• “Lingering on the Rim”, solo show by Otobong Nkanga17 June - 24 July, 2021
    A few years after her last exhibition in Amsterdam, Otobong Nkanga (Kano, 1974) returns to Lumen Travo Gallery with her new solo show, “Lingering on the Rim”, which offers a glimpse into Nkanga’s multi-disciplinary practice, spanning tapestry, drawing, photography, installation, video and performance.
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    The textile piece “Revelations” addresses the politics of land and its relationship to the body, as well as the complex and fraught histories of land acquisition and ownership by connecting threads that reveal the entanglements of bodies, land and natural resources. Nkanga is concerned with raw material production and how mining and other forms of extraction leave irreversible traces in the landscape.  Following a similar approach, the installation “Tsumeb Fragments” (2015) is a small cluster of interconnected tables which gather together malachite stones, archival photographs, shreds of copper. The formation of the tables and the choice of objects question standard assumptions of display. Materials that are usually dispersed across diverse sites and archives are brought together. Full of literary, religious, and geological references, her work sheds light on how production affects both humans and nature, but also how dependent the world is on this circulation of goods. In Nkanga, the theme is often given a poetic setting, where the titles are central to the understanding of the works.  Otobong Nkanga is the recipient of the 2019 Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme and of the Peter Weiss Preis (2019). She received a Special Mention at the 58th Venice Biennale for her ongoing exploration across media into the politics of land, body and time. Nkanga is also the recipient of the 2019 Ultimas-Flemish Prize for culture, and, with Emeka Ogboh, of the Sharjah Biennial 14 Prize. In 2015 she was awarded the Yanghyun Prize and in 2017 the Belgian Art Prize. Recent exhibitions include upcoming solo show at Castello di Rivoli, Turin Italy (2021), Uncertain where the next wind blows at Henie Onstad, Oslo (2020), There’s No Such Thing as Solid Ground, Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2020), Acts at the Crossroads, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2019), From Where I Stand, Tate St. Ives, UK (2019). The work “Borrowed Light” (2019) was originally conceived for her solo exhibition at Tate St. Ives, “From Where I Stand”, 2019. After experiencing the tones and lights embedded in the Cornish landscape and architecture, Nkanga developed this work, which belongs to a larger series of drawings. Closing the cycle is the photography titled “Emptied Remains – Molenstraat” (2011) which was taken in Antwerp, the city where Nkanga is currently living. By showing a piece of muddy terrain right at the moment of its transformation from parking lot into apartment building, the photography become witness of a specific moment in time and space, a fragment lingering on the rim between its past life and its future destiny.
    Otobong Nkanga’s most recent solo exhibitions include an upcoming solo show at Castello di Rivoli, Turin Italy (2021), “When Looking Across the Sea, Do You Dream?” at Villa Arson, Nice (2021); “Uncertain Where the Next Wind Blows” at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway (2020-2021); “There's No Such Thing as Solid Ground” at Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2020); “From Where I Stand” at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Middlesbrough (2020-2021); “Acts at the Crossroads” at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (2019); “From Where I Stand”, Tate St. Ives, St. Ives (2019); “A Lapse, a Stain, a Fall” at Ar/geKunst, Bolzano (2018); “To Dig a Hole that Collapses Again” at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago (2018). Otobong Nkanga is the 1st recipient of the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award (Norway, 2019), and was awarded the Peter Weiss Award (Bochum, 2019), the Special Mention Award of the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (Venice, 2019), the 2019 Sharjah Biennial Award (Sharjah, 2019), the Flemish Cultural Award for Visual Arts - Ultima (Brussels, 2019), the Belgian Art Prize (Brussels, 2017) and the 8th Yanghyun Art Prize (Seoul, 2015).
  • “Imaginary Travels”, group show15 May, 12 June, 2021
    Lumen Travo gallery is thrilled to present the new group exhibition ”Imaginary Travels", which features the works on paper of Dianne Hagen (NL), Jens Pfeifer (DE), Monali Meher (IN) and Thierry Oussou (BEN). At a time when traveling has become incredibly difficult, we would like to offer an opportunity to experience an imaginary journey around the world. We do this through the very diverse approaches of the four selected artists, who bring to Lumen Travo a new body of work, developed almost entirely from the beginning of the 2020 lockdown. Their experiences, fascinations and considerations are here combined together, resulting in a kaleidoscopic visual excursion.
