Otto Berchem – Revolver
For his solo exhibition at Ellen de Bruijne projects, Otto Berchem’s REVOLVER focuses on the relations between language, architecture, history and poetry. Consisting of paintings, drawings, sculpture and video, and interacting with past experiences, as well as specific sites within his current context of living in Colombia, Berchem produces a series of work revealing the aesthetic connotations of past revolutionary moments.
Through the use of a personal chromatic alphabet developed originally for the project Blue Monday (2011) Berchem proposes a review of iconic images. Creating a parallel history by strategically deleting the pre-existing slogans, he replacing them with his own.
Berchem creates these gaps in time, occupying the image with his chromatic phrases, generating a new tension between history and his version of it. This allows the artist to explore the human necessity for rebellion and protest, and reach for his own place within the power structures that they challenge.
The title REVOLVER spins in different directions. On one hand it alludes to the guns used to aid revolutions, on other it makes reference to the cyclical nature of revolt, and ultimately its failure.
Otto Berchem lives and works in Amsterdam and Bogota. His recent work has been shown in Stem Terug, De Appel, Amsterdam 2012; Etat de Veille, Jousse Entreprise, Paris 2012; You Are Not Alone, Fundacio Miro, Barcelona, 2011; (solo) Blue Monday, La Central, Bogota; Out of Storage, Timmerfabriek, Maastricht 2011.
Craig Drennen – Painter and Servants
02/03/13 – 06/04/13
“Painter & Servants” marks the first solo exhibition project for Craig Drennen at Dolores/Ellen de Bruijne Projects, and his first solo project in Europe. The exhibition is comprised of works on paper based on the character “Painter” and the character “Several Servants” from Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens.
“Since early 2008 I have organized my studio practice around the play Timon of Athens, written by William Shakespeare between 1605 and 1608. It is considered to be Shakespeare’s most difficult and obscure work, and is the only one of his plays not performed in his lifetime. I do not use this project to valorize failure. Rather, failed projects provide me with empty cultural bandwidth within which to house my own subjectivity. I am proceeding through the cast of characters listed in the dramatis personae beginning with the minor characters. For each character I produce distinct works based on contemporary associations. The final result will be a body of related artworks comprised of separately considered parts. The exhibition environment becomes a “stage” wherein the characters must visually and conceptually interact.
For Dolores I chose the characters Painter and Several Servants. The pieces for Painter are made by layering drawing and disparate painting techniques and finishing with a Polaroid—itself a painted illusion. The organizing principle for the Painter pieces is the “X” shape, since painting’s contested position within contemporary art begins from a state of cancellation. The works for the Servants are made to form smiling faces from manipulated component parts. The Servants must always be smiling, no matter the awkwardness of their rendering or their low source materials.
Timon of Athens is a failed play of contested authorship, bewildering technique, and a disputed relationship to the accepted canon. That is to say, it mirrors my own position within the art world very well.”
— Craig Drennen
Craig Drennen is an American artist living in Atlanta, GA. He is represented by Samsøn gallery in Boston and Saltworks gallery in Atlanta. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, and The New York Times. He teaches at Georgia State University and serves as dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is on the board of Art Papers magazine and has worked in the exhibition departments of the Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum, and the International Center of Photography, among others. Since 2008 he has organized his studio practice around Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens.
Image: Craig Drennen, Double Painter 2, 2013, graphite, acrylic, oil, alkyd on paper, 101.5cm x 203cm
Opening: 2 March 2013, 5-7pm
Exhibition: 2 March – 7 April 2013
Curator for Dolores: Dorothé Orczyk