text and image roberto voorbij
‘Bellevue: Contemporary Painting from the Collection’ is the name of one of the many diverse exhibitions which can now be visited at the Stedelijk Museum. As connecting element has this particular exhibition the rather wide starting point of “representational painting and its context: including news media, fashion, advertising and portrait photography, the gallery and the museum, and modern art history.” This fairly general unifying factor has the advantage that a visitor can distill its own exhibition concept from the whole, independently can reveal cross-connections between the different works that obviously exist. For instance can in the last two rooms works be admired by Luc Tuymans, Martin Kippenberger and Helen Verhoeven in which by all three a certain child-like naivety is combined with a distinct threat. Especially in the triptych of Kippenberger has this contrast, which in retrospect applies to the entire exhibition, been carried to the extreme. On the one hand is there the used style; unrestrained, naive, child-like. On the other hand there is the subject matter; controlling institutions. In particular it is seriality that conflicts with spontaneity in this artwork. Three times the same naive image, framed in a similar black frame, the exact same size. It’s as if Kippenberger stretches the controlling authority further to his own habitat of museum and gallery. At the same time this seriality takes the visitor back to the start of the exhibition, to Warhol’s Bellevue from which the name of the exhibition is derived.
For now no closing date is mentioned on the website of the Stedelijk. So go see it before it’s too late : )
Martin Kippenberger – Drei Häuser mit Schlitzen (Betty Ford Klinik, Stammheim, Jüdische Grundschule) (1985).
Helen Verhoeven – Thingly Character V (2010).
Luc Tuymans – Silent Music (1993).