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    Dianne Hagen presents her new series of works, going by the title Aux bain-Marie (2020). Bain-Marie we all know for nicely melting the chocolate without burning it. The Aux that precedes it stands for “to”, emphasising the meaning of ‘reaching a place’. In the Aux bain-Marie group of works the pattern and the place (object) are playing together. Through means of perspective, hidden and unfolding and through diligent, almost meditative, painterly labor, Hagen wants to blur the boundaries between abstract and figurative, in order to disrupt, to assume, to feel, to imagine. In these works, the use of realism is provocative: a sunset, a streaming river, a flower, are here depicted though the lens of false romanticism. The suggestiveness is a tool for conflicting interpretations and for highlighting the inherent freedom of ambivalent scenarios that can resist single interpretations. The sum of partly recognisable elements plays with emotions of longing, desire, judgment, power, love and condemnation. The viewer doesn’t get round to one reading or statement. There is no puzzle to be solved or descriptive, didactic or moralists’ lessons to be taken from it. It only involves the person who looks at it. The series Smokers stems from observations that German artist Jens Pfeifer made while he was in China. Unconsciously, he photographed many men, and some women, smoking on the streets, in restaurants, in parks and offices, mornings, days and nights. Cigarettes determine for a great deal the visual perception of Chinese life. More so, smoking is part of the social concourse, almost like serving tea. What one smokes very much defines the social status too. From self-grown tobacco in bamboo pipes to fancy gold-leaved, over-prized cigarettes. The use of aluminium foil refers to the fact cigarettes are wrapped in this very material. Its catchy reflectiveness is the same as is seen in the multitude of stainless-steel applications in architecture and art throughout the province, as well as on Billboards along the highways. The ink enhances depth, yet it is brought on the aluminium in a way that it looks random and accidental. These images are a contradiction between the elegant, heroic, cool smoker, as we know them from many advertisements in all cultures, and the emptiness of a plain (sur)face on a tar-black background. Indian artist Monali Meher presents a mix media series of works on paper, which reflect the mood of present times, particulalry in light of the horrific situation back in her motherland, India, which has been incredibly affected by the current pandemic. In the series of collaged works called Threshold, Old Indian market photos are cut and shaped in threshold forms (window sill, steps, niche, doorway, pond, wall, tree, roof, dome, fence), combined into colourful collages through an almost ritualistic sequence of actions, which also involves the use of food colours, inks, pigments, face paints and sandalwood oil to soothe the pain while hoping for safer times. The larger mixed media collaged works on handmade paper present a combination of light, dark & gloomy facts of life, skilfully juxtaposed in order to create a mosaic of antithesis: birth and death, happy and sad, entanglement of void and creative vigour. Thierry Oussou paints exclusively on black paper and favours large-scale formats. The works showcase his distinctively gestural style with drips, scratches, splatters and calligraphic marks. Distorted figures, faces, objects and symbols float freely against the dark background of the paper. In his artistic practice Oussou deals with questions about authenticity, history, heritage and visibility. Through his use of various media including painting, sculpture and video, Oussou brings reflection to this moment, crafting probing yet poetic commentaries on the threads that link the past and the future. Much of the work in this exhibition was inspired by the lives of Beninese men and women working in the cotton plantations. For this ongoing project, Oussou developed a multi-layered visual investigation, which addresses the cotton plantations in Benin, his motherland, and the impact they have on the economic rise of the country.
  • “Doubt”, solo show by Atousa Bandeh20 March - 8 May, 2021
    “There is nothing more mysterious than a TV set left on in an empty room. It is even stranger than a man talking to himself or a woman standing dreaming. It is as if another planet is communicating with you.” - Baudrillard.”
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    The solo show “Doubt” by Iranian artist Atousa Bandeh leaves one high and dry in where one might find himself under the news bombardment of unrest and fire and fury. The significant difference from the daily bombardment is in the direction where this exhibition takes the viewer. Surrounded by multi-size and multimedia artworks, instead of de-sensitization proper of the age of horizontalist social media numbing, her works make a new sensation, embedding the daily with the timeless, the mythical with the political, and the far with the objects close by. The exhibition consists of some large paintings which skin-like layers of plastic. The paintings depict a time and an interiority of our 'normal' afternoons in front of the TV, while the TV frames remind us of cinematic cultural references, typical to Bandeh's work, who indeed is a post-cinematic painter. From Moses conducting a miracle to masses on the street with fire and greenlight in their background, one feels like waking up from a dream that has just taken a few millennials. A vision that is reinforced through the presence of the plaster cast sculptures, which have merged with the gallery walls: Atousa combines element from classical art with contemporary subjects as simple as daily groceries, exploring the texture of a material as humble and controverse as plastic, which has undoubtedly played a central role in her practice of these recent years. The exhibition’s landscape reconstructs our everyday life plus their constant mythical implications that we thought so much we have distanced ourselves from. In the artist's words, the landscape before us is of a "multiscreen set.” The modern myths of our beliefs are brought to the same temporality as the myths we looked down at so sarcastically with our liberal democratic arrogance. Now the artist gives us all we had hoped for: Believing in what we wanted to believe. She exposes the flaw we had in our assumption that we had got over the myths. The myth of the new, the news myths, the naïve trust in politics, with the seasonal rotations of antagonists and protagonists who run through the city, and the fast movement of snaps before our eyes, a fallen plastic bag with crushed vegetables, abandoned among the unrest, pierces our memories. Doubt puts the taken for granted on trial.
  • “Pietà, A Reconsideration of the Gesture”, solo show by Rini Hurkmans7 November - 20 December, 2020
    For this year's edition of Amsterdam Art Gallery Weekend, Lumen Travo Gallery is pleased to present the latest body of work by Rini Hurkmans in the solo exhibition Pietà, A Reconsideration of the Gesture.
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    In the exhibition Pietà, A Reconsideration of the Gesture, she presents works that she developed during her working period as Artist in Residence at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). Her research into the press photo of the moment just after Michelangelo's Pietà was attacked in 1972 serves as the starting point for her new work that also builds upon earlier work inspired by this photo since she acquired it in 1992. The Pietà is a religious image of a mother with her dead son on her lap. It is an icon that depicts general emotions of human suffering in which loss, love, and grief come together and therefore the theme extends beyond the Christian belief. When the Pietà (1499) in the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was attacked by Laszlo Toth in 1972, he destroyed the left arm. Consequently, the initial gesture that reaches out to the public to engage with the theme of the Pietà was annihilated. The gesture and the press photo are multi-interpretable and carry a duality that challenges the viewer to consider ethical issues about justice and injustice, vulnerability and strength, perpetrator and victim. The works in the exhibition invite to reconsider the gesture, its engaging role that might include an awareness of communality, closeness, sensibility, and intuition, but might also involve gestures that disrupt, destroy, conceal, and condemn.
