• IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS
    MARIJN AKKERMANS | ATHANASIOS ARGIANAS | JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN |
    DESIREE DOLRON | DAWN MELLOR
  • JANUARY 10 — FEBRUARY 14, 2009 
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Amsterdam, December 22, 2008, Galerie Gabriel Rolt is proud to announce the group exhibition IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS with recent works by Marijn Akkermans, Athanasios Argianas, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Desiree Dolron and Dawn Mellor.

The title and theme of this exhibition derive from an essay published in 1933 by the Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizuki. Galerie Gabriel Rolt collects five international artists whose work relates to the matters addressed by ‘In Praise of Shadows’.

Tanizuki appreciated things understated and natural, nuanced and delicate. He was especially enthralled by the use of shadows and diffused, natural light to create harmonious and sympathetic interiors. The essay describes the clash between the shadows of traditional Japanese spaces and the dazzling light of the modern age. The west, in its pursuit of progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity. ‘In Praise of Shadows’ argued that Japan was emulating the west, at the cost of their own tradition and character, seeking perceived notions of western development and enlightenment.

The artists in this show are all ‘western’ artists. Their works draw from their own aesthetic, social and political surroundings. But definitions of east and west are less discernible today. Media, technology and communication have made the world more connected than ever. And, in keeping with Tanizuki’s argument, they have smothered and warped many traditions and cultures which previously defined countries. 

An involvement in mass media, a willingness to represent the current society and a participation with the history of art connects the artists. Each shares a restless, speculative pursuit of capturing ‘shadows’ in a work of art – the abstract, the intangible or the immaterial.