JELLE VAN DEN BERG & SIMON BLAU
20 JANUARY – 13 FEBRUARY 2016
CO-OP brings together the most recent paintings of Simon Blau and Jelle van den Berg, who have maintained a friendship and working relationship for over three decades.
Van den Berg explains that their chosen title for the exhibition, an abbreviation of ‘cooperative’, is ‘in some way a reaction to the high level of importance given to the individual, to bring it down a notch in favour of the shared experience in the group.’ Their preference for a communal approach to art-making emphasises the value of the shared language that can develop among artists. Between them they have swapped over thirty paintings – a wordless exchange of ideas translated into material form.
Both artists respond to the physical world around them and the things that make up their everyday – the studio, the sea, the view from a window. These external references slide in and out of vision after a complex process of abstraction. Together their work addresses the endlessly abstract nature of reality and the self, revealing the remarkable intricacies that lie beneath our common-sense perceptions.