eggs.
Mesh drawing of the stainless-steel sculpture ‘The Cloud' , one of the elements of the artwork ‘Der Stein des Weisen,’ by artist Kathrin Schlegel.
Petri's artwork had to make way in 2011 for the renewal of the campus. This prompted a commission to create a new iconic artwork for the university. Petri made his round 'egg' forms as a contrast and silent protest against the austere, angular geometry of the buildings. In contrast, Kathrin Schlegel's monumental speech/thought bubble merges, through its reflective material, with the campus environment.
Art Now 60: Kathrin Schlegel part 1 of 3: the pedestal of Erasmus
Der Stein des Weisen by Kathrin Schlegel is a permanent artwork in the public space of campus Woudestein. It has been realized in recent years as part of the large-scale transformation of the Erasmus University Rotterdam campus. The work consists of two elements: a cloud-shaped sculpture and the historical pedestal of Hendrick de Keyser's statue of Erasmus from 1677, which is kept for the future as a carrier of meaning in a glass display case.
Mesh drawing of 'the pedestal of Erasmus,' one of the elements of the artwork Der Stein des Weisen by artist Kathrin Schlegel.
The title of the artwork Der Stein des Weisen literally refers to the pedestal that has faithfully carried the famous Erasmus statue, which now stands in front of the Laurenskerk, for three centuries: the stone of the wise scientist. Also, it refers to the legendary Philosopher's Stone, lapis philosophorum. This is the element in alchemy that could transform base metals into precious metals. The search for this impossible element traditionally symbolizes the human desire for material wealth, as well as knowledge and enlightenment. By making the empty pedestal the heart of a new work of art, Schlegel raises questions about the reception history of Erasmus' legacy and the iconography of his figure as a symbol for the city of Rotterdam and the Erasmus university.
Art Now 58: Heske de Vries
Heske de Vries, Slices of Life nr.5, 2014-2015, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal on paper 29.7 cm x 21 cm Art Collection EUR
With the 2014-2015 series ‘Slices of Life’, artist Heske de Vries (b. 1954) shows cinematic fragments of life that are about vulnerability, beauty, loneliness, and transience. The subjects she chooses are diverse; people, landscapes, squares, still lives and interiors alternate. They seem randomly chosen; however, De Vries selects each subject with the utmost deliberation. In the enormous stream of daily visual information, she searches for images that catch her eye and move her. She captures these images by sketching or photographing them, sometimes she also uses images from existing media. She then transforms the images by adjusting them in light, composition, size and/or atmosphere. In doing so, De Vries unlocks the beauty of everyday situations and invites us to look at them from a new perspective.
Art Now 57: Peter Westerveld
Peter Westerveld, ‘First Moment,’ 1985, acrylic on canvas, 504 cm x 252 cm - EUR Art Collection - location ISS
Peter Westerveld; ‘Making art will never leave you, it is part of the way you think and the way you work.’
The fifty-seventh artwork in the Art Now series is ‘First Moment’ (1985) by visionary artist and sustainability pioneer Peter Westerveld (1951-2014). Westerveld was born and raised in Africa, to which he would remain connected his entire life. As a young man, Westerveld studied at the academy of fine arts in Amsterdam. As an artist, he was inspired by nature. He wanted his art to stimulate awareness about nature, human actions and sustainable development. For the last fifteen years of his life, he dedicated his art to finding solutions to climate issues. His magnum opus is the ‘Hydrological Corridor’, a system that naturally supplies deserted land from the Tana River to Kilimanjaro with sufficient water. With this enormous work of art, he worked passionately and uncompromisingly to revitalize eroded areas of Africa. Westerveld’s idea has been successfully applied in Mali, Tanzania, and Kenya, and inspires many to this day.
Peter Westerveld; ‘The work I do in the field, that is real art in my opinion. Reviving land recreating forests... You're basically revitalizing life. I consider that to be real art.’
'First Moment' by artist Peter Westerveld depicts the first moment that humans ‘appeared’ on earth as new energy. The artwork was donated to the EUR Art Collection in 2021 and placed in the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague.
Art Now 54: throw-back Marijn van Kreij
Marijn van Kreij, ZT, (Picasso, The Studio, 1956, The Palm at the End of the Mind, Erasmus University Rotterdam), 2017 hand-painted porcelain tiles, total dim. 285 x 1500 cm - Art collection EUR painted together with students and staff of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Artist Marijn van Kreij created a unique work of art for the renovated University Library of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 2017, the Erasmus University students and staff were invited to come to the Erasmus Gallery and paint a tile after an example selected by the artist. The example was based on a fragment from a painting by Picasso from 1956, entitled 'The Studio.' Marijn van Kreij: 'The personal handwriting and the differences within the repetition are important in the artwork.' In two weeks, almost 1000 tiles on A4 format (21 x 29.7 cm) were painted. Van Kreij then selected the tiles for the final composition. Together they form the artwork of 285 x 1500 cm installed near the new first-floor entrance of the University Library location Institutenlaan, campus Woudestein.
