New space – new show
Ornis A. Gallery inaugurates new gallery space with Jan Knap exhibition
19.01 – 23.02.2013 – opening on 19 January at 17:00-19:00
Ornis A. Gallery was founded in Utrecht in 2010. After two years of making exhibitions in his own home, Ornis Althuis – currently the youngest gallery owner in The Netherlands – will move to Hazenstraat 11 in Amsterdam, in the heart of the Dutch gallery scene. On Saturday January 19 he will open with an exhibition of the colourful works of Czech painter Jan Knap. Curator Marja Bosma (Curator Centraal Museum, Utrecht) will open the exhibition.
Ornis A. Gallery
Ornis Althuis made his entrance into the art world as a collector of paintings during his economics study not so many years ago. He became completely absorbed by it and decided to take on the challenge of starting his own gallery. He did so in 2010, only 23 years old. After two years of making exhibitions in his own home, Althuis is now moving his stable to Amsterdam’s Jordaan area, where most of Holland’s finest art gallery’s are situated.
Ornis A. Gallery represents a diverse group of international artists, among who are Jan Knap, Mirjam Jacob, Julius Hofmann, Hans Lemmen and Marliz Frencken. Most of them work in traditional disciplines as painting, drawing and sculpture. What they have in common is their originality, creativity, imagination and a certain freshness in their work. Their ability to stay true to themselves and their work makes them stand out and ensures a continuous quality.
While some of them have already proven this quality internationally, others have just made their entrance into the art world or have mainly focussed on their oeuvre in the past years. By moving to a bigger space, Althuis offers his artists an international stage in a favourable climate consisting of major museums, galleries and other initiatives Amsterdam has to offer, providing his artists with the audience they deserve.
Jan Knap (Ghrudimi, 1949) is one of those artists who have steadily been working on his oeuvre since the 1980’s. Knap’s work is easy on the eyes, but by no means simple. His style and subject matter remind us of the Flemish Primitives and naïve painting, but without the typical stiffness of the former. This is mixed with humour and contemporary details like an electric iron, presenting his subjects as the picture perfect 1950’s families from commercials. Without ridiculing them or religion in a broader sense, we hasten to add. Even an atheist might take a liking to them.
A first impression leaves us dazzled by the rich use of colour and the chaos of several stories on one canvas. His paintings are inhabited by a woman, children, and fluffy white animals like cats, bunnies and –of course- sheep and doves. A grey donkey also enters the scene every now and then. Halo’s and wings let us know we’re dealing with the holy family, living their daily lives on sunny meadows surrounded by heavenly creatures. Josef and little baby Jesus are never far away in these seemingly chaotic but lovely landscapes and interiors.
Knap started making his work as an anti sentiment during the wild postmodernism of the 1980’s, and succeeded in shocking the art world with his sugary motives. However, he has become fascinated by the wondrous aspects of daily life and finds joy in translating them onto canvas. And he does it so well. By making compositions that are (all too) familiar we can focus on what his work is really about: the technique of painting, introspection, remembering to feed the pets when we get home.
Jan Knap enjoys international appreciation and his work is part of many museum and private collections, a.o. those of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Centraal Museum Utrecht, and Sanders Collection in The Netherlands.
Marja Bosma, curator of Knap’s 1996 exhibition at the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, will open the exhibition.
Jan Knap – Recent work
On show from 19 January – 23 February 2013 at the gallery’s new premises.