  • “One eye and two takes on vulnerability”, show by Matea Bakula and Milena Naef3 September - 24 October, 2020
    It's the beginning of a new gallery season! For the occasion, Lumen Travo is proud to host the result of the collaboration between two emerging talents of the gallery: Matea Bakula and Milena Naef share a special look on materiality and the way we experience it in our everyday life.
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    Milena Naef (Engen, 1990) is fascinated by those spaces that have been created by man and that are related to ourselves. She translates Le Corbusier's measurement system, called 'Modulor', into free marble structures, leading to the creation of abstract spaces that relate to the human body. Naef works with traditional materials such as marble and glass, giving them a new and unique character, which creates contrasts and allows materiality to be renewed. Matea Bakula (Sarajevo, 1990) has developed a new body of work, where the corrugated cardboard holds a central role, confirming once again Bakula’s interest for humble materials and their hidden potential. Her starting point is whether you are aware or not of the most mundane actions of your routine. Consider replacing a toilet roll for instance. It is not necessary that you do it with your full concentration and yet there is only one way to do it right. This show is all about human dimensions and everyday actions. How do you relate to an object and space in everyday life? Matea Bakula and Milena Naef show in two different ways how these questions can be translated into materiality.
  • Untitled (Spirit of Changing Times)7 June - 25 July, 2020
    It’s becoming an annual tradition for Lumen Travo to host every year around this time a group show addressing our social and political present through the works on paper, collages and paintings of our artists. Last year the show 'Reflections on Nature' focused on the binomial controversy between natural and artificial through Matea Bakula’s sculptures and Joseph Sasson Semah’s works. And this year it seems even more necessary to continue with this conversation. ‘Untitled (Spirit of Changing Time)' features the recent body of works of three artists of the gallery - Atousa Bandeh, Judith Westervelt and Thierry Oussou. Developed under these times, the dystopian circumstances we live in, this group show presents different stories from different cultures coming together with the hope of raising awareness in our visitors, while keeping developing a visual conversation about this very moment, unfolding those urgent matters that need to be addressed.
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  • Bird Bath29 February - 31 May, 2020
    Sensing birds... Do we want to make a bird's heart beat faster? Starting from this very question, Dutch artist Mariëlle Videler has developed her personal investigation over birds and their way of dealing with the urban environment, making them her main focus in these most recent years of activity.
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    By creating a microclimate on her balcony, with a drip shower, seeds, colors and viewpoints, Mariëlle began her artistic research, whose results we are thrilled to host at our gallery. Three models will be exhibited during the show, together with the impressive installation 365 BIRDS, presenting the outcome of Mariëlle's practice during 2019, when she drew one new bird every day for the entire year. The exhibition runs until April the 11th, alongside the public program 'Bird Club': 4 days per week, 24 women will share a personal story about a bird, in the context of the installation 365 BIRDS. Bird Club is inspired by American pioneer naturalist and writer Florence Merriam Bailey (1863-1947). Bailey educated society about appreciating birds in their natural environment, instead of shooting them for study or decoration.
    Visual artist Mariëlle Videler (NL, 1970) is a multimedia artist, creating installations, drawings, objects, videos and performances. She identifies herself with a traveller who undertakes physical as well as imaginary journeys. In the past decade she intensively explored the knowledge, ideology and craft of indigenous cultures such as the Columbian Arwaku, and the Inuit of Greenland. Her work is a plead for sensory and corporeal awareness. Inspired by nature she creates a pathway into the texture of the world.
  • “and materiality becomes nothing but a mere representation of a structure of dominance”18 January - 22 February, 2020
    In occasion of his first solo presentation in the Netherlands, entitled, and materiality becomes nothing but a mere representation of a structure of dominance, Brazilian artist and researcher Daniel de Paula, who currently lives and works between Amsterdam and São Paulo, presents a series of objects and works that give continuation to his ongoing investigations towards infrastructure and the production of geographical space understood as the reproduction of violent practices that are fundamental to capitalist production. Through a variety of sculptural and conceptual strategies the artist proposes, not only a critical reflection of the physical structures that surround us, but also of the agency and invisible phenomena they conceal. Curated by Sjoerd Kloosterhuis Opening: January 18th, 17:00-19:00
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  • “Political Strategy”, solo show by Thierry Oussou16 November 2019 - 11 January 2020
    On the occasion of the Amsterdam Art weekend, Lumen Travo Gallery presents a new series of ink, acrylic and oil-bar works on paper by Beninois artist Thierry Oussou.
