When Anne Jaap was not yet an artist, but a boy of eleven, twelve, he tinkered buildings of paper. Old canal houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses, apartment buildings, garage boxes, workers’ houses, factories. With just a pencil, a pair of scissors, a pile of graph paper and a pot of glue, he built an imaginary city, which he repeatedly arranged.
The construction stopped after he read a book about Piet Mondriaan. With firewood slats, an old sheet and oil paint from Waterloo Square, he made his first painting, a monochrome orange surface.
After all sorts of modern painterly experiments, he discovered the richness of art for the time of Mondriaan in the library and wanted to become Rembrandt. For about fourteen years he and his bedroom had become a romantic studio where it smelled of turpentine.
Now, many years later, it is actually the same fascinations and desires as then, that form the basis of his work. Everyday architecture, the tightly organized world of modernists such as Mondrian and the desire for the painterly richness of painters such as Rembrandt. “To me, seeing a painting is like looking at actions in time. I see and experience the painterly gestures of the painter. I see thousands of actions, even when they are barely perceptible. I know them. With the same view I also see the physical world, the world of things, the world as we have created it. The habitat in which we live’.
For Anne Jaap, a walk through a random street is an experience of actions over time. But also of thoughts, desires, ideologies, which may or may not have fallen with time, or have even been forgotten and replaced by new desires and ideas. And there is always the ongoing time, in which weeds want to proliferate and everything finally disappears again.
SPATIES SPACES – the title of the exhibition – refers to the painterly choices for places that may not really be meant to be seen, but which are nevertheless everywhere between things, such as spaces and white space between the words we read.
The paintings shown are made with watercolor on paper. The creation process is time-consuming, every action remains visible. For De Rapper, who previously mainly made various spatial works – from ceramic objects to spatial installations with found objects – SPATIES SPACES is the first exhibition that consists entirely of paintings. “I have explored all kinds of artistic positions during the period that I have been active as an artist. Then I took a few years away, to build my dream studio. Carrying real stones, years of buffalo and hangmen with heavy beams. I am back home in that studio. As at home as I was at the beginning. With calluses on the hands and a brush’.
Anne Jaap de Rapper (Ysbrechtum, 1977) graduated from the Minerva Academy in 1999 – interdisciplinary visual arts – and completed his Masters in painting at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen in 2001. Between 2004 and 2012 he worked as a teacher at the Minerva Academy and worked as a semester teacher at the FMI for some time. As a visual artist, he was represented between 2001 and 2013 by the VOUS ETES ICI gallery in Amsterdam.
In the presence of the artist, the exhibition will be officially opened by Barthold Boksem, teacher of visual arts at the Minerva Academy in Groningen. Barthold and Anne Jaap enter into conversation and take us into the artist’s views and observations. This exhibition is also part of the Art Route Tsjûkemar 2019.
Date: 24 May 2019
Time: 7.30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m.