Berend Strik
Redefining Realness

Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam

November 24, 2016

Berend Strik
Redefining Realness

November 25, 2016–January 7, 2017

Opening: Friday, November 25, 5–10pm,
part of Amsterdam Art Weekend

Galerie Fons Welters
Bloemstraat 140
1016 LJ Amsterdam

T +31 20 423 30 46  
mail [​at​]

“With one person, there’s lecturing, but with two characters, there’s a dialogue—immediately there’s a confrontation between the two.” –Lucas Samaras, Interview Magazine, February 26, 2009

Berend Strik’s seventh solo exhibition with Galerie Fons Welters carries the somewhat cryptical title Redefining Realness. Strik could equally have called his show “displaced in the artworld,” since that is the feeling encroaching on him when he looks around.

It would be too easy to say that the artist prefers to withdraw into his studio, a place to work and reflect, for such reason. Yet the artist studio has been a prominent subject which has occupied Strik for several years now. The relation between the creative space and the aesthetic views of well- and lesser-known artists form the subject of a series of works taking as a starting point a photograph either made or found by Strik. These images are reworked with coloured thread by embroidering, stitching and appliquéing with velvet and transparent fabric. In this way Strik adds an extra layer to the photograph and obtains access to work, so to speak, in the photographic space. Aspects that intrigue Strik are emphasized by these additional layers and clarify his connection with the artists, subject to the respective works. 

The stitchings pierce through the canvas and do not only become part of the surface of the canvas, they result in the work gaining two sides. The front of these works shows the studio while the closely related back of each work elaborates on associations and supporting imagery.

Strik’s work made after his visit to Martha Rosler’s studio in Brooklyn for example shows a splendid plant in which light seems caught, adding a poetic layer to the cerebral impression Rosler instils. Its back shows about ten images of women. “Historical heroines,” according to Strik, “with whom he connects Rosler, herself an outspoken feminist.” 

These fronts and backs (seem to) embody Samaras’ quote about why a dialogue is only possible due to the implicit two-sidedness of such event/matter. 

Berend Strik (The Netherlands, 1960) was resident artist at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and the ISCP, New York. He received the following prizes: Elisabeth van Thuringen Prize, Dorothea von Stetten Kunstpreis and Charlotte Köhler Prize. Strik has been the subject of solo exhibitions at a.o. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Vleeshal, Middelburg; Kabinett, Zurich en Oslo Museum, Oslo. He took part in the Lyon Biennial, Lyon; and participated in group shows at a.o. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; SMAK, Gent; Mudam Luxembourg; de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; FRAC, Montpellier; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; MuHKA, Antwerpen.

Front space:
30: “Untitled, 1989″
Olga Balema, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Shana Moulton, Berend Strik, Evelyn Taocheng Wang and Nina Yuen