Figurehead conceptual artist Jan Dibbets is exhibiting this spring at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Dibbets is showing his latest series, entitled Horizons and based on his Sectio Aurea (1972), a work now in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum. The series forms an installation in which Dibbets not only underlines the importance of his earlier work, but also extends the experimentation present in the original work. Dibbets creates an ever-changing tension between perspective and horizon which produces optical confusion in the viewer. At the same time, the multitudinous variations within the series suggest a quest for the perfect horizon.
As an avant-garde conceptual artist, Jan Dibbets stands alongside contemporaries like Sol Lewitt, Lawrence Weiner and Joseph Kosuth. The importance of his work to post-war Dutch art is universally recognised. Not only did his work feature in pioneering exhibitions like Wim Beeren’s Op losse schroeven (Amsterdam, 1969) and Harald Szeemann’s When Attitudes Become Form (Berne and London, 1996), but Dibbets teaching activities at Ateliers ’63 from 1968 onward made him a lasting inspiration for and influence on generations of Dutch artists.
This exhibition of recent work includes two series: New Horizons / Land + Sea and Sectio Aurea. Both series are based on Dibbets’ 1972 work Sectio Aurea (Golden Section), now in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum. Dibbets’ work has frequently focused on the Dutch landscape, for example, as in his Dutch Mountains series, using manipulated images of land and sea to transform the flat landscape of the Netherlands into rolling hills. In these two new series, the artist again plays with the flatness of the landscape, using changing viewpoints and masking the photograph in constantly changing ways. Although the changes are sometimes almost zero, they still have an optically disconcerting effect on the viewer. Each work in the two series consists of a combination of horizons, one on land and one at sea.
Despite the current trend towards exhibiting young artists, the Gemeentemuseum is proud to present the work of mature artists with established oeuvres. This exhibition reflects the traditional belief of the Gemeentemuseum that artists’ late works can offer new ways of seeing. An outstanding example of this is, of course, Mondrian’s last painting, Victory Boogie Woogie.
The Jan Dibbets – Horizons exhibition will be shown in Paris (Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris), The Hague, Chemnitz (Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz) and Heilbronn (Kunstverein Heilbronn) in that order. It is accompanied by a full colour catalogue containing contributions by experts including Rudi Fuchs and Erik Verhagen and designed by Rutger Fuchs (price: €29.80).