Now or Never

20 Feb 2010 t/m 7 Mar 2010

It has become traditional for the Gemeentemuseum/GEM to organise regular biennial exhibitions showcasing recent graduates from The Hague’s Royal Academy of Art (KABK). For this year’s show, GEM has selected eleven up-and-coming young artists from the 2009 year group. Now or Never features their extraordinary and extremely varied work, ranging from photos to performances and from paintings to installations.

Paul Beumer (b. 1982) produces colourful paintings reminiscent of stained glass windows. Classic authors like Virginia Woolf and Gustave Flaubert are a major source of inspiration for him, with their highly concrete tales of past eras. In 2009 he was among the nominees for the Royal Subsidy for Painting and his work was included in the associated exhibition in the Royal Palace on the Dam.

Stephan van den Burg (b. 1974) searches the world around him for hidden or new and alternative meanings. His distinctive drawings (made with pencil and adhesive tape) recycle images from the media or from everyday life. His work will be on show simultaneously at Kunstcentrum Diepenheim.

Irene Cécile (b. 1981) produced a useless but entertaining photo book for her graduation project. The photographs in Als je goed kijkt zitten ze overal. Handleiding tot een speelser leven (‘Look carefully and you’ll see them everywhere. How to live a more playful life’) raise a smile and make you aware that fun can be found in the most ordinary situations. The book is accompanied by an installation featuring the same photographs.

Nare Eloyan (b. 1988) creates installations that play with the highly accessible comic strip and cartoon idiom. Eloyan’s sketches, embroidered portraits and drawings are meant to make viewers feel they are well off. Or, at any rate, better off than the heroes and anti-heroes of her fictional universe.

Eva Hofman (b. 1977) focuses attention on the burning desire of ‘ordinary people’ to be discovered. The photographs in her 0.0067% project (called after the probability of winning the X Factor talent contest) show both the dreary venues used for such events and the juries who are supposed to spot the stars among the vast mediocre majority.

Veniamin Kazachenko (b. 1982) will create a monumental wall painting in one of the GEM’s exhibition areas. Visitors can watch him at work during the first week of the show.

Kasia Klimpel (b. 1970) plays with the universal clichés of nature photography. She turns images of splendid sunsets, full moons in clear night skies and distant horizons into abstract works on paper.

Christian Kryl (b. 1979) is enthralled by glitz and glamour. He has tracked down ‘the rich and famous’ to the fashionable ski resort of St Moritz and taken amazing pictures of them and their surroundings.

Natascha Libbert’s (b. 1973) Take me to the Hilton series reveals the human impossibility of living up to the artificial and impersonal world of hotels and airports. It has previously been published in the NRC Handelsblad Magazine.

Milou Rabe’s (b. 1984) three-dimensional installations confuse and intrigue the viewer through their combination of light and existing objects. They make you think and look more carefully at your own surroundings. Rabe’s work was shown earlier this year at the Scheltema complex in Leiden as part of an exhibition of artists inspired by Theo van Doesburg.

Zoe Reddy (b. 1986) creates performances and videos based on the schizophrenia of human identity (or, at least, of her own). Reddy was the winner of Stroom’s 2009 prize for young artists.