on the stony path
herman de vries
The first exhibition in the UK of the work of herman de vries occupies the spring season at GroundWork gallery, King’s Lynn. herman de vries, now aged 85, is a grand figure in the world of art and environment, renowned for his sensitive attention to nature.
11 March – 30 June 2017
This exhibition is all about stones and earth, presenting the artist’s assemblages of the world’s natural resources. Remarkably varied soil samples from the Seychelles Islands and the Jura Mountains become rubbed drawings, revealing the range of colours which are otherwise hidden beneath the undergrowth.
A framed lapidarium on the wall transforms what began as a seemingly random collection of the world’s pebbles into a little display of wondrous order and variety. A floor installation of precisely cut stones from the Jura becomes a museum for a landscape which has since disappeared, lost to development. The exhibition includes his life’s work, the comprehensive ‘earth museum cata- logue’, recently published as a limited edition.
herman de vries is a poet both with words and images. He began as a scientist and has retained some of the attitudes from that profession: an investigative attitude to the world, an attention to experiment and clarity of presentation. He was a member of the zero group in the 1960s, making precise white works with measured geometry.
In 2015, herman de vries was the artist repre- senting the Netherlands in the national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Since then he has exhibited in France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and continues with major exhibitions for 2017 at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon in Spain, at Ludwig Gallery Oberhausen, Labs Gallery Bologna.
In spite of the artist’s growing fame, he retains a modesty which makes him adamant that his name should always be spelt in lower case.
Gallery director Veronica Sekules says…
‘I am pleased and proud that GroundWork Gallery is the first venue to show a comprehensive exhibi- tion by herman de vries in the UK. It takes its place alongside what has become the gallery’s signature work, Richard Long’s Great Ouse Mud Drawing, which he made in situ for its opening in 2015.’
Upstairs at GroundWork, alongside its displays of environmentally themed jewellery, features works about stones by Sibylle Eimermacher, the German artist from Arnhem in the Netherlands. www.sibsite.eu and Shaped by Stone, a project about the connected environments of Macclesfield town centre and Tegg’s Nose Country Park shapedbystone.wordpress.com.
17 Purfleet Street King’s Lynn PE30 1ER Norfolk
Director: Veronica Sekules
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