3 Mar – 1 Apr 2001


Llian Elins, Graham Little, Jurriaan Molenaar, Matt Mullican, Han Schuil, Machiel van Soest, Narcisse Tordoir

‘Clean’ also means free from corruption. A concept that is immediately visually applicable to the seven artists taking part in the exhibition.

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Keeping a secret, an indirect message, a contemplative view of the world. All matters that viewers are inspired to consider by the artists’ use of well-delineated order. An order, however, that sows the seeds of confusion. In choosing not to use an emotional signature, the artists make light of themselves and their actions with which their images take on an iconic quality. The works don’t comment on art, or directly on the world, rather presenting a contemplative image of contemporary times. The viewer is given the chance to question his or her own order and perception.

In the front space, Van Soest’s paintings have been installed to assume the function of a tomb – which does not undermine the energy of the piece.

Matt Mullican’s space acts as the archetype of his own world. It embraces  a huge, upright half cylinder that can be entered and experienced. A sculpture designed to match the size of the rear space that will almost mesmerise viewers.

Ideals of beauty are confounded by Eliëns while the young Graham Little constructs 3D shapes that he conceals and dislocates with painted colour bars. Jurriaan Molenaar sends logical perception spinning – a painting struggles to loose itself from the wall. Han Schuil's work shares the impact of the Flemish Primitives. He opted for an in situ variant of his lucid visual language – this time, the public can literally wander into his work. Finally, Narcisse Tordoir revels in visual anarchism.

The inclusion of a number of long-established names is striking – which is neither a goal nor habit. What W139 does is bring a range of hidden, little investigated aspects of the oeuvre of established artists to the fore. W139 seeks to stimulate transgressive, not affirmative ideas, placing them alongside the approaches of the youngest generation.

Central to ‘CLEAN’ is that the work of these artists, all painters to a greater or lesser degree, has gained a large, site-specific character. ‘CLEAN’ was put together by Lilian Eliëns, Jurriaan Molenaar and W139.

With thanks to
Amsterdamse Fonds voor de Kunst, de Gemeente Amsterdam en de Mondriaan Stichting.