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Solo show: Klaas Kloosterboer - BALLAST (over)

13 September 2003 until 16 November 2003
  Klaas Kloosterboer - BALLAST
Klaas Kloosterboer, 00139, 2000, 360 x 230 x 120 cm
  Badischer Kunstverein

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstr. 3
76133 Karlsruhe
Germany (city map)

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The Badischer Kunstverein is presenting for the first time in Germany an extensive solo exhibition of the artist Klaas Kloosterboer, who was born in 1959 and lives in Amsterdam.

The artistic actions of creating space and - in a counter-move - occupying space represent the fundamental driving forces behind Kloosterboer's practice. The roots of his oeuvre stand in relation to the developments of avant-garde painting in the twentieth century, especially to its abstract and conceptual experiments. Kloosterboer is attracted to the purism of historical Modernism, but at the same time he remains skeptical with regard to purisms of all sorts. For him rules in art possess only a relative meaningfulness.

In creating his works, he utilizes the materials and techniques of the painter. He works with various abstract-visual languages, with the figure-ground problem, the painterly gesture. He brings changes to these conventional categories, however, with the goal of ushering them into the here and now. Kloosterboer's work is ceaselessly concerned with contemporaneity, with the creation of a world of artifacts which, in its ritual elements, is in no way separate from the self-evident verities of the material world.

Art ought to continue to lay claim to its own autonomous space for trial arrangements. This is one of the fundamental convictions held by the artist. Klaas Kloosterboer has suggested for his exhibition in the Badischer Kunstverein a constellation of works which examines varying and sometimes contradictory aspects of his work (e.g. destruction versus grace). The title of the exhibition, "BALLAST," makes reference to a series of drawings which speak, in a manner recalling cartoons, of the cleansing effect that art can have on the individual's sensibility.

Mark Kremer, who is serving as the curator of the exhibition for the Badischer Kunstverein, writes in his contribution to the catalogue ("Poldergeist"): "In my opinion, his oeuvre exposes a paradox that is a significant driving force behind the whole development of modern art, namely the conflict between art as an autonomous medium and art in relation to life. It is a paradox that has played a crucial part again, if not always explicitly, in the art discourse since the early 1990s. Kloosterboer couches this paradox in a painterly language, in works where materials and ideas are combined and contrasted. In doing so, he employs his own, idiosyncratic, visual idiom, as an artist should. On consideration, as I have said, Kloosterboer can be typified as a burlesque modernist. In his use of the crudely jocular rhetorical figures of burlesque, he tests artistic autonomy to its breakdown point. His oeuvre thus reflects the critical position that the notion of autonomy finds itself in at the present time. But he also revives that notion: frivolous though the impression one may get from the appearance of his work, it always has a core in which art's own space for reflection and experience is secured."

Upon the occasion of the exhibition, an extensive publication will appear with the title "Shivering Emotions and Feverish Feelings" (208 pages, in the exhibition 22 Euros / Members 18 Euros), which places Kloosterboer's work in an international context and contains essays (German/English) by Mark Kremer and Frank Reijnders along with a conversation between Klaas Kloosterboer and Angelika Stepken. The design is being handled by Mevis & Van Deursen, Amsterdam.

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