Arena 1 Gallery is hosting Kaus in LA: Straight Outta Rotterdam, a group exhibition centered on an ongoing residency exchange between Los Angeles and Rotterdam. The exhibition curated by independent curator and artist Carl Berg will feature six permanent members of the Kaus Australis residency in Rotterdam, The Netherlands including artists Wietse Eeken, Sandro Setola, Lieke Snellen, Karin Suter, Dineke van Huizen and Chris van Mulligen. These artists’ work will be joined by a one-room installation featuring ephemera and photographs the former Kaus Australis artist-in-residents and curators-in-residents from Los Angeles who attended the program from 2002-2016. The exhibition will be at Arena 1 Gallery from October 29 until November 26.
About the artists
Wietse Eeken (1975) is a Rotterdam based sculptor. His work method has a strong traditional character, even though he has a very contemporary use of materials. Within the work the dualism between the radical and the traditionalism is very much on front. On the one side it is about the sculptural work in its most pure form, the material, the form, and the honesty of the process. On the other side there is the story behind the form which isn’t always subtle or nuanced. The work should be seen as illustration of this story. A hodgepodge of references to literature and pop culture that is continuously molded into new forms. Story lines appear and disappear whenever the figures that inhabit the story take on a new appearance.
Since 2004 Sandro Setola has been completely focussed on the subject of architecture and building processes and their underlying ideals (or lack thereof). Associations with architectural proposals allow these works to enter a twilight zone between desire and reality that in turn raises questions about their function or meaning. On the one hand they can be seen as comments on our everyday surroundings and urban environment by proposing buildings that seem to be designed for the expression of discomfort, spirituality or a lack of ideology or function. In other works the strong links to the aforementioned natural or universal processes and their psychological parallels prevail and cause the proposed structures to be nothing more but representations of a particular state of mind or personality.
Babette Kleijn makes drawings/collages and monumental wall works of thread and acrylic which she calls ‘ mental models ‘. The origin of its meaning is her need to gain ‘ sharpness’, and coordinating all the noise that naturally comes with it. These Mental Models shows fragments from this dynamic inner process. This ‘sharpness’ theory can define itself as a intuitive combination of inner (and outer) symbolism and the logics of physics, the natural laws. This can be a zoomed in (personal) character. Or a zoomed out (General) character. The visuals almost always expresses itself in the form of a vast landscape, with the horizon as recurring fixed element.
Karin Suter is from Switzerland, but lives and works in Rotterdam. A word that is often fitted to Suter’s sculptures is fetish, which stretches back etymologically to the Latin facticius, our ‘factitious’, an artificial or a made thing. The word is used widely, and often without historical or anthropological particularity, instead applied for its material and morphological assonances. It becomes a catch-all term for objects that read as ‘primitive’ – handmade, ‘folk’ or even ‘amateur’, archaic in sensibility, and above all imbued with a potency that belies the stuff of which they are made. Karin Suter uses the fetish aspect of her art works in a formal and effective way, moderated by interest in ethnographic and archaeological objects, enhancing the symmetry and the beauty of materiality, and with a general attraction to ritual and myth as much as to history.
Dineke van Huizen
Dineke van Huizen, born 1963 Groningen, lives and works in Rotterdam. Exhibitions and works present in collections throughout Europe and the US since 1988 The work of Dineke van Huizen reflects in a playful way the serious paradox of visual illusion and concrete reality. She develops colorful, vibrant formations on walls and floors with painted paper-cuts. The capricious but delicate compositions that appear, with waving brush-strokes and organic shapes as vocabulary, function as flat maquettes for definite oil paintings on canvas. It is significant that within the dynamic compositions each shape seems to take a determined, ever-lasting position but at the same time could any moment liberate itself and fly away to pose in different other settings. The spatial detours which are taken upon in advance of a final painting, lead to literal and figurative color-fields that visually absorb, mix with and transform the environment; either experienced at a wall, on a canvas or a floor.
Chris van Mulligen
Chris van Mulligen born 1954 in Steenwijk, lives and works in Rotterdam. Chris van Mulligen’s sculptures and drawings as well as his kitchen cupboards, huts, houses and tree-dwellings and projects of no particular definition, all bear an aesthetic of the organic, the haphazard, the already there and most importantly, the connectedness of all these different entities. The aesthetic of a French forest with a green tent set up in the trees, an oil-barrel raft on an Indonesian Lake, seedpods forming the maquette of a utopian city. Van Mulligen reflects on the interconnectedness and the fragility of things: One thing leads to another, and another, and who can say what the beginning was – or where it all ends?
About Kaus Australis
Kaus Australis was founded in 1985. For several years accommodation was found in temporarily available buildings, which one after another, were turned into a suitable studio and presentation spaces. During this period Kaus Australis initiated a number of exhibitions and invited guest artists from different countries to share working and presentation space. Starting from 1993, Stichting Kaus Australis had the opportunity to design and realize appropriate and long-term accommodations for artists both for permanent use as well as four guest studios that have been rented to artists from around the world. They have organized various presentations, exhibitions, artist’s talks and other events to offer a platform for guest artists in the Netherlands