Fall at the Merchant House. New Photography and the Ephemeral (2022)

2 mins read
Site-specific projects at TMH this fall: Leo Vroegindeweij and Zhu Hong. Photos: Arjen Veldt (Via Coebergh NL)

The Merchant House (TMH) opens its 2022/23 season with a new program dedicated to photography and Leo Vroegindeweij’s Ephemeral Projects.

The opening weekend will take place from 15 to 18 September during Unseen Amsterdam, and the exhibition runs through 13 November.

Vroegindeweij’s breathtaking installation for TMH’s 18th-century stijlkamer places the viewer at the heart of the show. We find ourselves mirrored in the high-gloss spheres he has strewn across the floor, with art reflecting life (reflecting us) reflecting art.

The parallel group show finds insightful echoes in the photographic prints, sculptures, paintings, and installations of Zhu Hong, Sylvie Bonnot, and André de Jong. The theme of the ephemeral runs through each work, allowing the artists to explore new possibilities in photography.

merchant house
Site-specific projects at TMH this fall: Leo Vroegindeweij and Zhu Hong. Photos: Arjen Veldt (Via Coebergh NL)

Leo Vroegindeweij: Ephemeral Project for TMH

Vroegindeweij’s installation for TMH is a follow-up to his Oeuvres éphémères in historical locations in France. 27 ready-made silver spheres (38 cm in diameter, each) are rolled across the floor under the 300-year-old Baroque ceiling.

There is no title and the walls are bare without becoming a backdrop. Taking on the role of a pointed lens, each ball reflects the image of the celling’s brazen Flora and, on close inspection, of ourselves gazing in. “My work does not communicate meaning, but conveys behavior. This behavior is experienced in the encounter between the viewer and the work, in their equal but disparate roles.”

TMH Sylvie Bonnot Andre de Jong HR
From the group exhibition at TMH: Sylvie Bonnot and André de Jong. (Via Coebergh NL)

This concept has run through Vroegindeweij’s work from his early pieces, which won him the 1985 Prix de Rome. Over a 45-year sculptural practice, his natural tools came to include uncontrolled circumstances, time, and space—with the TMH proposal taking shape in February 2022, right at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

New Photography and the Ephemeral: Leo Vroegindeweij, Zhu Hong, Sylvie Bonnot, André de Jong

Singular prints, sculptures, painting, and installations: TMH’s group show explores the ephemeral with a selection of unconventional photography-inspired works. Leo Vroegindeweij contributes an exquisite photo-scan of Rodin’s sculpted hands, reimagining them as a flame-like trace captured on aluminum.

Zhu Hong’s wall mural Amstel—literally ephemeral as it is temporary—finds analogies between the unframed, wall-roughened brushstrokes and her photo-documentation of light on water. André de Jong’s flowers (printed with lyrical precision on varied papers) and Sylvie Bonnot’s space phenomena (reworked in her “mue” technique) point to the uncanny, strange, and transgressive.

merchant house
From the new series ENTERTAINMENT, 2022, of artist Mary Sue (Via Coebergh NL)

Forming a joint presentation in the gallery’s historical space, the group show and Vroegindeweij’s intervention give an irreverent reading to its symbolism and sense of permanence.

TMH at Salon Zürcher, NY, and Unseen Amsterdam: Mary Sue

At Salon Zürcher in New York (5-11 September) and Unseen Amsterdam (15-18 September), TMH will feature the brand-new photographs, video, and art objects of the French artist Mary Sue (assumed identity).

The photo-performances and “inverted autofictions” are from her series ENTERTAINMENT, 2022. They turn to iconic female characters such as Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood and continue the artist’s powerful critique of social and cultural clichés (in art and in life).

New Photography and the Ephemeral

15 September – 13 November

Opening weekend: 15-18 September during Unseen Amsterdam

About The Merchant House

The Merchant House (TMH) is an art space/gallery that presents contemporary art to discover, immerse oneself in, and collect. Each project seeks to address pressing questions in art and brings together an extended exhibition, event series, and publication.

Founded by Marsha Plotnitsky in a 17th-century canal house in Amsterdam, TMH stands for a new reflection on art-in-the-city traditions. From the start of the program in 2013, Plotnitsky has curated over 30 thematic projects of contemporary art. The gallery is known for collaborating with its artists to create site-specific installations, commissions, and new work for its particular space and other venues.

TMH Facade with Flag of Compassion of Rini Hurkmans HR
Façade of TMH with the Flag of Compassion of Rini Hurkmans (Via Coebergh NL)

TMH’s projects showcase international and Dutch innovators, such as John Coplans, André de Jong, Hilarius Hofstede, Craigie Horsfield, Rini Hurkmans, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Henk Peeters, Pino Pinelli, Judit Reigl, Carolee Schneemann, Jan Schoonhoven, and André Stempfel. It also presents young talent, including Sylvie Bonnot, Kokou Ferdinand Makouvia, Mary Sue, Elsa Tomkowiak, Mengzhi Zheng, and Zhu Hong.

Via Coebergh NL

Join Our Mailing List

[contact-form-7 id="9206" title="Sidebar Newsletter"]