• A Balancing Act
  • 2018-09-15T00:00:00+02:00
  • 2019-01-06T23:59:59+01:00
  • A Balancing Act will showcase the work of a number of Dutch and international artists who explore the quest for equilibrium in sculptures, installations, photographs, paintings, performances, drawings and video works.

Balance plays an important role in everyone’s life. Our lifelong search for balance begins when we build towers of blocks and take our first steps as children. A Balancing Act will showcase the work of a number of Dutch and international artists who explore the quest for equilibrium in sculptures, installations, photographs, paintings, performances, drawings and video works.

The balancing ‘act’ ranges from a sense of complete harmony to the disturbing feeling of teetering on the edge of the abyss. Every contrast – order-chaos, nature-nurture, work-relaxation, rich-poor, strength-load, war-peace, black-white – ultimately finds equilibrium. For many artists, balance is an important visual element, as they attempt to achieve an absolute balance – or indeed deliberately avoid it – and play with balance/imbalance in form, composition, colour and shades of grey. Constantin Brancusi said ‘Beauty is absolute balance’. And Henri Matisse stressed the importance of it, saying ‘What I dream of is an art of balance’.

Left: Isabelle Wenzel, Position 3, 2013, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Bart. Right: Isabelle Wenzel, Schief, Rheinpark Köln, 2014, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Bart

Left: Isabelle Wenzel, Position 3, 2013, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Bart. Right: Isabelle Wenzel, Schief, Rheinpark Köln, 2014, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Bart 

Search for balance
The exhibition at Kunsthal KAdE will feature works that are in themselves aesthetically balanced, such as the sculptures of Auke de Vries, Alexander Calder and Carel Visser, and the charcoal drawings of Renie Spoelstra, which seek the perfect proportion or white balance in composition, form, colour and greys. The elephant ‘Nasutamanus’ by French artist Daniel Firman floats in space, defying the rules of gravity. In other works in the exhibition people play a physical role in achieving balance, as in the installations by Julien Thomas and Jacob Tonski, or in the performances of Isabelle Wenzel and JocJonJosch. And in a short poetic film by Samson Kambalu we will all recognise the feeling of putting on a shoe while hopping on one leg.

Job Koelewijn, A Balancing Act, 1998, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam

Job Koelewijn, A Balancing Act, 1998, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam

A Balancing Act
Job Koelewijn’s photograph ‘A Balancing Act’ - after which the exhibition is named - also shows balance in a transitive sense. His balancing act symbolises the difficult time he experienced when he started out as an artist in New York, where he had to preserve his precarious equilibrium. In the large gallery, visitors will be able to participate in an installation specially made by designer group HeyHeydeHaas, titled ‘My Two Cents’. And visitors both young and old can experiment with balance at the KAdEStudio.

Participating artists:
Alexander Calder (US, 1898-1976) | Jose Dávila (MX, 1974) | Marcel Dzama (CA, 1974) | Daniel Firman (FR, 1966) | HeyHeydeHaas (NL) groep | JocJonJosch (CH/GB) groep | Folkert de Jong (NL, 1972) | Samson Kambalu (MW, 1975) | Tomo Kihara (JP, 1994) | Job Koelewijn (NL, 1962) | Vanessa Jane Phaff (GB, 1965) | Alex Schweder (US, 1970) & Ward Shelley  (US, 1950) | Renie Spoelstra (NL, 1974) | Henk Stallinga (NL, 1962) | Julien F. Thomas (CA, 1986) & Roel Heremans (BE, 1990) | Jacob Tonski (US, 1977) | Tejo Remy (NL, 1960) & René Veenhuizen (NL, 1968) | Wainer Vaccari (IT, 1949) | Carel Visser (NL, 1928-2015) | Auke de Vries (NL, 1937) | Isabelle Wenzel (DE, 1982) | Bondar Zahar (LV, 1992)

The exhibition is composed by curator Judith van Meeuwen and co-curator Marjory Degen and is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Fund and the K.F. Hein Fonds.