ExhibitionAbove Reality

Curator: Hans van der Ham
Tekst: Hans van der Ham en Yasmijn Jarram

The exhibition Above Reality focuses on all that is metaphysical in art. The works of eight graphic artists raise philosophical questions about the existence of mankind.

Metaphysics (‘after’ or ‘above’ nature) is a philosophical doctrine that is based not on reality that we perceive with our senses, but which instead searches for the essence of reality. What is existence, or ‘being’? Metaphysics is about that which transcends substance: the totality of all. It can be sought in what Plato called a ‘transcendental’ reality that lies beyond our world - or alternatively, according to Aristoteles – within the observable reality, by looking at the everyday things that occupy people.

This legacy of ideas played an important role in the modern Italian art movement ‘Pittura Metafisica’, which since 1917 inspired in particular the artists Giorgio De Chirico and Carlo Carra. This metaphysical style movement represses realistic reproduction by a poetic dream-world of emptiness and silence. In a seemingly timeless and motionless universe, that which is everyday seems surprisingly unusual, full of oppressive shadows and remarkable instruments, disproportionate and depicted in distinct colours.

The works in Above Reality bear witness to that same atmosphere. One can easily get lost among the dazzling panoramas of Robbie Cornelissen, the organic pastel shades of Hans de Wit and the poetic landscapes of Aji V.N. Lenneke van der Goot creates entire worlds from paper by cutting, pasting, erasing and drawing. While the colourful, crowded drawings of Peter Feiler and the alienating sculptures of Anton Cotteleer and Nadia Naveau still refer to mankind, Bas Zoontjens focuses on desolate architectural designs.

The questions and associations raised by the works in Above Reality do not result in answers or definitions. These are symbolic expressions of a new, mysterious connection with the everyday world around us.