Tentoonstelling : Kunsttraject-etalages Amsterdam

In de Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam verzorgt de Stichting Kunsttraject een tentoonstelling die 24 uur per dag geopend is. De tentoonstelling wordt namelijk gehouden in diverse etalages in de wijk.

Stichting Guarany maakt in de periode van 20 maart tot 15 mei 2015 een tentoonstelling mogelijk van het werk van Régis Gonçalves. 

Het werk van Régis Gonçalves is dag en nacht te zien in de volgende etalages in de Staatsliedenbuurt:

  • Van Hallstraat 13 en 31
  • J.M. Kemperstraat 89, 121, 140 en 148
  • Van der Hoopstraat 41, 66, 88 en 89
    Fannius Scholtenstraat 20

Op zondag 19 april om 15.00 uur is er een rondleiding met de kunstenaar langs de etalages. Verzamelen op het Van Limburg Stirumplein.

Officiële aankondiging van de tentoonstelling in de Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam.
Officiële aankondiging van de tentoonstelling in de Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam.

De in Brazilië geboren kunstenaar Régis Gonçalves strooit met details uit zijn leven. De dik geschilderde bijna monochrome werken verwijzen naar de landen waar hij verbleef. Donker bruin/rood staat voor zijn geboorteland, beige/bruin voor Ghana en de grijs witte tinten verwijzen naar Dubai. Groen tenslotte, hoe kan het anders, vertegenwoordigt Nederland.
Régis Gonçalves is een echte schilder, een materieman bijna. Zijn doeken en objecten zitten dik in de verf maar nergens wordt het kleverig of zwaar. Elke laag heeft zijn betekenis. Een betekenis die je moet opgraven. Soms ontdek je in de diepte een afbeelding.
Voor Gonçalves staat wat hij maakt niet op zich; voor hem is de manier waarop het wordt gepresenteerd minstens zo belangrijk. Hij arrangeert zijn werken dan ook in de ruimte. En zelfs in de beperkte ruimte van de etalages is dat goed te zien.


Painting in the fourth dimension : on the work of Régis Gonçalves
by Jeroen Boomgaard

How many seconds was it again? How long does research state that an average visitor looks at an average painting in a museum? I’ve forgotten the exact number, but it is surprisingly few. I do remember that the limits of this attention span has led people to deduce that modern technology condemns people today to impatience and more of this sort of culturally-pessimistic mumbo-jumbo. The issue is whether we are the ones deciding to look so briefly: the work of art also plays a part.

Since film took over the story-telling function of painting, narrative paintings belong to the minority in museums. For the majority of the 20th century, painting, from Mondrian and Malevich to Rothko and Newman, is a sign that wants to make an immediate impression, no longer a story to be slowly read to the end. It was on this transience, this fleeting perception offered to us through the encounter with a painting, that in the early nineteen-seventies Michael Fried based his critique of Minimal Art. Art that moved with the viewer, that folded itself around him in order to beguile him, but that offered him no revelation in a single moment, was in his opinion no more than a poor form of theatre.

Régis Gonçalves’ work belongs to this tradition of fast, non-theatrical painting. Or at least, at first sight. Patient study of his bright colour fields, on which a single form or representation can sometimes be seen, reveals no more than at initial exposure. His more recent work, in which various materials are combined into mask-like constructions, do not appear to completely fit in here, but when we look at them one by one they still seem to ask for a quick look. In the installations, however, this becomes much more complicated when he hangs several works together as an ensemble. We are then forced to calmly study them both one by one and in their entirety.

Research, and then in particular art as research, forms the basis for this transition from the singular work to the ensemble. The passage of time is always an aspect of research. Not only does it take a great deal of time to thoroughly study and scrutinize something, the results also require time to unfold. The combination of painting and research thus inevitably leads to an explanation that questions the direct effect of the art of painting rather than confirms it. This questioning takes various forms in Gonçalves’ work. During his time at the academy he was already producing paintings in series and in the course of his artistic research he concentrated on the effect of paintings in relation to the space in which they are exhibited.

This step connects with the insights used by the Minimal artists to challenge Fried’s critique. The painting can only achieve its fleeting effect because it is included in a particular spatial structure, which we call a gallery, exhibition or museum. The fourth dimension that appears to be absent from the painting is, on further consideration, the precondition for our visit: we are already participating in the narrative before we have seen a work of art.

In Gonçalves’ mask-like assemblages and constructions this insight is found in the work itself. Cultural elements with diverse backgrounds come together as a result of a study into the traces that define our concept of cultural difference. It still takes little time to experience these paintings, their effect is revealed immediately. But patience and attention is required to actually unlock them, just as much patience and attention as Gonçalves has put into making them.

 Jeroen Boomgaard
Coordinator Artistic Research – University of Amsterdam.
Professor of Art and Public Space – Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.