Museum de Fundatie in the dynamic Hanseatic city of Zwolle is a must-visit when it comes to art and culture. The new temporary exhibition Brave New World features the work of sixteen top international painters under the age of 40. Each of them looks at painting and the world in a new way. Brave New World, curated by art critic Hans den Hartog Jager, provides an in-depth look at painting today and their relationship to contemporary society. The exhibition is on view through June 11, 2023.
Painting is more vibrant and powerful than ever. Today's painters combine age-old techniques with contemporary themes, stories and motifs, showing that painting in our time can be the perfect Trojan horse; attractive and seductive, but often with a razor-sharp message. Brave New World shows the work of sixteen painters under 40, who are among the absolute international best. An exhibition full of multiple perspectives, varied histories and new aesthetic frameworks, curated by writer and art critic Hans den Hartog Jager.
For a long time, painting was the poor relation in the western part of the art world. Artists in recent decades became more and more fascinated by the digital, against which painting was old-fashioned. At the same time, digital culture also brought with it another realization; that an image in itself can be incredibly telling. In other parts of the art world, however, painting has always remained important. In South America, Asia and Africa, painting has been and remains a vibrant, powerful and influential art form, thanks to its accessibility and the long, strong tradition from which it stems.
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In recent years, this new awareness provided a strong impetus for painters around the world. Standards have shifted and the urgency of painting, even in the West, is higher than ever. For the new generation of painters, digital images are a given; they have grown up with them. Yet they choose to paint precisely because painting offers them an unprecedented, rich variety of artistic expressions and influences. Painters today mix virtuosity with complex references to (art) history, contemporary visual culture, engagement and diverse cultures. It makes their work a perfect reflection of the turbulent world we live in - only richer, more challenging and seductive.
It is therefore time for a new, ambitious painting exhibition. Brave New World shows work by sixteen painters who are looking at painting, and at the world, in a new way. The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalog written by curator Hans den Hartog Jager, in which he examines the work of the participating artists against the background of the development of painting over the past thirty years. Brave New World provides an in-depth look at contemporary painting and explains how it relates to society and current events.
For Hans den Hartog Jager, this is not the first project of this kind. He curated, including at Museum de Fundatie, several exhibitions on contemporary art, in which painting is often an important constant. In 2019 at Museum de Fundatie, he created the exhibition Vrijheid - the fifty Dutch core works of art from 1968. Fifteen years ago, Hans den Hartog Jager also wrote the book Paint, for which he interviewed eighteen well-known contemporary Dutch painters, including Marlene Dumas, Ger van Elk, Constant and Michael Raedecker. The book became an instant classic and is still widely read by lovers of painting and art school students.