Foundation in 2016

  • ZEN: Eugène Brands & Shinkichi Tajiri: 15 May – 16 June 2016
  • Chapel Sixty: Varozza: December 2016 (see below)

ZEN – Eugène Brands and Shinkichi Tajiri– bringing together the work of two masters of the CoBrA movement.

15 May – 26 June 2016

It is surprising that this is the first time that two well-known CoBrA artists, Eugène Brands (1913-2002) and Shinkichi Tajiri (1923-2009), have been exhibited together. Actually, this would be considered the first time if we do not include the notorious exhibition of 1949 at the Stedelijke Museum, when their works were brought together, and which marked the height of the avant-garde CoBra Movement. 

The Movement only lasted three years, after which, all of these distinct artists, like Karel Appel, Corneille, Constant, Asger Jorn, Carl Henning Pedersen, Dotremont, Doucet, Alechinsky pursued their individual paths, though they all remained lifelong friends. Like those mentioned above, Brands and Tajiri had a very productive, rich, creative life with a broad range of activities resulting in important exhibitions worldwide. Still actively being sold, their works are included in important private collections and famous museums (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam CoBrA museum, Nelson Rockefeller collection (Tajiri). 

At first sight, the work by these two artists from widely different backgrounds do not seem to have much in common; Eugène Brands is from the Netherlands and Shinkichi Tajiri was born in Los Angeles (USA). Tajiri’s large, clearcut Ronin sculptures appear to be very different from Brands’ poetic, dream-like paintings and gouaches. However, their life philosophies were in fact very close, which is thus reflected in their respective works. And, each artist admired the art of the other.

Brands’ mythical M refers to his fascination with the Mystery of life and the ever-evolving, infinite universe. This ties in with Tajiri’s aim to merge the contradictions and art from the East and West in his sculptural knots, which are a simple, yet ingenious way to symbolize unity. For both of these artists, art extended far beyond a mere cultural expression, meeting seamlessly in ‘ZEN’.

Photos: Ryu Tajiri © 2016

Prefigure by VAROZZA:

December 2016

In the Winter of 2016, the Herman Krikhaar Foundation welcomed Varozza’s Chapel Sixty, a manifesto of the prefigure, which was created especially for the exhibition room in Salernes.

More information on the artist Varozza