Abstract Art in Rotterdam
Summer is in the city, and despite the rainy weather I did the art walk for you! Among many other exhibitions that run these days, two of them caught my interest.
Both of the exhibitions share many aesthetic similarities as they belong in the field of abstraction and they present the necessities of today’s contemporary art.
Starting with Βoijmans van Βeuningen museum, that exhibits Richard Serra’s work, a well-known American minimal artist. Some of his most recognized artworks are large scale steel panels which are publicly displayed in many cities worldwide as well as in the Netherlands. Quoting Serra himself, he deals with “time and movement” through his art.
A series of drawings, never exhibited before, are represented until the 24th of September. Two of them, titled ‘Rotterdam Vertical‘ and ‘Rotterdam Horizontal’, were made especially for the Boijmans museum.
Black and white drawings (as imposed by abstract expressionism) and repetitive forms on handmade paper can be seen. His artistic output is characterized by both, quantity and high quality aesthetics.
Henceforth, extreme scale black drawings are exhibited, in sequence with his famous installations. A common feeling emerges from the viewers, a disturbed state of equilibrium and perspective. A ‘game’ that Serra knows well how to play, through his art.
The other exhibition hosted by Frank Taal gallery from the 18th of June until the 22th of July, entitled Analytic Overlay by the artist Mike Ottink. The first impression you get entering the space, is one of abstraction and chromatic contrasts, but soon after, the exhibition catalogue informs you about the specific context.
Visions of sound, is the core of the artworks, related especially with the outings of the VHSUHF project, a collaboration of the visual artist Ottink and Brian Mc Kenna. (VHSUHF is a live sound performance that accompanies the exhibition).
Either by engraving wood or by drawing, geometric forms are revealed. Adequately placed drips and color contrasts create the general artistic environment.
Ottink’s artworks on wood / close up
Serra’s and Ottink’s artwork belong in the field of abstract art. Abstract art was born as a visual language over a century ago, but still remains relevant today. When social and political needs in international level are circular even though they are reformed, we understand why art follows that pattern. As a result abstract art is contemporary, due to the fact that the same questions arise from the time that abstraction started as a trend.
Serra and Otting, who are two different artists working on different abstractions, share a common feeling in Rotterdam’s art scene from the previous month.
It may have been an unintended side effect but, but the abstract art presented in Rotterdam’s contemporary art scene, can be a good start to rethink the older values and questions that are still important both in visual arts and every aspect of life.