BIG ART in the Diamantbeurs, Amsterdam



'Landscape', 1986


Press release

In the 1970-80s Kristján Gudmundsson started his career in Amsterdam as a hard-core conceptualist. He visualised time, speed and incomprehensible distances into condensed sizes and images. For this he used lines of ink on blotting paper, shot guns and handmade books. In the artist's book 'Once around the sun' (1975) he literally put the distance of the earth's orbit (940 million kilometers) as lines on each page.
In a shaped canvas called 'Landscape' Kristján Gudmundsson brought a large Icelandic fjord back to a size of ca 13 meters. Due to its size it has never been shown outside of Galerie van Gelder in Amsterdam and now in Big Art and thirty years later the work is shown for the first time to a larger public.

Kristján Gudmundsson (1941) works and lives in Reykjavík. He had solo exhibitions in Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Scandinavia, USA, France and Switzerland. In 1977 the Centre Pompidou / dir. Pontus Hulten invited him to participate in an opening show 'Ça va? Ça va'. He had a solo exhibition in the Icelandic Pavilion of the Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (1982) and in 2010 he received the Carnegie Art Award of $ 100,000. His most recent solo exhibition was in the Rappaz Museum in Basel, Switzerland.



VOEBE DE GRUYTER, 'Herman Labro's multi-faceted personality', 2016, installation


VOEBE DE GRUYTER: Herman Labro's multi-faceted personality, 2016 (detail)

Press release

Herman Labro's multi-faceted personality
Voebe de Gruyter is a narrative conceptual artist. She discloses unexpected scientific phenomena and unrevealed patterns she notices in situations around her. Although drawing is the core of her work, any material may be used for creating an image. In the course of decennia she has developed this body of thoughts and today she occupies a unique position in contemporary art.

On behalf of her participation in Big Art Voebe de Gruyter created a site inspired installation about director and - as it appears now - artist Herman Labro. Labro is head of the art institute W wh at* in Brussels (previously De Kunstbank in Leuven). Together with a changing team of employees he curates exhibitions and initiates art projects for laymen, especially underprivileged and unemployed people, and first grade school children.

Recently Voebe de Gruyter discovered that for decades the director participated under quite some artist's names as pseudonyms in the same shows she was in. In her installation in the Diamantbeurs she unfolds the unexpected aspects of the director she met for the first time in 1996 when he invited her to show in De Kunstbank in Leuven, Belgium. During the show in Big Art visitors may call one of the artists by dialing Herman Labro's mobile number.

Voebe de Gruyter (1960) works and lives in Brussels. She had solo exhibitions in Marres in Maastricht, Stroom and 1649 in The Hague. Furthermore she exhibited a.o. in Belgium (MU.zee), Germany (Museum Abteiberg), England (Royal College of Arts Galleries), Austria (Kunstraum Innsbruck), United States (Drawing Center, New York) and China (CEAC, Xiamen). Recently in 2015 she had a solo show in Club Solo in Breda. In 2014 an extensive catalogue has been published by Roma Publications. Her current solo show 'Atomes Crochus' in Galerie van Gelder lasts through 23 November 2016.



TAKAKO SAITO, 'You and me - Blue Sky wall', 2015

Press release

The wall installation 'You and me - Blue Sky wall' is a work for which visitors are invited to leave a message or drawing on, i.e. on a speech balloon cut out from empty papers lying on a table in front of the wall. After a one-year presentation in Galerie van Gelder (AP space) Big Art is the second venue at which it will be brought to the public.

Takako Saito is a Fluxus artist who is known for her disrupted chess and innovative sound pieces. In the early sixties she met George Maciunas, the founder of Fluxus in New York, who inspired her to go on making chess works. She became at an early stage part of the movement and started to make boxes with small objects. An ink stamp on the lid had texts like: "Put something in the box, sign it. Then it is a work of us". This open minded and generous attitude is still to be found in her works she makes today.

Takako Saito (1929) works and lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since the mid sixties she exhibited in numerous museums in Europe, Brazil, Lithuania and Japan. Ref. http://www.galerievangelder.com/artists/saito3.html A solo exhibition is scheduled in March 2017 in the Staatliches Museum, Schwerin, Germany. In the same year the Siegen Museum in Germany will also present various works in a solo show.

Diamantbeurs Amsterdam
19 - 27 november 2016