Kunsthal KAdE mourns the loss of visual artist Couzijn van Leeuwen who passed away July 16 at the age of 60. Couzijn exhibited his work several times at Kunsthal KAdE. At the exhibition ShadowDance in 2010 showed a selection from his collection of shadow photographs in a slide show. A projection of his own shadow images on ever-changing substrates, a puddle of water, duckweed, or parched ground. A way of wanting to grasp and hold the beauty of nature. This collection has now become a memento mori in itself.
In 2015, for the inaugural exhibition Windows of KAdE at the Eemhuis 2015, guest curator Marc Mulders visited his impressive home and studio then still in Amersfoort. There you entered a world of your own, full of constructed mysteries and secret collections. Conceived by an inspired artist. For Couzijn, there was no difference between living and working: a very special 24-hour economy.
Marc Mulders: "Couzijn van Leeuwen's art is not primarily 'art for white-room museums or bare gallery spaces.' Better it comes into its own in a cozy interior. Couzijn van Leeuwen's art, his beautiful cut-sculpted decorations of animals and plants, remind me of how we humans are joined at home by sweet cuddly pets and delicately scented flowers. Because Couzijn's animal and plant world may not be "real," but it speaks all the more of the real world, with its Instagram poses, rich behavior and digital fake news. His animals and plants are real! Although made of 'poor' material such as cardboard, they are oh so rich and enchanting in their gestural facial expressions and tactility. In constellations with several works together, a 'model' of the world around us emerges, as it were, where not man, but animals and plants play the leading role. Not for nothing does Couzijn give the word primarily to the animal and plant world. In that sense he fits into the list of artists where nature is also leading: herman de vries, Erik Andriesse, Roos Holleman. Through my experience with Couzijn's work for my group exhibition Windows, I started thinking differently about the presentation of art. Because it was all beautiful and moving what was on display, but only in the corner at Couzijn did it get really cozy and cuddly..."
In 2017, Couzijn presented a selection of his birds at the exhibition Well Made. Perhaps "Sublimely made" would have been a more appropriate title here.
In the Rietveld Pavilion he showed several works in the Salon '18/ Amersfoort - Utrecht. We also like to think back to his presentation in De Vensterbank, his solo in the Koornmarktspoort in Kampen, his special bird box in the green room of castle museum Sypesteyn in 'Air Castles'. The beautiful fence in front of the Central Museum. The dark demons in a horror vacui arrangement in one of the prison cells at Wolvenplein in Utrecht, not to mention the special cabinets and objects for the Coda museum Apeldoorn inspired by the Asian collection of the Rijksmuseum presented there.
Like a hushed ode, the recently acquired work "Airarium IV" stands in museum Flehite. Thanks to Couzijn's inspiration, the polystyrene has become coral and the cardboard ivory.