Readytex Art Gallery Press release
the busy art year of 2010
Within a few weeks only we enter the last days of 2010. That means that we also once again approach the period of the next National Art Fair and the hectic yet festive years end celebrations which include the usual Surifesta activities. But, we’re not quite there yet, and the previous and the current months have kept us busily occupied as well. In the Readytex Art Gallery the entire team as well as the artists have constantly had and still have their hands full! Exhibitions in and outside of Suriname, residencies and a multitude of other art-related activities, the one after the other, subsequently and even simultaneously; every now and then quite a challenge, but one that we gladly take on because it proves without a doubt that the boundaries are continuously being extended. Surinamese art and artists are staking their claim in the wider world of art.
It all started in January with the educational exhibition Stemwijzer in Fort Zeelandia at which socially critical artworks of Kurt Nahar, Ron Flu and René Tosari were also on display. The organization aimed to provide especially the younger generations with as much information as possible, so that they could cast a well educated vote at the national elections on May, 25th 2010.
Marcel Pinas reached yet another significant milestone in his career early this year. After a suspenseful nomination period, he received the news that he had been admitted into the Forum for Young Global Leaders, in February. He received this honor because of the important message he spreads worldwide with his culturally oriented art and because of his hard work and dedication to improve the future of the youth in his birth district of Marowijne in Suriname. The Young Global Leaders, a community of remarkable young leaders from all over the world within the World Economic Forum, meets regularly to discuss solutions for current World issues. In May Marcel Pinas joined in on his First large YGL meeting in Tanzania.
Then of course in February, came the grand Paramaribo SPAN, exhibition which was held in the gardens of the DSB Bank. The Readytex partner artists George Struikelblok, Kurt Nahar, Roddney Tjon Poen Gie and Sunil Puljhun participated with spectacular modern art installations. Dhiradj Ramsamoedj presented his much talked about Adjie Gilas installation at his own very fitting location, the home of his grandmother. Marcel Pinas assisted curator Chris Cozier from Trinidad with the selection of the Surinamese participants and brought a large group of interested people to his recently opened Tembe Art Studio at Moengo for a special guided tour. Readytex Art Gallery responded to the occasion by showing works of all her core artists in her halls. The SPAN guests visiting from abroad were thus able to get a more complete idea of the art that is produced by our local artists.
This year Marcel Pinas was also co-curator in the Netherlands for the exhibitions Sribi Switi – San e psa in The Hague and Kunst Vlaai/Art Pie in Amsterdam.
Our artists were exhibiting beyond the borders as well. On February 19th the exhibition Couleurs du Suriname opened in Galerie L ’Encadrier in Cayenne, French Guyana. This exhibition displayed beautiful works of art by Rinaldo Klas and Reinier Asmoredjo and the French public reacted with great enthusiasm. From February 18th until March 12th work by Kurt Nahar was on display at the exhibition 17.912 dagen, geboeid door schoonheid, which was held in Brussels, Belgium.
In the meantime at Readytex preparations were underway for the large solo exhibition of René Tosari. He named the exhibition Dicht bij de oorsprong (Close to the Origins), a title quite appropriate for several reasons. First because the theme revolved mainly around signs and symbols of the original inhabitants of the world and secondly because the majority of his work really took shape once he started working here in Suriname at his parental home in Commewijne, close to his own origins. The opening of the exhibition was doubly festive because on March 23rd it was the first event opening in the De Hal, the brand new exhibition space at the Grote Combéweg 45. This multifunctional space offers countless opportunities for anyone who is searching for an appropriate place to organize their art or culture related activities.
In March artist George Struikelblok won a Tommy in Shanghai at the One Minute (TOM) Awards, for his One minute film Portretten (Portraits). Meanwhile other artists were participating in exhibitions abroad. Kurt Nahar and Marcel Pinas were at the Pulchri Studio in The Hague together with Patricia Kearsenhout for the exhibition Sribi Switi.. San e psa. Immediately thereafter, Pinas and Nahar also exhibited with Rinaldo Klas in Lily’s Gallery, also in The Hague.
At the gallery the team was busily occupied with a number of artists to apply for participation in the About Change art project of the World Bank. Artists from the Caribbean and Latin America were invited to enter with artworks that related to the theme of About Change. They were also required to explain their choices with short texts about their art. After several weeks news was received that the following artists were chosen to participate: Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, Sri Irodikromo, Roddney Tjon Poen Gie and Marcel Pinas. Their selected works will be on display at several locations of the World Bank in Washington D.C. until May 2011.
Shortly after this it was also time to send in the entries for the 2011 Dutch Caribbean Art Diary which is produced on Curaçao. Résumé’s and photographs of artwork from 18 artists were sent in and the producers of the diary in Curacao will make the final selection. In the Dutch Caribbean Art Diary of 2010 Marcel Pinas, George Struikelblok, Rinaldo Klas, Kurt Nahar and Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi were included, so with great anticipation we await the next edition of the Art Diary.
Staying on the topic of Curacao, in May George Struikelblok had a solo exhibition there in Landhuis Bloemhof. During his exhibition Lob Makandra the artist also gave a life painting demonstration. In this same month work by Kurt Nahar was once again included in an exhibition in Belgium, this time at the open air exhibition that was part of the Afri festival in Brussels. In June Marcel Pinas traveled to the South of France for short residency.