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    "Political Strategy" is a visual investigation that finds its inspiration in one of the oldest and most popular games in Africa - the board game Adji. The rules are easy as well as the aspect of the game itself: the Adji board is composed of two rows of six holes each, and 48 seeds are used. Two players stand in front of each other trying to accumulate more seeds as possible while moving them from one hole to another. Wins who ends up with more seeds. According to Thierry perspective, Adji is just the starting point of a much deeper investigation that touches upon all aspects of society and its rules, opening up to a series of interpretations: on one side seeds can be perceived as people migrating from a place to another. On a different perspective, seeds can be money, the fundament of our economy. And, the board itself can symbolize our country as well the cities we live in. Thierry does not investigate only the game itself but also its surrounding, translating through an alphabet of signs and colours the attitude of the players and the way they deal with winning and losing: a line of paint draws the gesture of a human, the disappointment or the explosive excitement rising after the victory. The faces surfacing from almost every work are the people who, through the game, reveal their inner and true self. The old concept of “game of forces” is here rejuvenated by the fresh vision of an artist constantly challenging his visitors with new elements and interpretations, evidence of his interest in the subtle details and in common-place, everyday drawings - drawing that are barely noticeable yet ubiquitous, that highlight the universality of their approach as a shared visual language of expression. In his practice Oussou deals with questions about authenticity, history, heritage and visibility. Through his use of various media including painting, sculpture and video, he brings reflection to this moment, crafting probing yet poetic commentaries on the threads that link the past and the future.
    Thierry Oussou was born in 1988 in Allada, Benin, where he founded the art studio Yè; he continues to give workshops on arts and visual culture in schools and cultural institutions across Benin. He has participated in residencies at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2015), and Dokoutin, Brussels (2014). Thierry exhibited at the Dakar Biennale in 2014, at the Berlin Biennial in 2018 and at the 2019 Brazil Biennial.
  • “On Friendship III – The Third Galut” – solo show by Joseph Sassoon Semah7 September - 12 October, 2019
    Art exhibition ‘On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam’: The Guest becomes Host On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam (7 September 2019-19 January 2020) is an aesthetic and poetic research into the cities Baghdad, Jerusalem and Amsterdam, which has been conceived by artist Joseph Sassoon Semah and curated by Linda Bouws (Metropool International Art Projects). All these cities are said to have been tolerant at some time in their history, but how does that relate to ‘otherness’ and what does it mean today? The project focuses on two lines of thought. The first is what Semah calls ‘The Third GaLUT’, the third Exile, a metaphor for disconnectedness. The second is ‘The Guest’ - someone who is allowed to live and work in a foreign context tests his surroundings by articulating his particular position in exile without any reservations. The Guest becomes Host. By this process Semah investigates one of the greatest achievements of human civilisation: hospitality. Joseph Sassoon Semah translates his cultural and visual heritage, and its subtext, into contemporary art. While doing so he reassesses and redefines lost heritages. Joseph Sassoon Semah shares his lost rich Babylonian cultural heritage and asks the public to review their own art, culture, traditions and identity. This will take place mainly in 36 public locations in Amsterdam. There will be new pieces of art, performances, debates, lectures, round-table discussions, video-interviews, a publication in English, articles on diverse platforms, and a research report as well as a video report. Simultaneously in Amsterdam (The Hermitage), Baghdad (in front of the Meir Tweig Synangogue) and Jerusalem (Jerusalem Biennale 2019) a small house will be built: MaKOM in MaKOM. Curator: Linda Bouws.
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    Artist Joseph Sassoon Semah was born in Baghdad (Iraq, 1948), as one of the last of a Babylonian Jewish family lineage, the grandson of Chief Rabbi Hacham Sassoon Kadoori (1885-1971). Kadoori was the head of the Babylonian Jewish community and preached of peace between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Baghdad once was one of the most diverse an tolerant cities in the world. The Babylonian Jews in Iraq were one of the oldest and historically seen, the most important Jewish community. The Talmud Bavli was compiled in Babylon and during the British mandate in the 1920s, the well-educated Jews played an important role in public life. But from 1948, the year of independence for Israel, life for Jews in Iraq becomes extremely difficult. Between 1950-1952, 120.000 - 130.000 Iraqi Jews were transported to Israel. The displaced Baghdadi Jews were forced to leave behind their culture and possessions in Iraq. Semah, together with his parents was displaced to the State of Israel in 1950. His grandfather Hacham Sassoon Kadoori refused to leave Iraq and stayed in Bagdhad until his death. As a Babylonian Jew who emigrated to the West (Amsterdam), he is part of GaLUT (Exile), an endless cycle of diaspora and return. You long for your country of birth and search for a way to relate to your cultural heritage and traditions. Heritage reminds us of our history. On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam was realised in part with the support of AFK, BPD Cultuurfonds, Metropool International Art Projects and Mondriaan Fonds. For more info: http://rozenbergquarterly.com/category/meritis_makom/
  • “Metaphysical Time Perspectives”, solo show by Franck Bragigand1 June - 12 July, 2019
    It is not easy work for the viewer, let's put that first, but it is also not a simple task that Franck Bragigand has taken on. Because how do you represent ‘the world’ in all its wealth, its complexity, with its many facets, how man have viewed and changed it, the society in which we live, and so on ... as good as possible? Dutch art was already known in the seventeenth century, or even earlier, for its focus on the representation of reality. ‘The Art of Describing’ is the title of a famous book about Dutch art. Franck Bragigand, however, does not look at the reality of objects such as still life, landscape, seafaring, interiors, as the Dutch masters once did, but also the reality of institutions, how man has designed and viewed the world from various disciplines, such as philosophy and hermeneutics, religion, science, metaphysics, world politics and economy, but also the layout of the world as used by the United Nations. This requires an in-depth study of various documents, writings, publications, and books that he considers important. He studies it thoroughly, like a scientist, but