You're so Beautiful, and so on....and so on....and so on...
Bas van den Hurk & Harm van den Dorpel

14th May - 11th June, 2011
Private View: 12th May, 6.30 - 9.30 pm
Rod Barton Gallery, London EC1


Rod Barton is delighted to present a collaborative installation by two young Dutch artists; Bas van den Hurk and Harm van den Dorpel. They combine and manipulate multiple spatial co-ordinates through different mediums in a given context, in this case an exhibition room. In an era where the potential to make new remarkable gestures seems exhausted, they instead productively research discursive networks, modes and models of painting and virtual reproduction.

Harm van den Dorpel investigates how intentional concept and expressive intuition, software and matter, complement rather than conflict. He works in a wide range of media: collages, installation, websites and animation.

He aims to reinvent aesthetic strategies found in (modernist) art history by confronting these with contemporary languages from the worlds of graphics, media and interaction design, often using synthetic materials and self-developed online information systems.

Van den Dorpel's practice is structured around acts of publishing - online or in a space - by positing objects as documents into a networked model. His often computer generated, speculative art explores how algorithmically constructed and distributed reality has given rise to a new urgency and understanding of the human relationship with material objects.

Harm van den Dorpel's work has been shown in The New Museum, NYC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome; Art Since '69, NYC; W139, Amsterdam and The Dutch Institute for Media Arts, Amsterdam. His practice as an artist involves curating and teaching at the Art Academy of Amsterdam.

Bas van den Hurk’s practice circles around questions of the possibilities of painting today. For him painting functions in a permanent tension that on the one hand strives for radical autonomy and on the other is aware of the fact that it is part of a network of texts, modes of production and commodifications.

On the autonomous side Bas van den Hurk’s works are defined by the argument that image-based and abstract contemporary painting has reached the end of its 'logical conclusion', where images and abstractions can no longer support any meaning, whereas on the contextual side they show an awareness of the (art) historical and social contexts in which these works are produced and function.

Van den Hurk treats his works as permanently unfinished. By doing so his works often look fragile and vulnerable. He exhibits them as site-specific installations and temporary events that question not only the value of the individual pieces and their combinations, but also their relation towards the (exhibition) space, the spectator and their modes of production.

Bas van den Hurk’s exhibitions include; solo shows at Rod Barton Gallery, London and ZINGERpresents, Amsterdam and presentations at Liste 15, Basel and Paul Andriesse Galleries, Amsterdam. This April his new book was presented at the Museum de Pont, Tilburg. Van den Hurk occasionally curates and he teaches contemporary theory at the MFA AKV/st. Joost.


Bas van den Hurk & Harm van den Dorpel, Installation view

Harm van den Dorpel, On Usability, 2011, 35 x 25 cm

Bas van den Hurk & Harm van den Dorpel, Untitled, 2011, 160 x 107 x 53 cm

Harm van den Dorpel, Untitled, 2011, 101 x 71 cm