Steven van den Haak: On my mind...


37 in de series Heda, 2013 © Lonneke de Groot/Ron Mandos

On my mind... Lonneke de Groot

When I first encountered Lonneke de Groot’s Heda series I thought ‘Gosh, just another variation on the great Dutch Masters’. Still, the stark white, carefully folded sheets hovering in the looming blackness that surrounds it sparked my interest. Although Willem Claesz Heda (1594 - ±1680) is the formal inspiration for this series, Groot’s work rather engages into questions how space can transform through the photographic lens. Even more profound was why I experienced this particular series that drew its inspiration so evidently from painting, as striking. Painting is my least favourite form of art.

As a forecaster I admire art for its ability to invent futures and in painting I, perhaps short-sightedly, only see the past. The photograph shown, however, 37 in the series Heda, fits perfectly in a couple of trends that are rapidly gaining momentum. ‘Landscapes’ are quickly escaping their picture frames, evolving from a slightly out-dated genre into sensibilities and ideas, inspiring architects, designers and even politicians to change our everyday surroundings into elaborately choreographed landscapes in which boundaries seemingly disappear and change in far-stretching vistas, almost within reach. Black and white colour schemes have always been fascinating to us, symbolising stark contrasts, the mysteries of the absence of light, the unbearable lightness of pure white, the endless possibilities on the black and white checked battlefield of a game of chess. Black and white is the strongest contrast we can think of and right now. While cultures clash and globalisation stagnates in a liminal space of inequality, black and white symbolises an on-going process of nuance.

About Steven van den Haak

Steven van den Haak (1990) studied art history at the University of Amsterdam and works as a freelance trend forecaster, trend researcher and writer concerning art, architecture and design.

 

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