not as someone who deals with one specific subject, but as an all-rounder who investigates the complexity, the connections within the whole world, or even the universe. You would say an impossible task. It is crazy, but Bragigand sees it as a life's task and takes his work seriously. He is busy putting together an encyclopedia of our reality, our world in all its complexity. All this entails that many words and terms also appear in his art. Art Language, Art is Language, and later another combination of language and art will form his signature. But despite the abundance of words, names, terms in his art, Bragigand considers himself primarily a painter. His goal is to make the viewer think. The underlying structures of our world, our universe, which he believes he can expose through his careful examination of countless documents, evokes astonishment in himself, and -he also hopes- in ourselves as a viewer. By doing so he discovers that the number 10 does not only occur in the biblical ten commandments, but also underlies other basic rules, regulations and principles such as the Washington Concensus, the Bill of Rights or even the principles of Burning Man. On the back wall of the gallery an encyclopedic main work is hanging, in which he has depicted the important world events from 1901 to the present, the various developments, international conventions, conferences and their consequences, etc. in a colorful, almost cheerful work. The above may all sound rather rational, impersonal, no matter how colorful it may be, but then he shows another large work in which he presents his family line, his Family Tree in a long horizontal line, surrounded by important events, inventions, discoveries taking place from the beginning of the 17th century. At the bottom of the four-part work, he has depicted the different growth forms of treas. A joke, but also a serious matter. On the last page he has depicted himself in a bright red round shape, with his year of birth. From there, a line has been drawn further leading to his son, who was born in 1995. Time goes on, the future is still open. And time, dynamics, change, that stands out as a common thread in this important overview of his oeuvre. Including the time it takes to "read" the work. In other words. We are not an entity separate from the world, the events around us, our life, our being, our existence is embedded in the complex world around us, in history, and therefore the artist himself is also influenced by the events of the world, is part of it, but he himself is also adding something to this world in the form of his art. He sees it as his task as an artist, as a painter as he continues to consider himself, not only to make us aware of how we are an integral part of this complex world, how we are influenced by it, perhaps even manipulated, but he invites us through this rich work also to delve into those complex relationships that co-determine our lives. That is why the artist also invites the visitor to talk to him. And I can assure you, a conversation with Franck Bragigand is very fascinating and enriching! Bert Steevensz
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  • “Flowers, Candles, Crucifixes”, group show3 May - 1 June, 2021
    Lumen Travo gallery is delighted to present you the group show "Flowers, Candles, Crucifixes" that features the works of Ani Eloyan, Dianne Hagen and artist duo HENR.
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    Ani Eloyan’s (Armenia, 1988) works on paper are collages that stitch together elements from the world of cartoons, whose language confronts and questions the issues of sexuality, class, aesthetics and social acceptability. Her artistic practice extends the notion of how humour can tell us something about our under- standing of that nature but as well the limit of our understanding. Like in “The failed mystic”, the energetic, playful and humorous scenarios she portrays pose serious questions and challenge our perception of recognizable popular comic characters. Ani Eloyan graduated from the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2010. Her striking graduation show with huge painted collages populated by comicstrip characters won the Fine Art Department Prize. Her work is represented in a number of collections including that of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and AKZO Nobel Nederland. By sharing the same dark and provocative touch of artist Eloyan, Dianne Hagen's (The Netherlands, 1964) artistic practice evolves mainly around the notion of visceral instincts. Dianne proposes a series of artworks dealing with desires, death, suppression and power. The works have a surreal presence and provoke associations, which not necessarily lead you to one single truth or outcome. Hagen establishes a direct association between the object shown and the mental image it conveys. For this occasion she exhibits both drawings and sculptures. Dianne Hagen studied at the Rietveld Akademie and followed the two-year residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Her works are in museums and private collections in Holland, Canada, America, Belgium, France and India. Under the title "Dreamland", the artist duo HENR makes works that investigate the creation of a land dreamed. In an increasingly globalised world, for many people the desire for a place, terrain or space of their own has been exponentially grown. More and more people wish to have an own recognizable culture with which they the can identify. Culture is what gives meaning to our surroundings and significance to a territory. It is the cultivation of an area that causes the existence of a mental space.
  • “Modern Buildings”, solo show by Stephen Willats2 March - 26 April 2019
    "Modern Buildings" brings together a selection of smaller works, and works on paper by British artist Stephen Willats. This body of work, which has been built from the early 1970s onwards, explores and represents the polemics and symbolism of ‘modern building’ and its effects on contemporary life.
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    For almost 60 years the work of Stephen Willats has featured the ‘modern building’ especially in connection with social housing, initially as optimistic sign posts to a future society that embraced modernistic values. Later on this changed to a more critical relationship when the problems surrounding people’s actual lives in these buildings became all too apparent. Indeed, the works from the 1970’s and 1980’s mainly focus on the representation of the individual in relation to buildings in which they live and see around them, accompanying these works is the Building Series, (1987 onwards) and here in pen and ink drawings the building is represented as an object or monumental totem. Recently Stephen Willats has explored the symbolism of the ‘tower block’ as an ‘object’ that reflect the reductive ‘object language’ of contemporary society, by presenting the ‘modern building’ as a mirage, a vision of the future which is locked into a process in time in which the individual projects themselves into being part of an object based contemporary reality. This solo exhibition focuses on his smaller works bringing a variety of different forms of treatment together for the first time.
