Artists: Alexander Calder, Jose Dávila, Marcel Dzama, Daniel Firman, HeyHeydeHaas (group), JocJonJosch (group), Folkert de Jong, Samson Kambalu, Tomo Kihara, Job Koelewijn, Vanessa Jane Phaff, Alex Schweder, Ward Shelley, Renie Spoelstra, Henk Stallinga, Julien F. Thomas, Roel Heremans, Jacob Tonski, Tejo Remy, René Veenhuizen, Wainer Vaccari, Carel Visser, Auke de Vries, Isabelle Wenzel, Bondar Zahar
Balance plays an important role in everyone's life. With building block towers and taking the first steps as a toddler, the lifelong quest begins. The exhibition A Balancing Act showcases various (inter)national artists who explore finding balance in sculptures, installations, photographs, paintings, performances, drawings and video works.
With this balanced exhibition, Kunsthal KAdE allows visitors to "pause" to consider the concept of balance through dynamic and (seemingly) moving works. Curator Judith van Meeuwen: "The extraordinary works in the exhibition are metaphors for a phenomenon close to all of us. It is almost like a basic necessity of life; there is nothing where balance does not play a role." The balancing "act" ranges from the sense of total harmony to the unsettling feeling of balancing on the edge of the abyss. Every contradiction: order-chaos, nature-culture, exertion-relaxation, rich-poor, carrying-power-carrying-load, war-peace, black-and-white eventually acquires balance. Balance is an important visual element for many artists. Creating absolute balance, or just barely, and playing with balance/disbalance in form, composition, color and gray tones. Constantin Brancusi said "Beauty is absolute balance.". And Henri Matisse also emphasized the importance: "What I dream of is an art of balance.".
From left to right: Isabelle Wenzel, Position 3, 2013, courtesy the artist and Galerie Bart. Isabelle Wenzel, Schief, Rheinpark Köln, 2014, courtesy the artist and Galerie Bart
Searching for balance
The exhibition at Kunsthal KAdE consists of works that have balance within themselves in an aesthetic way, as in the sculptures by Auke de Vries, Alexander Calder and Carel Visser and in the charcoal drawing by Renie Spoelstra. In composition, form, color and gray tones, the perfect ratio or white balance is sought. Heavyweight, "Nasutamanus" by French artist Daniel Firman floats in space, far beyond the laws of earth's gravity. In other works in the exhibition, humans physically play a role in finding that balance as in the installations of Julien Thomas and Jacob Tonski, or the performances of Isabelle Wenzel and JocJonJosch. And in a short poetic film by Samson Kambalu, we recognize the basic feeling of putting on a shoe, limping on one leg.
Henk Stallinga, Lumen Balance, 2016, courtesy the artist. Photo: Mike Bink
Job Koelewijn, A Balancing Act, 1998, courtesy the artist and Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam
A Balancing Act
The photograph "A Balancing Act" by Job Koelewijn - the namesake of this exhibition - shows balancing also in a metaphorical sense. His balancing act symbolizes his difficult time as a beginning artist in New York, where he had to maintain his shaky balance. In the main hall, visitors can participate in a specially created installation "50/50" by designer group HeyHeydeHaas. In the KAdEStudio, young and old can experiment with balance.
KAdEStudio. Photo: Mike Bink
Alexander Calder (US, 1898-1976) | Jose Dávila (MX, 1974) | Marcel Dzama (CA, 1974) | Daniel Firman (FR, 1966) | HeyHeydeHaas (NL) group | JocJonJosch (CH/GB) group | 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) | Samsung Art and Design Institute Students, Seoul