Misha de Ridder, Nori Pao, Rob Johannesma

June 29 - July 27, 2019


Rob Johannesma, Nori Pao and Misha de Ridder

Albada Jelgersma Gallery is pleased to invite you to the opening of CONCEAL / REVEAL, a group exhibition with recent work by Rob Johannesma, Nori Pao and Misha de Ridder. The exhibition opens on Saturday June 29 from 5 to 7 pm and runs through July 27.

Different as their work may appear, the three artists have in common that they cover or conceal their subject in their own way in order to tap into deeper layers and show the transcendent.

Rob Johannesma (NL, 1970) collects images from books, newspapers and magazines and has since built up a large archive in his studio. Initially he only worked with photo and video recordings of landscapes, but gradually over the past two decades, his gaze has shifted: the studio comes into view, the street, the city, interiors from design magazines, iconographic images from history books and finally the everyday of the world in world news. The photographic images spread like a cloud within his archive and now and then certain images get into the field of his vision and end up on his worktable. He tests them on their reality, places them in a new context, pulls them apart, copies them over each other, zooms in on a forgotten detail, and thus puts the original image under pressure.

In the exhibition he shows interiors and landscapes from magazines and history books in which essential parts of the image are painted over with pigments and paint. Grid structures and photographic processes contrast with the painterly surface. This creates mini theaters with back stages and imaginary empty spaces between the different parts within an image. The forms of the pigments and brush strokes emerge as blind spots in the image, forcing the viewer to fill in the information he misses from the image. The viewer raises the question of what those images are and what meaning(s) they evoke. In this way the core of the original image presses through the details and the image as a whole forms a new world. It is the direct reality that distracts from or rises above it. Consequently he alienates and frees the image of itself and intensifies its meaning.

Nori Pao (US, 1972) shows two videos and a ceramic work. The videos, which are created using stop-motion animation, work with human intervention in nature. Pao concealed cairns and boundary markers, which she encountered during walks in the California desert, with porcelain. In this way the seemingly imperishable stone gets a soft skin. The clad rocks remain elegant and static, while the fragile nature of the world around them continue on in a fragmented time, evidenced through the drying clay, changing light and the movement of leaves dust and the sky. The human presence is expressed but not seen.

Also on view, is an excerpt from Pao’s series Day Drawings (September 2000 – present), an ongoing project that she began as a way to visually record existence and time. Each daily drawing is inspired by a particular moment, memory, or method unique to the date it was created, and uses a variety of mediums extending the meaning of drawing. Recently, Pao has approached the work as a monthly practice. This permits more time and space to develop and execute, allowing the drawings to simultaneously act as both a catalyst and recording system for new ideas. Day Drawings [MAY 2019] was made during her artist-in-residence at the European Ceramic Work Center (EKWC) in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands. On view are ceramic tablets that Pao created from molds derived from an MRI scan. The positive forms emerge as a typography and refer to the mapping of the brain. As colored clay tablets with indentations of script and marks, they are a translation of the interior of the brain itself.

Misha de Ridder (NL, 1971) uses the camera to look at reality in a better and different way. For him, looking is a process of awakening, of getting under the skin of the mystery that surrounds us, of which we are a part. Concentrated research into light, color and matter are leading in the making of his image, resulting in precise compositions that are open in their meaning. This can be clearly seen in the works in this exhibition from two recent projects: Falaise and high up close by.

In Falaise the abstractions of chalk cliffs in Normandy, the constant metamorphosis of the surface of the cliffs, the reflections of light and color on the sea make our eyes wandering. In the work from high up close by, of which a catalogue has been published recently, it is the plastered walls of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam together with the Dutch light that enters through the high windows that reveal the transcendent of an age-old organic structure, created by the touch of many hands. The rocks, the sea and the church are connected in De Ridder’s meticulous looking, in which he takes you into a world that is nothing less than ours, with light, color and structure.