LMAKgallery is pleased to present Nynke Koster’s first solo exhibition in the gallery, A Part of New York History. Since her first visit to New York in 2014, Koster has been curious about Dutch History in the city, prompting her to delve into a multi-year discovery and investigation of historical sights and artifacts.
While researching Dutch roots in the history of New York City, Koster found many striking links and proud moments in its shared history. However, she also uncovered many shadows and undertones, which are frequently dismissed, not addressed, or simply ignored. For example, the Dutch settlement of ‘New Amsterdam’ was built on trade. One of the largest trades at the time was the enslavement of African people. This discovery led her to search for remnants of this history and brought her to such places as the relatively recent discovery of the African American Burial grounds near City Hall (in 1993) amongst seven additional plots around the city. These cemeteries had been forgotten, which motivated Koster to raise awareness for this often lost past and bring honor to the deceased through recognition.
Molded from the fingers of the descendants of African American slaves, Koster creates a work in remembrance of their ancestors. Stretching the full length of the gallery, the rug-like panel consists of cast rubber fingers reaching out, giving the appearance of coming out of the ground, and thereby calling attention to their burial plots. In this way, Koster aims to recognize our mutual past and remember those who have gone before us.
The work of Nynke Koster balances on the border between design and autonomous work. ‘The space around me is my mold’. She finds these molds in unique spaces and structures of buildings and bodies. She takes parts of these embracing places with her. ‘They are my 3D memories’. Because of her love for craftsmanship, each work is a unique and personal object.
‘Something that exists to give new life. It is to connect to a place, take it with me and giving it back to others’. The wonder of the history of places takes things literally closer. The traces of men live on for years. Nynke wants to pass these tangible and immaterial relics from the past on to future generations. The best way to do this is in the world of visual art and design