Dineke Blom and Adam Shirley
April 6 through May 4, 2013
Re:View Contemporary Gallery is pleased to present Long Distance, a two-person exhibition comprising multiple charcoal drawings by Dutch artist Dineke Blom and a singular steel sculpture by Detroit artist Adam Shirley. The exhibition, the first time the artists’ works will be shown together, as well as, the first time for Dineke Blom’s drawings to be exhibited in Detroit, explores the connections between the two artists’ works and Detroit.
Although working in different countries, disciplines and mediums, Blom and Shirley share a central interest in the way in which we perceive the world around us, both abandoning narrative in favor of intuition, and the act of seeing. The two artists also draw inspiration from the tradition and history of art to create work within a contemporary context.
In specific paintings of the 17th century Dutch masters, Dineke Blom recognizes an akin concern with perception, even though the theme is addressed often implicitly in works from that time. To Blom, the paintings evoke a world that is difficult to grasp: it is a world of suggestion, of relations that shift, such as between foreground and background. In her view, it is exactly these shifting states that illuminate the world around us, and facilitate its opening to the eye of the observer. Seeing and studying these works in an intuitive way, Blom begins to draw, as her focus gradually shifts from her sources of inspiration to her own drawing, and she finds ways to visualize the process of active seeing.
In a parallel way, Adam Shirley draws inspiration from the paintings of Giorgio Morandi and the idea of perceiving the world through a singular material. In his three-dimensional still life, “the one and the many,” Shirley explores notions of perception and understanding through the process of making multiples of a single object. His objects appear both familiar and foreign, suggesting they are the physical realization of thought and observation.
In the “emptiness” of Dineke Blom’s drawings, one can find a connection to the vast abandonment of post-industrial Detroit, and perhaps the potential for re-drawing the future of a city. Similarly, in Adam Shirley’s sculpture, one can find an association with manufacturing, assembly lines, the auto industry, and the potential of a revisited technological model. Shirley’s “manufactured” objects in this single sculpture are made from reclaimed steel.
Long Distance brings us a unique opportunity to experience both artists’ works together, as they bridge historic references with today’s possibilities: Blom’s drawing compositions defying flatness to suggest space and three-dimensionality, and the inherent possibility of human’s imagination; and Shirley’s sculptural industrial-like works unexpectedly evoking the subtle beauty of a painting composition, reminding us of that vastness readily present through the subtlest everyday observations.
Dineke Blom is a visual artist living and working in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She was educated at Ateliers 63 in Haarlem. Dineke Blom’s work has been shown internationally in galleries and museums and she is represented by gallery AdK Actuele Kunst, Amsterdam, where she regularly hosts solo exhibitions. Her work is also included in the collections of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; Teylers Museum, Haarlem; ABNAmro Artfoundation; Bouwfonds Artfoundation; NOG Collection of SNS REAAL Fonds, and private collections in The Netherlands and abroad.