Art Now 53: Rob Leenders
Rob Leenders ‘Windscherm 4’, 1979 - Silkscreen, image 32 x 46 cm (frame 60 x 80 cm) - Art Collection EUR
The 53rd artwork in the Art Now series is 'Windscherm 4' from 1979 by Rotterdam-born artist Rob Leenders (1956). Like the previous work in the Art Now series, this work by Leenders also depicts the windscreen, although we now see quite a few more of them. The increase in the number of windscreens suggests that there also might be an increase in the wind and the number of people on the beach. But it remains only a suggestion because again we see only the windscreens standing on a sandy beach and looking past them towards a calm sea and an everlasting blue sky. The water is still gently rippling up the beach quietly, and in the tranquil moment, again nothing seems to indicate that windscreens are needed. ‘Windscherm 4' was purchased for the EUR Art Collection in 1981 with four other screen prints from the same artist and with the same theme. Since then, the screen prints have been offered in the EUR 'art on loan' program. Due to their popularity among the EUR-employees, the works of art have seen many EUR workplace locations over the years.
Art Now 52: throw-back Rob Leenders
Rob Leenders ‘Windscherm 1’, 1979 - Silkscreen, image 32 x 46 cm (frame 60 x 80 cm) - Art Collection EUR
The 1979 artwork "Wind Screen 1" by Rotterdam-born artist Rob Leenders (b. 1956) shows, as can already be inferred from the artwork's title, a wind screen. We see it standing upright at a sandy beach, as we look past it towards a calm sea and an everlasting blue sky. The water seems to ripple up the beach quietly, and in the tranquil moment, nothing seems to indicate that a windshield is necessary. The layered image invites us to wonder what is behind the shield and let our gaze drift into the distance, as if in memory of a pleasant holiday. ‘Windscherm 1' was purchased for the EUR Art Collection in 1981 with four other screen prints from the same artist and with the same theme. Since then, the screen prints have been offered in the EUR 'art on loan' program. Due to their popularity among the EUR-employees, the works of art have been requested for many EUR workplace locations over the years.
Art Now 51 throw-back Thomas Trum
Thomas Trum ‘One Green Line’, 2019 Acrylics and glyserine on canvas, 190 x 250 cm - EUR Art Collection
'One Green Line' from 2019 by artist Thomas Trum (1989). This large-scale work of art was purchased in 2019 for the Art Collection EUR and is placed in lecture hall CB-05 in Theil building on campus Woudestein.
Central to the work of Trum is research. Time and again, this artist explores the material, the way of applying it, and the carrier itself. As an instrument, Trum uses, among other things, enormous self-designed felt-tip pens, a machine for marking traffic lanes, and brushes on a drilling machine. A constant factor in his work is paint, whether it concerns his small-scale drawings or his colorful, large-scale works in public space. His work is often based on trial-and-error in which the directness of the action in the creation process is an essential part of the extraordinary result.
Art now 50: throw-back Celine van den Boorn
Celine van den Boorn - Near the European Border #7, digital print, 60 x 90 cm EUR Art Collection
‘Near the European Border #7’ is a digital print by Amsterdam-based Dutch visual artist Celine van den Boorn. The artist focuses on nature, culture, and (un)artificial order. Van den Boorn paints on press photographs and makes the people depicted in them, in the role of soldiers, tourists, or refugees, 'disappear' into the surrounding landscape. A new, more ideal reality emerges through her intervention, but the missing subject remains tangible and subtly visible. The work is layered, in the image (what do we see), and technique (what is paint and what is the photo), and in theme (how does the landscape relate to human presence). The motivation for this work, acquired in the EUR Art Collection in 2020, is news images of refugees' ongoing flow into Europe. In their search for a better and free life, people are stranded en masse in a muddy no-man 's-land at the European borders. The artist herself about her work; 'Struck by the contrast in the photos between the desolation of the situation and the bleak landscape on the one hand, and the cheerful-looking brightly colored tents, luggage and clothing of the refugees on the other, I began to paint away from the original subject matter in the photos. The colorful spheres are unpainted " glimpses" into the original photograph. Through my working method, I hope to magnify the existing contrasts, both in form and content creating tension between hope and reality and movement and stagnation.
Art Now 49: Maura Biava
Maura Biava ‘New Frequency_curve’ 2018 (detail) - handprint on canson rag on aluminum - 45 x 45 cm from the EUR Art Collection, now on display in the Erasmus Gallery until mid-August 2022
The EUR Art Collection consists largely of works on paper and, thanks in part to donations, now comprises more than 2,000 works of art. At the start of the collection in 1963, the four original principles for acquiring art were: colorful graphics, contemporary art, national and international artists, and high quality. The last three of the four original starting points are still relevant today. Only the first, colorful graphics, was soon abandoned. As a result, unique works and works in black and white also came into consideration. A selection of these is now on display. Until mid-August, the Erasmus Gallery is exhibiting works of art collected over the years for the EUR Art Collection in …
More Than 50 Shades of Grey
They are all artworks by artists who, for these works, have chosen for black and white without any 'distraction' of color. Reasons for such a choice are often individually driven. Sometimes it is to practice, mastering technique, or because one wants to emphasize the light-dark contrast. The motivation can also be to highlight the composition, to stress the line, or to give extra meaning to the image. Despite - or perhaps even because of - these limitations, the artworks show the richness that the art collection of the Erasmus University has to offer.