    Stephen Willats (1943, London) is a British artist, who lives and works in London. Since the early 1960s he has created works concerned with extending the territory in which art functions, while leading a critical examination of environments shaped by contemporary life. He is one of the forerunners of conceptual art in Europe, embracing interdisciplinary processes and theory from sociology, systems, analysis, cybernetics, computer technology, semiotics and philosophy, in the furtherance of the element of interactivity which continues to be one of the key drivers in his work. Stephen Willats is an international figure in contemporary art; he has worked in the Netherlands since the 1970’s where his work is represented in several public collections, it has been exhibited in the Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, De Gemeente Museum den Haag, Breda, Venlo etc. Most recently his work was seen in "Becoming Dutch" in the Van Abbe Museum. Upcoming shows include a significant retrospective that the Migros Museum in Zurich will host in May 2019.
  • Reflections on Nature26 January - 23 February, 2019
    Our very first show of 2019 features the works of three artists of the gallery: Atousa Bandeh, Matea Bakula and Joseph Semah.
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    The group show "Reflections on Nature" deals with what we consider an urgency that is worth to be addressed in this early part of the year, with the hope it will rise the right awareness in our audience: as the title suggests, all the artworks presented in the exhibition relay on the dualistic controversy between natural and artificial, in order to analyze the presence of Nature in such a man-centered world. The arisen reflections also lead to a necessary confrontation with the role of animals and their involvement in contemporary society: through Bakula’s beeswax sculptures, through Bandeh’s large canvas where plastic bags become the main protagonists of this weirdly aesthetic composition, and through Semah’s bronze rabbit lying on the floor, we would like to begin a provocative visual conversation over Nature, to help rise awareness towards the present and the future history of the world we are living in, while also growing a substantial understanding on the importance of animals and natural sources and materials.
  • “Doing business with the Dutch”, solo show by Ade Darmawan23 December, 2018 - 19 January, 2019
    For the exhibition "Doing business with the Dutch", Darmawan has been looking into how a society comes to an agreement as a nation and works together to sell itself as human capital, by consciously constructing a national identity and by presenting it as a value for economic trade. The act of this structured trade created trends and produced certain objects and stories, that are often re-intrepreted and misintrepreted. The installation presented in the show is inspired by books and images -strictly produced by the Dutch about Indonesia from the 1800-1900 and by the contemporary trading culture in the Netherlands- and presented as a design of a domestic interior.
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    Ade Darmawan’s own art explores his country, Indonesia, its history and, most importantly, its people. His installations are based on a study of the life cycle of everyday objects, collected from, both, home and industrial consumption. Embedded in these found objects and collages are narratives about national ideologies and aspirations, as well as parallels with similar capitalist ambitions. Ade often turns the spotlight on what he calls “minor histories”— events that in themselves may not possess historic relevance but, in the aggregate, make up a community’s past.
  • “Tabulating Table” solo show by Riet Wijnen20 October - 18 November, 2018
    Curated by Sjoerd Kloosterhuis.
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  • Me Neither7 September - 13 October, 2018
    Join us at the opening of this brilliant and provocative exhibition, where Kathe Burkart presents a selection of the large-scale works in painting, photography and video.
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    The latest additions to her well known Liz Taylor Series are paintings primarily from the last 4 years, made mostly in the Dutch language. Besides that, the show features the Amsterdam premiere of the new video piece Losing The Studio, as well as several other video works, along with selected works from the past year in Nudes series.
  • “The Dream of a Common Language”, solo show by Judith Westerveld26 May - 9 July, 2018
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  • “Works on Paper and Some Objects”, group show14 April - 19 May, 2018
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  • “Bridging Realities” group show10 March - 7 April, 2018
    Project by Tiong Ang
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  • “So help me god”, group show27 January - 23 December, 2017
    With Dianne Hagen, Atousa Bandeh and Sanjeev Sinha. Curated by Dianne Hagen.
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  • “Moments in the Think Tank”, solo show by Yvonne Dröge Wendel24 November - 23 December, 2017
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  • “Blinded Hunt”, solo show by Mariëlle Videler21 October - 18 November, 2017
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  • “Roots and Threads, Borders and Pieces” solo show by Monali Meher9 September - 14 October, 2017
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  • “The Chemistry between dr. Frank and Me” solo show by Matea Bakula3 June - 15 July, 2017
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  • Amsterdam Trail 201730 April - 27 May, 2017
    Works by Atousa Bandeh and Monali Meher with tribal art from Tibet, India and Cina.
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  • “Dialogues” at the Manifesta headquarters21 April - 10 November, 2017
    Manifesta launches the group exhibition Dialogues by Lumen Travo Gallery in its headquarters at Herengracht 474. This will mark the 7th edition of Manifesta’s in-house exhibitions. Featuring nine artists of the gallery, the show finds its starting point in the contrast between the contemporary identity of Lumen Travo and the historical past of the Manifesta HQ building. The gallery decided to approach this unique location in a pro-positive way by highlighting the unexpected connections rather than differences arising from the dialogue between the art and the space. Here, the works leave their comfort zone to inhabit a building whose historical background appears far from them. In this whimsical juxtaposition, new combinations emerge. The result is a unique “conversation” that goes beyond time, space, color and materials. By placing together old and contemporary, Eastern and Western, fancy and poor, the artworks and location find their common ground in delicate details and unexpected similarities that appear little by little throughout the show. In this cultural exchange, the initial contrast becomes the strength of the exhibition rather than its weakness – offering new meanings and fresh perspectives.
