The Botanical Revolution / Jasper Hagenaar / Antonis Pittas / Modern Love
The Botanical Revolution
Gardens have appealed to our imagination for centuries. We associate them with harmonious bliss, a place to witness the cycle of life and death, a place of contemplation, and a refuge from the worries and cares of daily life. And certainly in these times of being cooped up at home, there is a strong desire to have one’s own bit of greenery. The Botanical Revolution, on the necessity of art and gardening is the story of the garden as a fertile source of inspiration for artists. How do today’s artists reflect on themes such as primeval paradise, vegetable gardens, botany and climate change? Surprising classic and modern examples reveal the deep roots of the exhibition’s themes.
Photography: Elspeth Diederix, Miracle2 #01, 2021
For this exhibition, Jasper Hagenaar (Tilburg, 1977) did not only make a series of new paintings, but also adapted the interior of the room to his will. By placing walls on the boundary lines of the concrete floor parts opposite the glass walls, three rooms have been created. The spaces work like dioramas, because initially you can only view the paintings through the glass and from a distance. Hagenaar’s paintings were inspired by works from the museum's modern art collection – the kind of modernism he became familiar with in his youth through museum visits with his parents. However, he did not imitate them, but made new spatial models with cardboard, wood and clay. The small formats and the broken, muted colors of the paintings evoke nostalgia for the bygone days of abstract modernism.
Greek visual artist Antonis Pittas (1973) presents his perspective on the Theo van Doesburg sub-collection of Centraal Museum. Pittas’ intervention was inspired by his time as artist in residence at the Van Doesburg House in Paris (Meudon-Val-Fleury) in 2019. During his residence, Pittas studied the history and the mentality of Theo van Doesburg, the Van Doesburg House, and the wider De Stijl movement. Pittas’ stay in the studio house coincided with the yellow vests protests, and the focus of his research into modernism thus increasingly shifted towards the political unrest in the streets outside. The installation presents his study of Modernism, De Stijl and Van Doesburg from a political perspective.
In a time of globalization, digitization, capitalism and neoliberalism, the interpretation of intimate relationships is being redefined. There is more alienation and loneliness, but also more room for an urbanized, digitally networked lifestyle. How does this affect emotion, intimacy and love? In Modern Love, meaningful relationships and experiences are explored in the light of this increase of digital interactions and physical distance. Surprising connections are made in the form of installations and various works from the permanent collection.
This exhibition is curated by the Greek curator Katerina Gregos and is presented by IMPAKT Festival. The exhibition is divided into two locations, you can visit it at IMPAKT and Centraal Museum.