Former VU professor Carel Blotkamp’s post-digital art

Carel Blotkamp: Struycken 2011


Until Saturday this week, you still have the chance to visit the ‘Dutch Concert’ show at andriesse eyck gallery in the Jordaan. It is a ‘cacophonic duet’by visual artist Carel Blotkamp, who was professor of art history at the VU from 1982 to 2007, and Peter Struycken, a pioneer of digital art.  While Blotkamp, on the one hand, worked with abstract color compositions (one of which actually adorned the glass doors of the humanities staff room at the VU before the renovation), on the other hand he has a strong interest in referencing art history, amongst others by applying sequins on reproductions of works by famous artists, such as Marlene Dumas.

Struycken also came from abstract color compositions, but early on started using computers to design his works. He is probably most widely known for the Queen Beatrix post stamp and the fence he designed for the Dutch bank on the Frederiksplein, but he also created several digital artworks, and computer graphics based on software algorithms. A CAMS student of us, Nina van Doren, wrote her MA thesis on these works in the context of a research project conducted by LI-MA. You can watch Nina explaining Struyckens work in a nice video entitled ‘Digital Art, who Cares?’ here.

Well, in the current exhibition at andriesse eyck, you can see works by both Blotkamp and Struycken, but also joint works, in which Blotkamp actually translates Struycken’s computer graphics into sequin compositions. This, on the one hand, grants them some 1980s disco-flair, but, on the other hand, could also be framed as a post-digital practice of rematerializing the pixels which form the basis of Struyckens work – at least, the works become nearly impossible to capture photographically – so take the chance to visit the exhibition until next Sunday (Leliegracht 47, Wednesday to Saturday, 13-18). (KK)

Peter Struycken / Carel Blotkamp: Dutch Concert, 2014

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