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    ARTISTS 1- Meschac Gaba’s Wisdom Lake This installation that can be considered the fil rouge of the whole curatorial concept behind this show since it’s scattered all over the place, from the entrance, till the rooms upstairs. It consists of 12 brains of ‘grandes maîtres’, as Meschac Gaba calls them, 12 great people who have made an impression on his life in a humanist, scientific, philosophical, religious and political way: Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, Desiderius Erasmus, Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx, Louis Pasteur, Marcel Broodthaers, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Luther King, Miriam Makeba, Harald Szeemann and King Ghezo from Benin. Here the presence of the gold element creates a chromatic affinity with the golden decoration on the wall and the baroque style of the location and proposes new exchanges between Africa and the Western world. Lake of Wisdom is a work about memory, history and appreciation. In his art, Meschac Gaba focuses on issues around intercultural balance and imbalance; he often addresses ideas of value and revaluation, manifesting with irony and charm these tradeoffs through the notions of cultural alteration, creolization of cultures. 2- Flag of Compassion This is an ongoing conceptual artwork, initiated in 2002. It investigates ethical values in society. The artwork consists out of various elements: the word ‘compassion,’ an instrument ‘the Flag,’ a Manifesto, a foundation managing the artwork, the Unda Foundation, a distribution network and a website where you can purchase the Flag (www.flagofcompassion.com). The Flag of Compassion shows an undulating golden yellow horizontal bar centrally placed on a white field. The colour white symbolizes purity, non-violence and peace. The colour golden yellow symbolizes the energy of life, (human) warmth and compassion, and the emanation of the positive forces of the human being. This is not the symbol of a nation, institution, society, political party or religious conviction but expresses an abstract concept of a universal human value. It is a means for every individual to express compassion. For this occasion an explanatory video about the Flag has been installed at the help desk of Manifesta in order to welcome the visitors with a symbol that goes beyond cultural, social and geographical differences. Here the Flag becomes official standard of the exhibition. 3- Otobong Nkanga’s Remains of the Green Hill Halfway between a performer, a film-maker, a sculptor, Nkanga creates narratives that dwell on memory, environment, and the postcolonial histories embedded in her home country. Remains of the Green Hill is a video installation by the African artist Otobong Nkanga. The Green Hill in Tsumeb, Namibia, is an area that once had a high concentration of minerals, crystals and copper. The Owambo looked after it for generations. After the arrival of German colonists, Green Hill was exhausted by the export industry. During her visit, Otobong Nkanga found only a fenced off crater. Only a few green and blue traces of malachite and azurite serve to remind us of its rich past. This video installation deals with the lack of prosperity, with the environmental changes caused by a brutal colonial past. It shows what happens when material abundance is replaced by absence, and then desire is superseded by cool disinterest. This main concept is also enhanced by the location, a humble room which reflects upon the video’s topics in its own way. 4- Tiong Ang’s Models for (the) People Models for (the) People consists of an installation specially developed and produced by artist Tiong Ang for the Shanghai Biennial. Examining the visionary potential of Shanghai’s old and new history within the social, economic, political, ethnic and cultural relationships of our hybrid global reality, Tiong Ang has composed a hallucinatory, visual narrative along different tracks of transformation, questioning the credibility and persistence of its origins and bearings. Models for (the) People is a range of disparate images juxtaposed in both sequential and spatial environments. Video images, paintings, objects, songs and words in three languages are united in a display that generates a ‘contradictory space’, where differentiation and mutual contestation rule. In his practice, engaging in the search of intercultural encounters, the artist introspects the construction of collective and individual identities in different contexts of cultural shifts, whether in Europe or in China. He explores the forms and interactions of the intercultural dialogue, resulting in many collaborative and performative works in which he acts whether as an artist, a curator or an art critics. 5- Yvonne Dröge Wendel’s Universal Pattern Universal Pattern is a project initiated by Yvonne Dröge Wendel in 2002. This project focuses on the popular Brabant pattern and the values that each different culture has been giving to it. In Europe, many people appear to associate the pattern with rural cuisine and picnics. In Japan, the material has a spiritual significance. Buddha statues are wrapped in the cloth and placed on graves to signify that a child has died. In Indonesia, the checkered material is associated with the symbolization of good and evil; English colonists introduced the material to South Africa where it is used for children's school uniforms. The African Masaii claim that pattern as part of their national costume. This installation deals with cultural appropriation and authenticity of tradition. The project shows that our way of thinking is largely based on forgery and has always linked to human emotions and interpretations. The investigation into the fabric's origins can be seen as a sort of mathematical formula on how ideas about authenticity actually originate. The artist is concerned with the relationship between people and objects, and the quest for challenging new ways of relating to things. Dröge Wendel sets up experimental encounters and aims to capture what it is that objects can actually do. Rethinking the subject-object distinction and reworking our understanding of what it is for humans and nonhumans to constitute a world is the main focus point of her artistic research. In support of the theoretical achievements, her artistic practice will further develop built environments that evoke dialogue, inform and help formulate essential questions concerning (the future of) things. 6- Georges Adéagbo’s installation Georges Adéagbo produces site-specific installations through which he investigates the relationship between his own personal experience and the cultural-political history of his country. He regularly collects and organizes pictures, books, vinyls, objects trouvés that he puts together every time in a different way. The results of his practice are huge site specific installations which fill the space with their multiplicity of symbols, stories, concepts related with each other through a clever game of references and unexpected connections. His artworks are visual maps of his itineraries throughout the streets of Benin, his town. As a neutral bridge between races and by revealing aspects of cultures he seeks to serve as a catalyst for mutual understanding. Respecting and celebrating worldwide diversity, Georges is constantly searching for evidence of sources common to all to present in his composition. His hope is that all of us will be able to sense stages of our evolution and gain an insight into our destiny. 