Nieuw Amsterdams Peil 2 - Matthew Day Jackson & Philippe Vandenberg

23 June - 28 July at GRIMM Keizersgracht
Veracht den burgerman, ‘doch ledig zijne kruiken’ Despise the solid burgher, but drink deep of his flagon’

For ‘NAP2’, the collaboration of galleries in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam was expanded from six to nine galleries. Under the title ‘Veracht den burgerman, doch ledig zijne kruiken’ (‘Despise the solid burgherman, but drink deep of his flagon’), Joost Declercq, director of Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens – in Sint Martens-Latem in Belgium – and curator Charlotte Crevits, co-curated an exhibition comprised of nine duo presentations. The poem ‘Vademecum voor den Dichter’ (‘Vademecum for the Poet’) written in 1929 by the Flemish poet Richard Minne, inspired the title of ‘NAP2’. Minne wrote for the Socialist newspaper ‘Vooruit’ and for the satirical magazine ‘Koekoek’ that took a light-hearted look at politics, art and other effusions of civilisation: gently mocking all that was too straitlaced or not wayward enough, adding a splash of vinegar to something overly sweet, and a spoonful of honey to whatever’s too sour! Minne’s words seemed a fitting motto for NAP2, at a time when the gallery format is facing challenges and needs to find new ways to share artists’ work with audiences. Joost Declercq chose to explore the relationship between the artist and the gallery for ‘NAP2’. Declercq talks of his concept as ‘theme-less’ and ‘apolitical’: “This creates a unique platform to foreground, question and even perhaps undermine, the essence of art itself. In the absence of a predetermined theme, subjectivity, spatiality, discussion and intuition are the prevailing concepts. Ideas that today, in a globalised and increasingly market-focused art discourse, threaten to be undermined by trivialities.”

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