Robert Zandvliet and Harry Haarsma chose the theme ‘Veronica’ for the exhibition.
The woman who unsuspectingly wiped the sweat and blood from Christ’s face as he carried his cross to Golgotha, or Calvary, is known to this day as Veronica. She owes her name to the cloth with which she wiped his face and captured his likeness: vera icon. This ‘true image’ shows, according to tradition, not only the divine countenance, but also the dying man.
The quest for the true image is not exclusive to this legend; it fascinates the artists Robert Zandvliet and Harry Haarsma and fosters ideas in their art. For years now, they have been following each other’s development and, since 2009, have been working in the same studio complex. On a daily basis they exchange thoughts on what they’re doing and what interests them. De Ketelfactory provided them with the opportunity to continue their discussion in the context of its space.
Haarsma’s ‘de-booked’ book ‘Veronica en Toptuig’ (2009-2011) serves as the point of departure for their exhibition. Over the past few months, a sketchbook was placed on a table between their studios. Here they each collected and arranged their discoveries and sources of inspiration with regard to Veronica. This visual investigation has been developed by Zandvliet into a large wall hanging and by Haarsma into several smaller paintings.
At the opening, the small sketchbook will be presented as a publication and thereby become part of the exhibition.
Robert Zandvliet first established his reputation with large paintings involving wide brushstrokes; genres such as the still life and landscape were their points of departure. In his recent works Zandvliet takes a new step in his exploration of painting. Concrete works of art, by such figures as Rembrandt, Hokusai and Pollock now serve as the basis for his investigation. Like his previous works, these paintings vacillate between figuration and abstraction.
Harry Haarsma combines his painting with the making of artist’s books. Haarsma draws and paints with a discerning sense of what remains important, even beyond the context of the work. In succinct lines and cool surfaces of color, he manages to capture this distinct ambiguity. At the same time he clears the way for the human scale of things, which he subtlely questions in his books with poetic visual essays.
distillation ‘Vera icon, the true image’
Date: 15 January 2012
In collaboration with: Laurens ten Kate and Renée van Riessen
Laurens ten Kate: ‘The relinquished Christ’
Who was Veronica and what does her meeting with Jesus still mean to us and to art? How fares Robert Zandvliet and Harry Haarsma’s search for ‘Veronica’ and can they lift a tip of the vale to show us the ‘true image’?
Philosopher Laurens ten Kate, on the basis of the ‘Veronica’ exhibition, speaks about true images as lost objects.
Renée van Riessen recites poems
“”Let me go’ – that is what I ask / and my hand grips the table / at which you sit, on the opposite side.” Opening lines from ‘Nunc dimittis’ by poet and philosopher Renée van Riessen. She recites poems that lead us to ‘Veronica’ and the ‘true image’.
publication (in Dutch)
Excerpt by Laurens ten Kate: “Those who take in the images of ‘Veronica’ will see two artists at work who are not merely providing us with images; they’re not just blithely playing the figure of Christ in the legend of the sacred canvas. We also see two passionate collectors at work, receivers, yes bearers of images given to them by others. They play Veronica herself, in as much as we all play Veronica (as audience of this booklet, of the exhibition) and are visited by images that have been passed on, adapted, cut up, turned, painted over and collected in order for them to to forge unexpected connections.”