7- Ni Haifeng’s Washing Hands The humble location chosen for this video develops an immediate visual connection between the tiles installed in the toilet wall and the background shown in the video. Protagonist of the video is a dystopian detail: the action of washing clean hands that gradually become dirty. Ni Haifeng’s practice stems from an interest in cultural systems of return, exchange, language and production. Through photography, video and installations, Ni Haifeng explores the simultaneous creation and obliteration of meaning while drawing attention to the cyclical movements of people, products and goods that are often reflective of patterns of colonialism and globalization. Aims to subvert the status quo and counteract preconceived notions of art are, in Ni Haifeng’s words, an effort towards reaching a “zero degree of meaning”. The concept of uselessness plays a key role within his practice. 8- Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi’s Dragon Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi’s works are mainly two dimensional. Her drawings, videos and film works are stories delved in the ephemeral dimension of her memories. Her artistic practice can be described as visual poetry. She throws her images almost literally onto the paper-images of objects and portraits that conceal a profusion of symbolic associations. Personal memories tend to pop up not in a clear-cut way, but blurred, vague and deformed. Rather than representing a plain narrative, expressed in feathery layers of papers and moving images. Her life is caught in lyrical lines. In this aesthetic horror vacuum, there is a constant feeling of almost grabbing the story behind those faces portrayed by Atousah, but it’s a fleeting dream with a thousand meanings we will never completely know. 9-Monali Meher’s Falling through Irkal Well Monali Meher started her career by introspecting cultural shifts through a series of performances in which body and gender play an important role. Her artistic performances, installations, objects, photographs and videos witness her quest for defining the body as a trouble spot of time and space connections or mutual extensions. Beyond this quest, Monali Meher draws an ontological thought - time influencing human essence and evolution. With her drawings, she transferred her performance to the paper, by transforming a dynamic movement in a frozen two-dimensional image. Drawings for Monali Meher are like autobiographical diagrams; they often deal with the concepts of decay, hybridization of various elements from both European and Indian cultures, reshaping belongings and intimacy. Although her works are considered highly autobiographical, they also indicate a global truth hidden in them, which make them a collective, universal in nature. 10- Jens Pfeifer’s Right Here Jens Pfeifer is a visual artist, making sculptures, drawings and site-specific work. Being brought up in a forest, animals and the forest itself form a familiar and ever returning image in Pfeifer’s work. Collecting pictures from nature, like anthropologists do, his art contrasts yet with this scientific approach to elaborate a direct, timeless and unstructured dialogue with the viewer. The artist returns to the origins of language, myth, by playing on human instinctive emotions. His sculptures connect the civilization with the wide world of nature. Here the garden of Manifesta headquarters becomes the perfect location for showing and exploring the ‘un-cultural’, what escapes from and is not domesticated by human.
  • “Mighty Process”, group show25 March - 22 April, 2017
    With Katrin Korfmann & Jens Pfeifer Berend Strik, Milena Naef and Ni Haifeng.
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  • “The Twilight of the Streep” solo show by Evelyn Jansen8 January - 18 March 2017
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  • Georges Adéagbo & Otobong Nkanga16 July - 3 September 2016
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  • “Hesitation” Group show16 October, 17 November 2016
    Lumen Travo is delighted to present a new solo show called Hesitation collectively developed by eight artists; Cecilia Bengtsson, Kristina Benjocki, Sara Campos, Rini Hurkmans, Didi Lehnhausen, Judith Westerveld, Lotte van der Woude & Aimée Zito Lema.
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    The artists were invited upon the initiative of Rini Hurkmans: they are from different generations and regions of the world and come together to engage in a visual and aural conversation on the topic of hesitation as resistance nowadays. Hesitation can occur when we are dealing with resistance. Hesitation as the pause of breathing before speaking; pondering or withdrawing before acting. The moment of slowing down and decoding what appears 'ready' or 'correct' in order to open up new relations and opportunities. Hesitation as a means for resistance - resistance as material, as an attitude or as a political act.
  • “Lost Codes”, solo show by Ibrahim Quraishi3 September - 8 October 2016
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  • Amsterdam Trail 201623 April - 15 May, 2016
    With Tiong Ang, Dianne Hagen, Otobong Nkanga and Monali Meher.
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  • “Fragments”, solo show by Otobong Nkanga27 November - 16 January, 2016
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  • “Art Language” solo show by Franck Bragigand12 March - 16 April, 2016
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  • “Before Language (Imagination out of Focus)” by Ani Eloyan24 October - 21 November 2015
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  • “… And the wind of history sings in me…” solo show by Rini Hurkmans12 September - 17 October 2015
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  • “Step Change” solo show by Stephen Willats3 June - 11 July, 2015
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  • Peter Zegveld, solo show18 March - 11 April 2015
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  • “Stills”, Group show31 January - 7 March 2015
    With Atousa Bandeh, Kathe Burkhart and Monali Meher
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  • “Meeting Point” Group show27 November 2014 - 24 January 2015
    With Franck Bragigand, Meschac Gaba, Ni Haifeng, Otobong Nkanga
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  • “I am a Mountain” by Katrin Korfmann & Jens Pfeifer25 October - 22 November 2014
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