And in between all those hectic preparations and activities, there were of course also activities in the gallery itself. In May there was a surprising mini feature of art by Henry Soekarman (Soeka) who is well known for his life-like black and white portraits. Here he introduced, in a subtle yet striking way, some color into his into his work and created a unique collection with an added modern touch. In June and July there were also mini features. The first in June was a double feature of father and daughter artist duo Soeki and Sri Irodikromo. Both presented the latest collections of their culturally inspired works of art. An intense color palette, cultural symbolisms and graceful details, are present in both artist’s work. Other than these similar elements however, their work is distinctly different. The next mini feature in July, was a new experiment. According to the new concept, an artist, in this case Kurt Nahar, is chosen by the gallery to design an exhibit based on a theme of his own choosing. His theme was ‘what do you choose for?’. His theme was worked-out by hanging contrasting works of art side by side. The feature is thus a reflection of everyday life and the choices people are continuously faced with. The artist challenges the viewer to think about those choices. Do you choose based on outward appearances and superficial beauty or do you analyze your options more thoroughly and look beyond the surface?
On request from ‘de Werkgroep Caraibische Letteren’, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj had been working on a work of art in the form of a book about Surinamese poet Michaël Slory since June. To commemorate his literary achievements, this special and carefully designed ‘art book’ was created by Dhiradj and presented to the poet on the occasion of his 75th birthday on August 4th .
And our artists were also once again busy abroad. George Struikelblok had a solo exhibition called Lob’ Makandra in Galerie 23 in Amsterdam from August 27th until September 15th in which he presented paintings, video films as well as three dimensional art installations. Art by Rinaldo Klas is part of the Gihon River Collective exhibition in the COPY0909 Gallery in London, England, early in September. The Gihon River Collective is a group of visual artists and writers who were all residents at the Vermont Studio Center in de USA last year in September. With this exhibition in England from September 9th until October 3rd, they aim to share their positive experiences at the VSC with the public.
Then from September 1 – 30 work by artists Kurt Nahar, Marcel Pinas and George Struikelblok is part of the Triennial of Santo Domingo. The theme for this Triennial is ‘Art and the Environment’ and the artists participate with artworks in which current nature and environment issues are the main theme.
On September 9th the large exhibition Paramaribo Perspectives opened in TENT in Rotterdam. This group exhibition of Surinamese and Dutch artists serves as the conclusion of a period of intense cultural exchange between the cities of Paramaribo and Rotterdam. Kurt Nahar, Sri Irodikromo, George Struikelblok and Dhiradj Ramsamoedj participated and were also present at the exhibition. From September 20th until October 2nd George Struikelblok will also have an exhibition in l‘ Encadrier Galerie in Cayenne, French Guyana.
And then there’s even more!. On the occasion of the autonomous status of Curaçao within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Mon Art Gallery in the Rif Fort is organizing an exhibition. Especially for this event ten different artists including Marcel Pinas, will work on a work of art which will consist of ten pieces, and which will be presented to the public at this exhibition in October 10th (10/10/2010).
The Queens Park Gallery Museum in Barbados will organize and host an exhibition of Surinamese art from October 10-30. This exhibition is the initiative of artist and Secretary of the FVAS(Federation of Visual Artists in Suriname), Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi and Janice Whittle, Director of Queens Park Gallery in Barbados. Janice Whittle is the curator for this exhibition at which 18 Surinamese artists will exhibit their work. Aside from Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi and almost all core artists of the Readytex Art Gallery, also Dorette Kuster-Oehlers, Anand Binda and Kim Sontosoemarto will be part of the exhibition in Barbados.
Around this same time from September 29th until October 30th artists Marcel Pinas, Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, Sri Irodikromo, Reinier Asmoredjo and John Lie A Fo will also participate in the seventh edition of the Biennale du Marronage in Matoury, French-Guyana.
In Suriname the anticipation is building up regarding the upcoming solo exhibition of Dhiradj Ramsamoedj from October 19 - 23 in ‘De Hal’ at the Grote Combéweg 45. With Ordinary People Reloaded Dhiradj expands upon the theme of his first solo exhibition in 2006 and also on his experience and findings from his much talked about participation at the recent Paramaribo SPAN and Paramaribo Perspectives exhibitions. With increased vigor, great exuberance and a new artistic maturity, the artist really lets go in this collection. “Ordinary people”, regular men and women, in daily situations and circumstances, but approached from different points of view and sources of inspiration, determine the overall look of the collection. The style however is completely “reloaded” one could say, and the art-loving public is well advised not to miss this special exhibition.
The public can also look forward to the Coronie-expo from November 23 – 27, 2010 also in ‘De Hal’. This exhibition is a combined effort of artist Fineke van der Veen and the Readytex Art Gallery and includes contributions from different artists. At this exhibition especially the old buildings of the district of Coronie, the stories and the history they hide within, will be highlighted.
Around this same time of course, Readytex Art Gallery will also be present at the national Art Fair. And who knows what else this year still holds in store….
For more information and images please contact Readytex Art Gallery. Phone number: 421750.
Team Readytex Art Gallery