The Great Longing
Bohüslans museum, Uddevalla, Sweden
Our summer exhibition – The Great Longing – features some twenty contemporary artists, principally from the Netherlands and Sweden, working in the field of abstract art and exploring their varied forms of expression in the widest sense. The exhibition includes everything from powerfully expressive abstract paintings to more subdued, analytical forms of expression. The participating artists make use of numerous different methods including alchemical processes, linguistic experiments, or more intuitive and experimental approaches.
The participating artists are: Katarina Andersson, Raymond Cuijpers, Julius Göthlin, Lukas Göthman, Wieteke Heldens, Jeroen Hofhuizen, Yukako Isobe, Rudy Klomp, André Kruysen, Ray Moon, Mayako Nakamura, Jacco Olivier, Bella Rune, Astrid Sylwan, Jim Thorell, Cole Verhoeven, Charlotte Warsen and Johan Zetterquist.
The artists mainly based in the Netherlands have previously worked together under the name TAOP – The Act of Painting. They function as an artists’ collective in which Raymond Cuijpers and Jeroen Hofhuizen are the main driving force and curate and organize exhibitions in various parts of the world. At each exhibition they seek to achieve a site-specific character by inviting participation from artists in the country in which they are exhibiting.
Even though the membership of TAOPs is constantly changing, the intuitive process remains particularly important and in focus. The creative act – the actual business of painting, of linking together the inner and outer worlds. In the actual, creative moment there is often an intense sense of presence, and so creativity itself forms a longing for this.
Among the Swedish participants there are established artists like Katarina Andersson, Astrid Sylwan, Lukas Göthman and Bella Rune, Johan Zetterquist, as well as a somewhat younger generation of painters like Julius Göthlin and Jim Thorell. The Swedish artists lack the common starting point of their Dutch colleagues, but base their work on rather more varied experiences and cross-border themes.
Normally, abstract or non-figurative art is not concerned with imitating or depicting an outer reality but lets such formal aspects as relationships of colour and form speak their own language or poetry. It is now more than a hundred years since the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky created the first abstract work in 1911, though here in Sweden Hilma af Klint was creating abstract paintings at about the same time, even though these were not exhibited. Both painters are concerned with a spiritual dimension in art.
After the end of World War II abstract art enjoyed a major breakthrough, becoming synonymous with modernity. During the 1950s and 1960s, minimalism and abstract expressionism also became popular. The Great Longing provides us with an insight into what abstract art can look like today.
Curators of the exhibition are Raymond Cuijpers, Lukas Göthman och Agneta von Zeipel, the last two being responsible for the Swedish participants.