A New Look
at Human Biology
Hans van den Bogaard did not hesitate when asked whether he would like to photograph the Vrolik Collection, especially as the assignment he was offered was not just to document the collection, but to visualise it in a much freer manner. Thus, to a great degree Van den Bogaard was able to be led by his own preferences and fascinations, and to choose the specimens which had the most to offer him as a photographer.
This private collection of Professor Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859) and his son Professor Willem Vrolik (1801-1863) consists of anatomical, pathological-anatomical, zoological and teratological specimens. After the death of Willem Vrolik, his collection was under threat of public sale. An Amsterdam citizens committee acquired the collection in its entirety in 1869 and turned it over to the city. The collection forms the foundation of the sizeable Vrolik Museum, which is managed by the AMC. Hans van den Bogaard was commissioned by the AMC to photograph a selection from the collection, which has been specially printed for the exhibition and is displayed together with a few of the original specimens.
With 5000 specimens, Museum Vrolikianum was astonishing 150 years ago. In the 19th century this museum became a world renowned collection to which scientists came to marvel from both home and abroad.
The result transcends traditional scientific photography in which the medium serves a specific branch of science. Van den Bogaard has succeeded in creating photos that fascinate not only because of what they depict, but because of how the specimen is depicted. The specific use of both natural and artificial light, his choice of a particular camera and special lens and his well-considered use of the blue background in photographing many of the specimens ensure that the photos far surpass the straightforward recording of a collection. Many images have an eloquence and a powerful, autonomous visual quality which goes beyond the subjects they depict.
Vrolik Collection >>
Preparations of fetuses with inborn navel rapture (1899), 09-12-2008, AMC, Vrolik Collection (c) Hans van den Bogaard.
Cover Image from Forces of Form: The Vrolik Museum By Laurens De Rooy, Hans van den Bogaard, published by Amsterdam University Press.
Alexander Gronsky, The Edge, Moscow boundaries, Russia, 2009 © Alexander Gronsky.
Alexander Gronsky Reinvents Documentary Photos
Photographs are not limited solely to aesthetic expression, social documentation, or the capture of personal memories. By challenging the uses and restrictions typically imposed on photographs, artists tap into photography's boundless potential for visual and critical undertakings.
Alexander Gronsky >>
Edgar Degas, Four Dancers, c. 1899, oil on canvas, Overall: 151.1 x 180.2 cm.
Chester Dale's Treasure, French & American Paintings
When Chester Dale bequeathed his remarkable collection of paintings to the National Gallery of Art in 1962, it became one of the most important repositories in North America of French art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Chester Dale >>
Linus Bill, 2009, © Linus Bill.
Linus Bill's Greatest Hits in Exhibition Maquette Form
The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is presentedis presented in model form in Foam at a scale of 1:10. In this model all artworks are produced within scale containing sculptures and a series of about 20 photographs. The sculptures are clay models and are presented as three-dimensional abstract paintings.
Linus Bill >>
UMSCHICHTEN (Mateusz und Lukaz Lendzinski, Peter Weigand, Umkleide, 2010, Installation view, 2010,
Taking it to the Hamburg Streets
The project as a whole consists not only of an exhibition of concepts and proposals on each topic but is also a point of departure and meeting place for discussing the public sphere and how it comes about and operates.
Sidewalk Deli >>
Willem de Kooning, Two Women with Still Life, 1952, Pastel, charcoal on paper, 22-1/4 x 18-3/4", detail.
MOCA-LA Celebrates 30 Years and Collection of 6,000
Collection: The First Thirty Years is largest installation of MOCA-Los Angeles' renowned permanent collection, featuring 500 works at both its downtown Los Angeles locations: MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA..
Collecting the New
Until Now: Collecting the New (1960-2010) celebrates Minneapolis Institute of Arts' (MIA) new commitment to contemporary art. The exhibition includes more than 75 works of art — including paintings, sculpture, prints, installation art, photography, and video — by artists who have altered the direction of art over the past five decades, and in some cases challenged our basic conceptions about art. Artists represented include modern masters as well as those emerging on the scene, such as Siah Armajani, Willie Cole, Mona Hatoum, David Hockney, Ilya Kabakov, Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Claes Oldenburg, Nam June Paik, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Presenting a fresh vision of contemporary art, Until Now: Collecting the New builds on the strengths of the MIA’s renowned encyclopedic holdings, while borrowing strategically from a range of artists, collectors, and galleries. “The MIA’s collections are broadly international and rich in their representation of historical periods, aesthetic styles, and global cultures,” says Elizabeth Armstrong, MIA’s curator of its new Department of Contemporary Art. “Seeing contemporary art in the context of these diverse cultural forms and historical periods offers visitors new insights and perspectives on art’s significance and meaning.” In conjunction with the exhibition, selected works of contemporary art will also be on view throughout the museum in a variety of juxtapositions with the museum’s wonderfully rich and diverse historical holdings.
The Until Now exhibition is organized around general themes that encompass a broad range of global art activity that cuts across time, cultures, and other borders. Reflecting significant trends in the recent history of art, these themes are: New Poetics, Reviving Realism, Poptical, Recuperation, and Passages.
The first theme, New Poetics, looks at the rejection of representational art in favor of abstraction, which came in the wake of World War II. Since the 1950s, generations of artists have explored a pictorial language based on vivid color, energetic brushwork, simple forms, and emphatic markings. In these “new poetics” of abstraction, pure form and color offer inner meaning through contemplation.
A very different aesthetic approach is found in Reviving Realism, which examines the work of artists who focus on representation and external reality above all else. Out of vogue during much of the 20th century, representational realism is enjoying a resurgence as artists throughout the world use figurative forms and approaches to explore nature, culture, and issues of identity.
The exhibition section devoted to Poptical reflects the widespread impact of popular and consumer culture on art over the past fifty years. Pop Art dominated the art scene of the 1960s, celebrating the new dynamism of consumer goods, advertisements, and popular press. Today, thanks to globalization and the mass media that allow goods and images to move freely across national borders, pop culture has spread to almost every corner of the globe, and Neo-Pop has become a worldwide artistic language.
On the flip side of the fascination with Pop, artists have been recycling trash, scrap, and the detritus of material culture. The artworks in Recuperation are constructed out of these products themselves, rather than their images, with materials scavenged from trash bins, flea markets, and antique stores — and transformed into powerful and often witty configurations.
National and individual identities are in constant flux as borders change, people migrate, and digital technology allows for speedy communication. The works in Passages consider the profound disorientation felt by many in our increasingly diverse world, where both national and individual identities are rapidly shifting. The impact of globalization on nearly every aspect of contemporary culture is reflected in the wide range of artists, alternative forms, and diverse perspectives represented in this final section of the exhibition.
Collecting the New >>
Yayoi Kusama, Untitled, 1967 Oil on canvas Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York.